Pittsburgh Steelers (+3.5) at Carolina Panthers
Excluding the first half of their game against the Browns on Opening Day, the Steelers have looked largely inept. Their six straight quarters of poor football speaks to their streaky nature – in 2013, they started the season with four straight losses, then ended the year with two three-game winning streaks in their final eight games. The trend, therefore, is that they should continue to struggle in Carolina.
Despite their quarterback being injured for Opening Day, the Panthers managed to win each of their first two games en route to a 2-0 start. Ironically enough, the 2013 Panthers were the anomaly team that started 0-2 and eventually won their division.
Carolina appears to be the better team, all-around, but Pittsburgh cannot afford to continue its downward trend. The Steelers reverse course, bucking their current streak, and revert to the team that ended last season with three consecutive wins and started 2014 on fire. Pittsburgh limits its turnovers against a hungry Panthers’ defense, keeps Cam Newton at bay, and wins by a field goal, beating the spread.