10/06/2011 04:33 AM
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (+6)
Two moneymaking trends collided in this surprisingly interesting matchup. The Saints once again have the court of public opinion on their side, now that they have won and covered in three straight after a season-opening loss to the Green Bay Packers.
However, Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton already has shown an array of talents. Not only does he look unfazed by the jump to the NFL – and has the numbers to prove it – he also seems to have an uncanny knack for doing just enough to help Panthers backers get inside the number and sneak into the money.
Following a season-opening ATS push in a 28-21 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Newton and the Panthers have responded with three straight cash-grabbers.
“Well, certainly the Saints look like a contender. They have to be in the top five for sure,” Avello said. “But I have been impressed with Cam Newton on the field. He throws the ball well and with confidence, even when he’s under pressure. I haven’t seen anything wrong with his play at all.”
Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6)
The injury-depleted Steelers need a win but will play with a gimpy Ben Roethlisberger under center and without defensive star James Harrison, who will miss the game with an eye injury.
The Titans have been surprisingly competitive amid the resurgence of Matt Hasselbeck, who many observers figured had put his best days in the rearview mirror and whose primary job in Tennessee would be sticking the ball in the gut of Chris Johnson. The Titans also have the league’s best points-per-game defense (14).
The underdog in this matchup has taken the cash in seven of the past eight meetings.
“Tennessee has been a team that has overachieved,” Avello said. “Right now, the Steelers are really banged up. But you have to be careful with this line because Pittsburgh needs a win after falling to 2-2. I think 6 is the number I find most comfortable in this one.”