This past Sunday night, we had a much-hyped matchup between future Hall of Fame quarterbacks in the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers and Patriots’ Tom Brady. Well, the Thursday night game in Week 10 also features likely Hall of Fame QBs in the Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton and Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger.
Newton isn’t quite a Hall of Famer yet, but he’s well on his way and already has an NFL MVP Award to his credit. The former No. 1 overall pick will go down as one of the best dual-threat QBs in league history. Roethlisberger hasn’t won an MVP yet but has two Super Bowl rings and is a lock for Canton.
NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis
Carolina and Pittsburgh are both more than capable of winning their conference, although neither is favoured to do so. It’s the seventh all-time meeting between the franchises, with the Panthers winning the first in 1996 and the Steelers the next five – last 37-19 in Charlotte in 2014. Pittsburgh is 6-0 ATS in the series.
The Panthers already have done the Steelers two favours this year in beating AFC North teams Baltimore and Cincinnati.
Carolina is a game behind the Saints in the NFC South Division and improved to 5-0 at home Sunday with a 42-28 win over Tampa Bay. The Panthers’ 35 first-half points – coming against the league’s worst defence – were a franchise record. Newton threw for 247 yards and two scores. The former Heisman winner has a personal-best streak of seven straight games with at least two touchdown passes. Christian McCaffrey led the team in rushing (17 carries, 79 yards, two scores) and receiving (78 yards on five catches).
The Panthers are pretty healthy; the only key guy out Sunday was receiver Torrey Smith due to a knee injury. He has 16 catches for 171 yards and two scores. Carolina is 5-1 ATS in its past six vs. teams with a winning record.
Pittsburgh leads the AFC North and won its fourth in a row Sunday, 23-16 at rival Baltimore. Still without Pro Bowl running back Le’Veon Bell as he refuses to sign his franchise tender – we’ll just assume he’s not going to report on a short week and play Thursday, but crazier things have happened – No. 2 tailback James Conner continues to shine. He had a fourth straight 100-yard game Sunday with 107 on 24 carries while adding seven catches for 56 yards and a score. Roethlisberger threw two scores.
What has really been different in the winning streak is the defence, which hasn’t allowed more than 21 points during the streak. That group allowed an average of 29 points the first four games. Pittsburgh is 2-7 ATS in its past nine at home.