TNF WEEK NINE 2023
Thursday, November 2:
Tennessee Titans +2.5 (-105) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers -2.5 (-115) 37 [O]
Before we start, I need to do some house cleaning. I made an inexplicable mistake in Week Four, crediting your humble prognosticator for a correct pick in the Steelers/Texans tilt. Of course I made what I thought was a smart call picking Pittsburgh who proceeded to get the shit kicked out of themselves by an inspired Shit Kickers group.
My corrected Tally Sheet through Week Eight will be posted Saturday.
WHAT CAN I SAY...I’M A FAN
I’ll remind anyone foolish enough to wager on the Steelers using my flawed analyses--uh...don’t.
My ATS season record--I picked the Steelers to win five of their seven games--is a dismal 2-5, but my O/U record for those seven contests is a delightful 6-1.
Proof is in today’s pudding of a pick based on Mike Tomlin’s superb 22-4 record against rookie QBs--Ryan Tannehill’s shredded Achilles, puts former Kentucky Wildcat, Will Levis in the starter’s seat--and the 16 year Steelers coach sixth best record after a loss.
Don’t get me wrong, the Titans, statistically are the better team on both side of the ball-.-they are the safe bet here.
They are a middling team, whereas Pittsburgh flat stinks. But there are a lot of factors involved:
Cam Heyward returns for the Black and Mustards tonight; it remains to be seen if his presence will offset the loss of Minkah Fitzpatrick.
The Steelers are last in the league in TOP and that might account for their dreadful yardage deficit on defense, i.e. their offense is so bad, the defense is spent by halftime.
TRENDS VIA VSIN.COM
The results of rookie quarterbacks on the road lately are startling. Since the start of the 2013 season, rookie starters have combined for a record of 104-110-1 ATS (48.6%) in home games but just 93-118 ATS (44.1%) in road/neutral games. In later season road games, week 10-18, they are just 27-80 SU and 42-63-2 ATS (40%).
Rookie quarterbacks have fared reasonably well under the spotlight of non-Sunday games lately, going 9-11 SU but 13-7 ATS (65%) in their L20 such tries. Moreover, they are 14-5-1 ATS (73.7%) in their L20 Monday Night contests.
Since the home teams last won three straight ATS on TNF in September 2020, road teams have been on a roll, 29-25 SU and 34-18-2 ATS (65.4%) in the last 54.
There has been some interesting data regarding the first and second half of the season in terms of Thursday night games. In the first half of the season, or Weeks 1-8, home teams have gone 20-18 SU but 10-26-2 ATS (27.8%). However, home-field advantage has picked up slightly in the second half of the season in recent years, with week 9-17 home teams going 14-17 SU and 15-18 ATS (45.5%) in that same time span. Going back even further, since 2016, TNF home teams in Weeks 9 and later are 30-23 SU and 31-20-2 ATS (60.8%). There seems to be a fundamental edge to playing at home with less rest late in the season.
Unfortunately, home cooking has not solved the ills for Thursday home teams coming off a loss in their most recent game, as they have been a brutal bet over the last four seasons, going 20-28 SU and 16-31-1 ATS (34%).
Pittsburgh comes together offensively with the return of Pat Friermuth and Diontae Johnson’s second week back. Also, the Titans are the 30th ranked team when it comes to giving up sacks, and 29th in giveaways a game--and 32nd when it comes to interceptions.
The Steelers have one of the best OLB duos in the league and can make life miserable for Will Levis.
Tomlin, his boys, and Steeler Nation knows this is a must win affair if the Steeler want to play in January. It’ll be a close one, but we’ll lay the -2.5 and go against the consensus and call the Over...