This game will also serve as a prelude of coming attractions. The Panthers and Steelers are also slated to clash in Week 10 of the NFL regular season at Heinz Field, and to suggest that things haven’t gone well in Pittsburgh for the Panthers would be quite a mastery of understatement. The Steelers own a 3-0 edge over the Panthers on their home turf and have outscored Carolina 87-37 in those three victories. Overall, Pittsburgh maintains a 5-1 advantage over the Panthers in regular-season action.
While winning the last five regular-season games from the Panthers, the Steelers have scored at least 30 points in four of the victories and managed a 27-point output in the fifth win, for an average score of 32.2 points per game. But it’s a much different story in the preseason. Pittsburgh has managed to top 20 poonts in just three of 19 exhibition games against the Panthers, and over that 19-game span have registered an average of 16.78 points per game.
Super Stipend – Only the New England Patriots (10) have been to more Super Bowls than the Steelers (eight), and no team has won more Super Bowls than Pittsburgh’s six titles. But it’s the Panthers who were in the big game most recently of the two teams, playing the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50. Pittsburgh’s last Super Bowl appearance was in Super Bowl XLV, but it was also their third appearance in six years. With an 0-2 Super Bowl slate, Carolina is among five teams to go winless in multiple Super Bowl appearances.
Enough about the past. What about this season? Both the Panthers and Steelers were playoff teams a year ago. Bovada seems fairly certain that Pittsburgh will be there again, offering odds of -550 that the Steelers will make the playoffs. You’ll get +375 odds on the Steelers failing to make the postseason grade. The Panthers are also given a solid chance of a return postseason engagement. Bovada has Carolina at odds of +135 to be a playoff team, while the odds on the Panthers missing out are -165.
The Steelers are the -180 chalk to repeat as AFC North champions. In the rugged NFC South, where three of four teams were postseason participants in 2017, the Panthers are given the third-best chance of winning the division at odds of +260. Bet365 puts odds of +333 on the Panthers being an NFC wildcard team again this season. Pittsburgh is the second betting choice to win the AFC championship with odds of +400. The Panthers are the ninth pick to go to the Super Bowl as the NFC representative at odds of +1500.
Pittsburgh is pegged at +1200 to win the Super Bowl, making the Steelers the co-fourth choice in this market. At odds of +4000, the Panthers are the co-16th betting option. If you go over to MyBookie, you can wager on a Steelers-Panthers Super Bowl LIII matchup and get odds of +10000.
Brotherly Bets – Rookies Tremaine and Terrell Edmunds made NFL history this year when both were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, the first siblings ever to be first-round selections in the same draft. And you can wager on both brothers to win the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year award at Bet365. Terrell, a safety from Virginia Tech picked by the Steelers, is given odds of +2200 to be the top defensive rookie. His brother Tremaine, a Virginia Tech linebacker selected by the Buffalo Bills, is at odds of +800.
Job Security – Both have taken their teams to the Super Bowl, and both got their teams to the playoffs last season, so when it comes to speculation about their immediately future, you’d have to think Carolina coach Ron Rivera and Mike Tomlin, his Pittsburgh counterpart, have little to worry about and Betway would tend to agree with that notion. Both Tomlin and Rivera are listed at odds of +500 in Betway’s future book on who will be the first NFL head coach fired this season.
Kicking Up A Fuss – Since both teams figure to do some winning this season, you’ve got to like the chances of their kickers putting some points through the posts. Betway offers a future book wager on who will lead the NFL in regular-season kicking points in 2018 and Chris Boswell of the Steelers is the fourth betting choice in this market at odds of +1000. Panthers kicker Graham Gano is somewhat further down the pecking order. At odds of +2800, Gano is the 12th betting option.
MVP B’s – At Bovada, you can get NFL MVP odds on all three of Pittsburgh’s triumvirate of so-called Killer B’s who are the stars of the Steelers’ offense. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is given the best chance at scooping up the award at odds of +3000. Right behind him at +4000 is Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, and just behind Bell is Pittsburgh wideout Antonio Brown (+5000). The Panthers are also represented in the MVP odds. Quarterback Cam Newton, the NFL’s 2015 MVP, is given odds of +2000.
What’s The Catch? – Any way you slice it, and anywhere you wager on it, Brown is the chalk to repeat as the NFL’s receiving yardage leader. Bovada puts the odds on Brown at +255. MyBookie likes Brown even more at +175. Bet365 has Brown at +220. Betway puts the odds on Brown at +200, and BetOnline slots Brown in at +225. The last receiver to top the NFL in pass reception yardage in successive seasons was Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions in 2011-12.
Brown is also listed at +2500 to lead the NFL in touchdowns by Bet365. While that makes him the co-11th betting choice, those are the best odds being offered on a wide receiver. Bell checks in at odds of +1000 to lead in this category, making him the fourth betting option. Steelers wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster is at odds of +6600 to lead the league in TDs. The last Steeler to lead the NFL in touchdowns was Franco Harris with 14 in 1976.