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NFL Expert Picks, Week 15: Steelers QB situation has experts weary of their picks

Time to check in and see who the experts like in Steelers vs. Panthers Sunday in Week 15.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers are slated to face off in Week 15 of the 2022 regular season, and there are a lot of narratives between these two teams. For the Panthers, they, somehow, remain alive in the very bad NFC South. Trying to keep pace with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Panthers can’t afford to slip up.

As for the Steelers, they have no idea who the quarterback will be in Week 15, with Kenny Pickett still in the NFL’s concussion protocol. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the team, and there remain huge question marks with the team as they continue further into the regular season.

For those who follow the current betting lines, the Steelers opened as 2.5-point road underdogs, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, and that line has now moved to 3-points.

(Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See 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 Charlotte this Sunday.

As you can imagine, a game between two 5-8 teams results in a toss-up when it comes to the experts. In fact, throw in the unknown that is the Steelers quarterback situation, and you can imagine many outlets leaning the Panthers’ way. Every possible outlet, from ESPN, SB Nation, Yahoo! Sports, FOX Sports and CBS Sports alike see this as a toss-up game.

Those are sites where people just check a box on a website and move on with their lives. However, there are some who spend more time pouring over these picks, and provide some analysis than just a winner and loser.

For those type of experts, one which is talked about a lot is Pete Prisco of CBS Sports. Prisco predicts a Panthers win in Week 15.

The Panthers can get to the playoffs by winning out, starting in this one. Carolina is leaning on the defense and the running game on offense to win games. The Steelers might be without Kenny Pickett in this one (concussion), but even if he plays it won’t matter. Carolina’s run game will win this game.

Pick: Panthers 23, Steelers 16

Like Prisco, Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News also goes in-depth on every one of his picks heading into Week 15 Sunday. Iyer sees a Steelers win, but it will be a close game.

The Steelers are likely starting Mitchell Trubisky in this matchup, headed to an ugly duel with Sam Darnold. This should be a physical, defensive grind from both sides, decided by third downs and turnovers. Mike Tomlin’s team dropped such a game to the Ravens at home and it won’t happen again here vs. Steve Wilks.

Pick: Steelers win 20-17

According to Pro Football Network, they see the Panthers winning, especially if Pickett is unable to clear the protocol and get into the lineup.

If Kenny Pickett (concussion) can’t get cleared for this one, Mitch Trubisky will get the start. That’s great news for Carolina fans and bettors. The Panthers have a lot of problems, but their defense has been somewhere between great and stellar these past four games, including in tough road contests in Baltimore and Seattle.

The Steelers’ D entered Week 14 giving up only 4.1 yards per carry — one of the NFL’s best marks. Then J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards steamrolled them. I’m not convinced a Steelers team led by Trubisky and Najee Harris can push past the improved Panthers.

Against-the-spread prediction: Panthers

Moneyline winner: Panthers

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. Panthers game, a whopping 74% of NFL experts like the Panthers straight up, and 63% of the experts like the Panthers to hold serve and cover the 3-point spread 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 Panthers in Week 15.