It’s only preseason but bragging rights in the state of Pennsylvania are on the line on Thursday night when the Philadelphia Eagles visit the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second preseason game for both. The Steelers are home favorites on NFL betting lines.
Let’s Get a Closer Look at the Philadelphia at Pittsburgh Preseason Week 2 Lines, Free Pick & TV Info
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 15, 2016
Why Bet on Philadelphia?
The Eagles’ defense looked good in their 17-9 preseason Week 1 home win over Tampa Bay. The offense looked good at first as the Eagles scored touchdowns on their first two drives but needed to only go a combined 27 yards to do that. Ryan Mathews had a 5-yard TD run to make it 7-0 after Tampa Bay fumbled the opening kickoff. Chase Daniel scooted 3 yards for the second score after Jameis Winston had the ball stripped.
The big story line from that game as the NFL debut of No. 2 overall pick Carson Wentz for Philly. Wentz came on in the second quarter to run the two-minute offense. His first throw was high off the hands of Nelson Agholor, but his next was a sharp 15-yard throw on the run to Zach Ertz. Wentz 12 of 24 for 89 yards and one interception. However, he also suffered a hairline fracture in his ribs that could cost the rookie the rest of the preseason.
“I think it was the next-to- the-last play of the game,” Coach Doug Pederson said of when Wentz likely got hurt. “He got hit pretty hard on the right side, stayed down on the ground for a while. “He’s just sore. Bothered him to throw a little bit.”
Wentz was never going to take the No. 1 job from Sam Bradford, but he could have used the preseason reps. Wentz will likely open the season as a game day inactive. If Wentz doesn’t start any games in the regular season, he will join only three other quarterbacks who were taken in the top five of the common draft era (since 1967) who didn’t start a game as a rookie: Philip Rivers, Carson Palmer and Art Schlichter.
Why Bet on Pittsburgh?
The Steelers opened the preseason with a 30-17 loss to Detroit. Chris Boswell briefly put Pittsburgh in front with a 37-yard field goal, but Dwayne Washington gave Detroit the lead for good with a 96-yard kickoff return. Backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski left at the end of the third quarter with a left hamstring injury. It turns out he tore it.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Monday that Gradkowski’s hamstring injury involves “soft tissue” and Gradkowski will “be out a number of weeks.” The Steelers could place Gradkowski, 33, on injured reserve for the second straight year or wait out the injury. Landry Jones has solidified the No. 2 quarterback job behind Ben Roethlisberger, but behind him is project Dustin Vaughan, who has never taken an NFL snap.
The Steelers sat Roethlisberger, running backs Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams, wide receivers Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton, and center Maurkice Pouncey. First-round pick cornerback Artie Burns missed the game with a nagging thigh injury, while linebackers Bud Dupree and Jarvis Jones — former first-round picks — also sat out. You should see Big Ben, Bell, Williams, Brown and Wheaton in his game.
One guy you won’t see is projected starting tight end Ladarius Green. There’s still no clarity on Green’s future with the Steelers other than coach Tomlin reiterating that he’s on the physically unable to perform list because of offseason ankle surgery. Some reports say Green’s season is in jeopardy as he’s from recurring headaches.
My Free Pick
These two teams also play in Week 3 of the regular season so you are going to see very vanilla game plans. That should keep the score down. Go Pittsburgh and under on NFL lines.