The Pittsburgh Steelers test their mettle this Sunday, Oct. 8, against the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field. The Steelers haven't performed to expectations as yet, due largely to an injury-depleted offensive line which has proven ineffective at protecting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (14 sacks allowed) and creating lanes for its running backs to use. Indeed, the Steelers' average of 3.7 yards per carry puts them No. 23 in the league in that category.
Behind the steady play of quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (66.7 percent completion rate, eight touchdowns, just three interceptions), and a strong defense that leads the NFL in points allowed per game (14), Tennessee has surged to 3-1; their lone loss came by a mere two points to the Jacksonville Jaguars on opening weekend.
Yet the oddsmakers favor the Steelers at home anyway, according to SB Nation partner OddsShark, though the line has moved significantly. Pittsburgh opened as a 6.5-point favorite, but news that linebacker James Harrison would miss four to six weeks and that Roethlisberger is ailing from a sprained foot has shrunk that margin. The Steelers are now favored by three or 3.5 points, depending on the source.