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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Carolina Panthers - 8/28/14 NFL Pick and Odds

Carolina Panthers (12-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)

NFL Football: Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 7:30 pm (Heinz Field)

The Line: Pittsburgh Steelers -6 -- Over/Under: 40 See the Latest Odds

TV: Local

The Carolina Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers play a preseason game Thursday night at Heinz Field.

The Carolina Panthers are 1-2 in the preseason and have a major injury concern with quarterback Cam Newton. Newton, who has a fractured rib, won’t be participating in this matchup. However, it’s pretty safe to assume that majority of the Carolina starters won’t be playing in this final preseason game. That means more reps for guys such as Derek Anderson and Joe Webb, guys who have had their moments during the preseason, as Anderson has tossed a touchdown in two of the three games. Defensively, the Carolina Panthers have allowed 66 points in the three games combined, a number the coaching staff would probably like to see drop a little bit given the fact a lot of the Panthers success will come on defense. However, Carolina’s main goal is to make it out of this final game injury free.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Carolina Panthers - 8/28/14 NFL Pick and Odds

USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are also 1-2 in the preseason, with their most recent loss coming the the Philadelphia Eagles, 31-21. The Steelers have been dealing with off the field issues with Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount and while they played in the last game, you likely won’t see them in this matchup. Ben Roethlisberger also likely won’t be in uniform, which means much of the workload goes to Bruce Gradkowski, who threw for 105 yards and two touchdowns in his last outing. The Steelers backup offense has actually done fairly well, producing 40 second half points in the first three games. Defensively, the Pittsburgh Steelers have allowed 67 points and forced seven turnovers. Rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier has made quite an impression on the coaching staff so far.

While the Panthers looked like hot garbage in their last preseason game, at the end of the day, this is still preseason football. Anything can happen from game to game when backups are out there. That's why I refuse to leave these points off the table. Give me the Carolina Panthers to keep this thing close. 

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Carolina Panthers +6

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