The NFL betting calendar turns to Week 10 with the Panthers vs. Steelers in a Thursday night matchup. For this game and every other primetime contest, we’ll break down the sports betting odds and recommend where to place your bets at DraftKings Sportsbook, 888 Sportsbook, and FanDuel Sportsbook.
Keep an eye on injury news right up until kick off since things can change quickly in the NFL. Any player listed as questionable may see limited action or not suit up at all if they don’t respond well in warm-ups.
Week 10 Thursday Night Football Betting
Carolina Panthers at Pittsburgh Steelers NJ Odds
For once, we get a premier matchup of contenders on Thursday night. The Steelers look like the Steelers once again, allowing just 17.8 PPG during their four-game winning streak.
Since coming back to beat the Eagles in the fourth quarter two weeks ago, the Panthers have averaged a league-best 4.1 points per drive.
Cam Newton has been playing at an MVP level with a league-best 124.7 passer rating in the red zone. He’s gone 105 pass attempts without an interception and Carolina owns the fourth-best turnover differential (+8) with just seven turnovers committed this year.
Ron Rivera‘s club is balanced, averaging the second-most rushing YPG (143.9) at a league-best clip of 5.2 YPC. And the Panthers are protecting Newton. Carolina has allowed the third-fewest pressures (55), and Pittsburgh is tied at that mark.
Both these quarterbacks are capable of excelling against even the best defenses, and both of these pass defenses have been inconsistent.
But the Steelers rush defense has been lights out lately. Pittsburgh has allowed the third-fewest rushing yards (516) and fewest receiving yards (186) to opposing RBs this season. Christian McCaffrey is locked into heavy usage, but expectations can be tempered in this matchup. The Panthers could be without center Ryan Kalil (ankle), which would hurt their effectiveness on the ground.
Pittsburgh is 25th in DVOA pass defense against opposing TEs, so Greg Olsen is a recommended option in DFS contests on DraftKings and FanDuel. Newton’s most familiar target has impressively played on 97 percent of offensive snaps since returning from a foot injury in Week 5.
Carolina’s receiving corps is deep, which makes each member a bit unreliable. Devin Funchess is nominally the top WR and is due for positive TD regression after narrowly missing out on two scores last week.
Both Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore have been used as versatile options, with Moore rushing for 117 yards, a franchise-record for a WR. Moore played on a season-high 86 percent of offensive snaps last week and ran 28 routes while Samuel ran just 9, making the rookie a far better option.
Ben Roethlisberger has also picked his play up while averaging 311 passing YPG over his last four appearances. His home/road splits are quite notable, and he’s posted a 9:3 TD:INT ratio at Heinz Field this season.
Carolina ranks 20th in DVOA pass defense and has given up multiple TD passes in seven straight games.
However, the Panthers are stout on the perimeter with James Bradberry playing very well. They actually rank second in DVOA pass defense against No. 1 WRs. Bradberry will have his hands full with Antonio Brown, who has caught 8 TDs over his last six games. Along with Bradberry, the Panthers have an impressive rookie CB in Donte Jackson, who is posting a 68.1 passer rating when targeted and has 4.3 wheels.
The Panthers are primarily vulnerable on the interior but are lucky that the Steelers don’t have a particularly dangerous TE. Jesse James is a safety valve, and Vance McDonald has some big play potential, but neither is a huge threat. McDonald is the better bet if angling for a TE play from the Steelers.
JuJu Smith-Schuster is a good bet for production since he could match up with 30-year-old, 5-foot-8-inch slot CB Captain Munnerlyn. Smith-Schuster will likely have low ownership in DFS contests since he’s been quiet lately.
James Conner has been a revelation for the Steelers with Le’Veon Bell holding out. Conner has tallied an AFC-best 706 rushing yards and even produced in a brutal matchup against the Ravens last week. But the Panthers have the best run-stopping LB in the game in Luke Kuechly and have allowed the third-fewest receiving yards (217) to RBs this season. Conner may have trouble cracking 100 YFS in this matchup, and Carolina’s only yielded three rushing scores all season.
Still, Roethlisberger should have all day to throw considering the Panthers are bottom 10 in sacks and the Steelers’ line has yielded the lowest QB hit rate (8.7%) in the NFL.
The Panthers rank sixth in drive success rate, and Pittsburgh is sixth in TDs per drive (.293) this season.
Both teams have converted over 70 percent of red zone looks into TDs. Both offenses are capable of going back and forth, and Carolina actually ranks 29th in red zone defense.
The Over (52) is a good bet since we should see a longer game with more pass attempts as each Pro Bowl QB looks to put their team on their back. A whopping 92 percent of money is coming down on that side of the line, pushing the total up from opening at 50 points.
Again, Carolina has yielded multiple TD passes in seven straight, and Newton’s thrown multiple TD passes in seven straight.
Pittsburgh ranks 11th in pace and eighth when leading by seven-plus points, so look for the home team to keep the gas pedal down if they get ahead.
The Panthers opened as six-point dogs in a few places, which is ridiculous considering how well they’ve played of late.
We’re now looking at a closer line with the Panthers (+4) getting 3.5 or 4 points. That’s enough for us to take a road-proven team to hang with the Steelers after handling fellow AFC North contenders Cincinnati (31-21) and Baltimore (36-21) earlier this season.