Eagles vs. Steelers Preview + Free Pick August 7th, 2008
By: NFL Handicapping Staff
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Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers Preseason Odds
It’s a battle for the Keystone State, sort of, on Friday night when the Philadelphia Eagles (8-8 SU & ATS in the 2007 regular season) face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6 SU & 8-8 ATS in 2007 regular season) in the pre-season opener for both teams, scheduled to begin at 7:30 PM ET Friday, August 8 at Heinz Field in the Steel City.
BetUS NFL Betting Odds: PITTSBURGH -3, Total 33.5
NOTABLE STAT: Pittsburgh was 1st in NFL in yards allowed last season (266.4 ypg)
KEY NFL FOOTBALL BETTING TREND: Steelers have 10 unders in last 12 pre-season games
In the Top Sportsbooks pre-season football betting NFL odds, the Steelers are listed as a three-point home favorite, with a posted total of 33.5 points.
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Here are some NFL football wagering trends as they relate to this matchup (reflecting numbers going into the 2008 season):
* PHIL has covered its last six road games
* PHIL has won five of its last six road games SU
* PHIL has played four of its last five road games OVER the total
* PHIL has covered its last four games as an underdog
* PITT has lost four of its last five games SU
* PITT has won seven of its last nine home games SU
* PITT has covered six of its last nine home games
* PITT has played its last four games OVER the total
* PITT has played four of its last six home games OVER the total
* PITT has covered two of its last seven games as a favorite
* PHIL has lost seven of its last ten pre-season games SU
* PHIL is 1-5 SU & ATS in its last six pre-season games
* PITT has won four of its last five pre-season games SU
* PITT has played ten of its last 12 pre-season games UNDER the total
There’s been a bit of a distraction at Eagles’ camp, as two-time Pro Bowl guard Shaun Andrews, who had not reported, revealed that he is undergoing treatment for clinical depression. So while Andrews is getting moral support from his teammates, the controversy surrounds whether, considering that this revelation is new, the Eagles will fine him for missing days of camp. Elsewhere, coach Andy Reid is giving the players aged 30 or over a day off a week in camp, and that meant Donovan McNabb missed a day from practice, along with others. One positive for Philly is that Kevin Kolb appears ready to lead an NFL offense, at least in the pre-season, so it wouldn’t be surprising for him to be effective.
Asante Samuel and Lito Sheppard, a couple of Pro Bowl corners for the Eagles, will miss this one, so that’s one less thing Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch, Dennis Dixon or Mike Potts should have to worry about. And speaking of Big Ben, he is not likely to see much action, as he is tending to a groin pull. Willie Parker, coming back from the broken leg, won’t get more than a series. The offensive line still looms as a problem without the presence of Alan Faneca. There are starters like Casey Hampton and Troy Polamalu who are going to be useless to the defense. And perhaps most alarming, the team has had a very slow start really getting into the swing of things in training camp, and press reports were that coach Mike Tomlin had to give this team a pep talk just to get them to put out during practice.
The one thing that may be the most interesting, if you’re looking at the skill positions for Pittsburgh, is that there is a battle for who will be next in the queue after Parker in the Steeler backfield. Veteran Mewelde Moore and rookie Rashard Mendenhall will be waiting in the wings in case Parker is slower than expected in bouncing back from his injury.
It seems that Tomlin was a bit more interested in winning pre-season games last year, his first as head coach, than predecessor Bill Cowher was the year before. The Steelers won four of their five exhibition outings last year, while the Eagles have gone 3-6 the last two seasons. We don’t know that Tomlin will feel any kind of urgency to win these games this time around, but a trend that would seem to have some resonance is that which shows Pittsburgh to have played ten of their last 12 in the pre-season under the total. That may not be a bad way to go in the Top Sportsbooks NFL pre-season football betting odds.
JAY’S PLAY: UNDER 33.5 *
(Graded on a scale of 1-4 stars)
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