Under any other circumstances, the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Carolina Panthers NFL preseason betting finale would be perfunctory at best. However, having played one series and thrown two passes this preseason has left Panthers quarterback Cam Newton feeling “behind in a lot of ways,” according to the Charlotte Observer. “I was excited when they told me I was able to play. They didn’t tell me how much. I just wish I’d played a little longer,” he added. Does that mean Cam will see further action against the Steelers? “Not necessarily,” said head coach Ron Rivera. Boo! He’s only the second most watchable player in the league, per NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt.
- Date: Thursday, 31st August
- Time: 7:35 PM
- Venue: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
Online Sportsbook NFL preseason odds:
Steelers +4 (-115) 38 (-110)
Panthers -4 (-105) 38 (-110)
Time to break the non-final preseason game streak?
Newton has only played in the last game of the preseason in his rookie year. On that occasion, Newton did not participate in OTAs or minicamp due to the 2011 NFL lockout. If Newton were to take the field on Thursday, it would most likely be a replay of that exhibition game six years ago, in which the signal-caller – along with the rest of the offensive starters – played the first series before stepping out in favour of Derek Anderson. And therein lies the use. If the purpose of playing Newton is for him to get in sync with his offense, that would necessitate the other starters to be on the field as well. After all it’s they, and not the reserves usually seen in an NFL preseason betting finale, to whom Newton will be giving the ball during the regular season. In which case it would be just Newton risking injury but the rest of the offensive starters as well. Decisions, decisions, decisions. But at least Rivera is clear that guard Chris Scott will surely not play.
Chris Scott just got carted off by head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) August 28, 2017
Backs in the Bell-fry
With starter Le’Veon Bell a no-show, the remaining Steelers running backs (Fitzgerald Toussaint, Knile Davis, James Conner, Terrell Watson and Trey Williams) are using every available rep to get work, and in some cases open eyes) have been making the most of the preseason and will continue to do so this Thursday. As Tim Weaver of Panthers Wire predicts, “[Pittsburgh] will likely be relying heavily on rookie running back James Conner,” against the Carolina.
“Every week is a big week, if it’s the first preseason game or the first game of the regular season,” Watson told Steelers.com. “Every game is big. I just want to go out there and do what I do every week, work on my stuff and do what I have to do.” Meanwhile, Davis added that running behind the O-Line excites him because of all of the strength they possess upfront. “I saw some good holes. I was able to make some good production,” Davis said. Well, when you put it like that, it really makes one want to see this NFL preseason betting game.