Will Levis had a sensational debut Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, helping the Tennessee Titans snap their two-game losing streak. With a short week ahead, Levis could very well be back under center when Tennessee visits the Pittsburgh Steelers for Thursday Night Football.
Pittsburgh is a 2.5-point favorite (-120) and -150 on the moneyline, while Tennessee is +2.5 (+100) on the spread and +130 to win outright per NFL odds this week. The total is 36.5 (-105 Over, -115 Under).
Who has the edge? Read on as we break down the Titans vs Steelers matchup odds in our NFL game preview.
Day/Time: Location: Acrisure Stadium; Pittsburgh
Streaming: Prime Video
Titans vs Steelers Betting Trends
The Tennessee Titans are 4-3 against the spread this season. The total has gone Under in nine of the Titans’ last 11 games. The Pittsburgh Steelers are also 4-3 ATS. The total has gone Under in each of the Steelers’ last five games. That’s important to remember when assessing the Titans vs Steelers matchup odds.
Levis Shines in NFL Debut
Will Levis made the most of his NFL debut, throwing for 238 yards and four touchdowns in the Tennessee Titans’ 28-23 upset of the Atlanta Falcons in Week 8. Three of those went to DeAndre Hopkins, who led all players with 128 yards receiving.
A 2.5-point underdog, Tennessee cleared the spread for the first time since Oct. 1. Additionally, the Titans improved to 3-4 on the season to keep pace in the AFC wild-card hunt. Whether they can stay in the mix may largely depend on the development of Levis, a rookie second-rounder who replaced Ryan Tannehill (high-ankle sprain).
Levis was highly productive in college at Kentucky, throwing for the sixth-most yards in program history (5,232). Originally projected to go early in the NFL Draft, Levis instead spent the entire first round in the green room. Finally, Tennessee ended his slide by selecting him with the second pick of the second round, 33rd overall.
Malik Willis also got into Sunday’s game early but was used only once more following a first-quarter fumble. With Tannehill still healing Levis is expected to start again Thursday. What happens after that is of more intrigue.
Tennessee’s offense had its most productive day of the season behind Levis, scoring a season-high 28 points. The Titans still rank bottom 10 in total offense (296.6 yards per game), but Levis offers them a lot more upside with his arm strength.
While some speculated the Titans may look to deal All-Pro running back Derrick Henry at Tuesday’s trade deadline, they now seem more likely to hold onto him. Obviously, any deal would alter the Titans vs Steelers matchup odds.
Uncertainty Surrounding Pickett
The Pittsburgh Steelers fell flat in Week 8, losing 20-10 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Pittsburgh’s now in a three-way tie for second place in the AFC North at 4-3.
A 2.5-point underdog, Pittsburgh failed to cover the spread for the first time in a month. It fell behind 17-3 in the third quarter and never recovered, managing only 261 total yards.
It sure didn’t help that Pittsburgh played the entire second half without quarterback Kenny Pickett, who exited late in the second quarter with a rib injury. Mitch Trubisky replaced him and threw for 138 yards and a touchdown, a 22-yarder to George Pickens that cut it to 17-10. But Trubisky was also intercepted twice, costing the Steelers any chance at a comeback.
Head coach Mike Tomlin didn’t offer any update on Pickett’s status postgame. Given the short week, the Steelers will likely proceed with caution when it comes to playing Pickett. Bettors would be wise to do the same.
Even with Pickett, Pittsburgh’s offense has struggled mightily this season. The Steelers rank 31st in yards per game (271.7) and 29th in points per game (16.1). They’ve topped 20 points just once in the last four games. Oddsmakers are bullish on the Steelers in spite of that, pricing them +150 to make the playoffs.
Handicapping the Game
There’s really no reason for the Titans to turn back to Tannehill following Levis’ performance. Levis flashed his big-play abilities, hooking up with Hopkins for two scores longer than 40 yards. His presence could be a game-changer for Tennessee, especially if it opens up more running room for Henry.
Pittsburgh will be a much stiffer test for the rookie. T.J. Watt, a +225 pick for NFL Defensive Player of the Year, is tied for third in the NFL with 8.5 sacks.
The concern here is Pickett. If he’s out — which seems very possible given the quick turnaround — Pittsburgh could be in trouble offensively. While Trubisky can help in a pinch, it’s difficult to trust him for any significant stretch. That should play in Tennessee’s favor in Week 9.