The Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans are slated to face off in Week 15 of the 2021 regular season, and there are a lot of narratives between these two teams. For the Titans, they are trying to remain a top team in both the AFC all without their All-Pro running back Derrick Henry, while the Steelers are a team trying to find a way to right the ship and remain relevant in both the AFC North and AFC Playoff Picture.
For those who follow the current betting lines, the Steelers opened as 2.5-point home underdogs, and, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, that line has moved from 2.5-points to 1.0-point, likely due to the Steelers starting to get some of their banged up players back in the lineup for the final stretch run of the regular season.
(Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.)
At this point, it is time to check in and see who the pundits who call themselves experts like in this showdown in Pittsburgh this Sunday.
For those new to this article, there are two types of experts when it comes to NFL picks. There are those who just pick the overall winner, and those who expound on their picks and give a reason for their prediction.
As for the former of the above types of experts, there are many sites who have their experts just plug in a winner and move on with their day. Of those sites, the majority, if not all, of experts at Yahoo!, ESPN and FOX like the Titans to win, and this should surprise no one. You have to search pretty hard to find an expert who still believes the Steelers can pull off the victory, even at home.
As for the experts who actually put some thoughts, and explanation behind their picks, like Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, he likes the Steelers to find a way to beat the Titans in Week 15.
The Titans have a firm grip on the AFC South, while the Steelers are playing for their playoff lives. The motivation factor goes to the Steelers. I think that matters. The Steelers will play good defense, and they will be able to do just enough on offense to pull this one out. Steelers stay in the hunt.
Pick: Steelers 26, Titans 20
As for Marc Sessler of NFL.com, he too sees the Steelers finding a way to win this Sunday in Week 15.
The Titans leaned on their thieving defense in Week 14 to suck oxygen out of the Jaguars disaster we just lashed above in print. The much-needed win kept Tennessee atop the AFC South and suppressed ugly memories of the two games prior, back-to-back losses to the lowly Texans and soaring New England in which the Titans offense coughed up nine total giveaways, scored 26 points and looked overwhelmed due to a bare cupboard of skill-position talent. D’Onta Foreman and Dontrell Hilliard have done their best to mask the loss of Derrick Henry, while Ryan Tannehill flings passes to a cast of backup-level talent with stud wideout A.J. Brown out of the mix. Julio Jones is no longer the player who once marveled us, but there’s a visible grit to Tennessee.
The Titans face a Steelers team lacking along both lines. Pittsburgh is a middle-of-the-road item, but the Ben Roethlisberger of recent days has thrown the ball well and given his offense a chance. As do Diontae Johnson and occasional doghouse dweller Chase Claypool, who combined for a 13/169 line in a tight loss to the Vikings that saw Pittsburgh light up Minnesota for 28 second-half points. Pittsburgh’s defense still sits a lowly 27th in DVOA, even with T.J. Watt on the field. His availability is TBD due to a groin injury, but Tennessee’s chances for gaffes and bone-crushing takedowns of Tannehill surge if the DPOY candidate suits up. I see the Steelers surviving in a close clash that keeps their 8-8-1 dreams alive.
If you are looking for a less black-and-gold view of the game, look no further than Bill Bender of The Sporting News, who thinks the Titans are too much for the Steelers this Sunday.
The Steelers are on the brink, and that’s the kind of week when they pull an upset to stay in the playoff race. Tennessee will not abandon the run against a shaky Pittsburgh defense, and the Titans will clamp down on Najee Harris with their second-ranked run defense. Pittsburgh has won the last three meetings, so that upset chance still exists. We’re just taking the safe bet.
Pick: Titans 28, Steelers 24
These are just a few sites who make weekly NFL picks. When you think about all those sites not listed above, this is when we turn to our friends at NFL Pick Watch, a site dedicated to tracking NFL expert picks by the week. They take all expert picks and put them into an easy-to-read graph for fans to enjoy. When it comes to the Steelers vs. Titans game, 67% of NFL experts like the Titans to go into Heinz Field and win on Sunday.
What do you think about the upcoming game? Will the experts have it right? Or are they way off? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the Titans in Week 15.