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Pick Cam Newton and the Panthers while the getting’s good

The Panthers (6-2 straight up, 5-3 against the spread) visit the Steelers (5-2-1 SU, 5-3 ATS) on Thursday night.

It looks to be a coin-flip game when you look at those records as well as the fact the Steelers average 28.4 points per game while the Panthers average 27.5. On defense, the Panthers have the slight edge, allowing 22.5 ppg while the Steelers give up 23.5. You can’t get more even than that.

Of course, that’s a coin-flip game in regard to the straight-up win. However, the oddsmakers opened the Steelers -6¹/₂ on Sunday afternoon at the Westgate in Las Vegas; that was quickly bet down to -5 and now has dropped to -4.

The money has been on the right side as I believe this line should be closer to pick ’em. Even with the Steelers’ home-field advantage, it should be under a field goal based on the common opponents these teams have played: Cam Newton and the Panthers beat the Ravens convincingly 36-21 (while the Steelers split with the Ravens) and the Panthers beat the Bengals 31-21 with the Steelers beating them 28-21.

Some of the betting value is gone, but grab Carolina now, in case it drops further by game day.

THE PLAY: Panthers, +4.

Dave Tuley is senior reporter at VSiN.com. His handicapping pieces appear in VSiN’s online magazine, Point Spread Weekly.

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