On Saturday evening, Carolina Panthers will host Pittsburgh Steelers in the final preseason week at Bank of America Stadium. The home side still searches for its first preseason win after losing to the Colts and Ravens. On the other hand, after winning the Hall of Fame match, the visitors tied two more victories against the Eagles and Lions.
The Panthers will be looking for improvement this season, as they had a disappointing 5-11 record in 2020. Of course, only five wins were not enough for booking a playoff place, and they finished third in NFC South. The Steelers entered playoffs with a 12-4 record, but their drop in form saw them being stopped on the first step. They lost five of their six matches in the 2020 season and missed the chance to go far in the playoffs. This time, the away side will look forward to repeating their regular-season record and advancing to latter stages of the competition.
Carolina Panthers – Can they book their first preseason victory?
The Panthers head to this clash after losing 20-3 against the Ravens last week. It was the second defeat for the hosts in the preseason, and they want to bounce back this time. However, the Panthers would need to improve their offensive work. Although we saw Sam Darnold as the QB for the Panthers, he only played one series of seven plays. Nevertheless, we should see him in action much more against the Steelers, along with a running back, Christian McCaffrey.
PJ Walker and Will Grier fight for a backup place behind Darnold, and the latter one was more successful last week. Grier passed for 144 yards on 11-14, while Walker threw for only eight yards on 1-8. Terrace Marshal Jr continued his good form and finished the last game with three catches for 50 yards. Chuba Hubbard also had a solid performance with a pair of catches with 29 receiving yards and 24 rushing yards on nine carries. As long as the defense is concerned, Josh Byrnes had nine tackles, followed by Clay Johnston’s eight total tackles and six solo tackles.
Expected Line-Up (Offense): Christian McCaffrey, Robby Anderson, Brandon Zylstra, Terrace Marshall Jr, Dan Arnold, Cameron Erving, Pat Elflein, Matt Paradis, John Miller, Taylor Moton
Expected Line-Up (Defense): Brina Burns, Derrick Brown, DaQuan Jones, Morgan Fox, Shaq Thompson, Paddy Fisher, Haason Reddick, Donte Jackson, Jeremy Chinn, Juston Burris, Jaycee Horn
Quarter Back: Sam Darnold
Kicker: Joey Slye
with best odds
Pittsburgh Steelers – Will they continue their winning streak?
The Steelers have been pretty successful during the preseason, and they booked their third victory by beating Detroit Lions 26-20. They are searching for a perfect preseason finish, and we might see first teams in both offense and defense. We saw Ben Roethlisberger leading the Steelers to two TDs in his first appearance in the season. He also threw for 137 yards, while Mason Rudolph passed for 138 yards on 13-18. Pittsburgh’s rookie Najee Harris had a solid display with six touches for 63 yards, and he’s expected to get even more playing time against the Panthers.
Kalen Ballage had seven carries for 30 yards, and Eric Ebron logged 59 receiving yards on four catches. JuJu Smith-Schuster had five catches for 39 yards, while Diontae Johnson also added 43 receiving yards. On the other hand, Miles Killebrew led Pittsburgh’s defense with five solo tackles and six total tackles. It’s also worth mentioning that Jamir Jones and Marcus Allen combined for the Steelers’ lone sack.
Expected Line-Up (Offense): Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Cody White, Eric Ebron, Derek Watt, Chukwuma Okorafor, Kevin Dotson, J.C. Hassenauer, Trai Turner, Joe Haeg
Expected Line-Up (Defense): Stephon Tuitt, Tyson Alualu, Cameron Heyward, T.J. Watt, Devin Bush, Joe Schobert, Alex Highsmith, Joe Haden, Terrell Edmunds, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Cameron Sutton
Quarter Back: Ben Roethlisberger
Kicker: Chris Boswell
Expert Pick #1 – Steelers +4 @-110
If we see the first teams on both sides, and it is very likely, Pittsburgh should get a significant advantage. We haven’t seen anything from the Panthers so far, and the Steelers seem more compact in all areas. The Steelers covered the spread four times on the previous six occasions, and the +4 margin appears to be a very good value here. I’m going with Pittsburgh ATS and the major pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 35 @-110
The Panthers will be looking for improvement in offense, while the Steelers went over the margin six times in the previous seven outings. The margin is not too high this time, and it might be worth pursuing the Over 35 in this clash as the first alternative bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Steelers to win by 7-12 margin @+600
I’m going with a long-shot pick here, and the odds are pretty attractive. Pittsburgh took their foot off the gas last week in the last quarter, but this time I see them celebrating with a higher margin than the last time. If you fancy high odds, this might be a good pick for you.