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Two Monday night football games will pin NFC south and AFC north divisional rivals against each other
The NFL has it’s first Monday night football double header of the season, when the New Orleans Saints head out to the Carolina Panthers and the Cleveland Browns travel to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Saints are currently viewed as three point favorites over the Panthers, while the Browns are slightly favored over the Steelers by just two points, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. We have been using Tallysight to get our picks in each week, so sign up at Tallysight for submitting your own bets.
Derek Carr and the Saints were able to pull off a one point victory over the Titans last week, while the Panthers lost their first game of the season to divisional foes, the Atlanta Falcons. Carolina is at risk of going 0-2 in the NFC south to start the year, however, New Orleans is dealing with some issues of it’s own on defense, as former first round pick defensive end Payton Turner will be out with a turf toe injury and was placed on IR. I think the Panthers make this game much closer than the one against Atlanta but inevitably, it’s not going to be enough at home.
I have the Panthers covering the spread, but losing the game to New Orleans, in what I expect to be a really tight divisional game. Due to both teams not breaking 20 points last week, I am also taking the under in this one.
In the later of the two games, I have Pittsburgh not just covering the spread, but also winning the game at home. These two teams hate each other, so even with Cleveland getting the win against the Bengals in week 1, you have to take records with a grain of salt whenever they met.
After a shellacking at the hands of the 49ers last week, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was embarrassed after the game. I think Tomlin’s history of being such a successful coach year in and year out, make it easier for me to believe that he will right the ship and pick up a big divisional win over the Browns, especially with Amari Cooper unlikely to play per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Both of these teams like to pound the rock with their star running backs, Najee Harris (Steelers) and Nick Chubb (Browns). I think like most Cleveland-Pittsburgh games, this is going to be a gritty, low scoring game, which is why I am taking the under in this one as well.