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Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. (Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire)
November 2nd, 2023
The 3-4 Tennessee Titans got back in the win column with the help of rookie quarterback Will Levis, who led his team to a 28-23 victory over the Atlanta Falcons behind four touchdown passes in his first career start in Week 8. Levis will try to replicate his success on the road in prime time against the 4-3 Pittsburgh Steelers, who hope to bounce back from a 20-10 defeat at home to Jacksonville.
Kickoff for Thursday Night Football is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET. Below we look at three prop bets to wager on for Thursday's matchup between the Titans and Steelers and create a three-leg same-game parlay you can play as a no-sweat bet at sportsbooks like DraftKings (opt-in required).
Will Levis is the third QB in NFL history to throw 4 TD passes in his first NFL start. Fran Tarkenton was the first (4 TD passes vs. Bears in 1961) .. he threw 0 TDs in next 5 starts!Marcus Mariota was the second (4 TD passes vs. Bucs in 2015) … he threw 2 TDs in his next…— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) November 2, 2023
Will Levis is the third QB in NFL history to throw 4 TD passes in his first NFL start. Fran Tarkenton was the first (4 TD passes vs. Bears in 1961) .. he threw 0 TDs in next 5 starts!Marcus Mariota was the second (4 TD passes vs. Bucs in 2015) … he threw 2 TDs in his next…
Few quarterbacks have accomplished what Levis did in his first NFL game action. With his four-touchdown outing, he joined the exclusive company of Fran Tarkenton and Marcus Mariota as the only players to record as many touchdown passes in their NFL debut.
Three of Levis' scores went to DeAndre Hopkins, who also reeled in 128 of Levis' 238 passing yards on just four catches. Tennessee's second-leading receiver for the game was Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, who pulled in another 33 yards and a touchdown on his lone reception.
Hopkins is listed as questionable with a toe injury for Thursday night, but Levis should be able to put up a decent amount of yardage through the air, as he faces a Pittsburgh defense allowing 7.1 yards per pass attempt. The Steelers also give up 1.4 passing touchdowns per game, while they rank ninth in rushing scores allowed, with 0.6 per contest.
With All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick out with injury, Levis has an even better opportunity to add a couple more touchdown passes to his resume on Thursday night.
While Levis' debut was the highlight of Tennessee's victory in Week 8, Derrick Henry also had a field day, topping the 100-yard rushing mark for the second time this season. The two-time NFL rushing leader ran for 101 yards on 22 carries (4.6 YPC) against Atlanta, ranked 14th in the league against the run, and will now confront a Steelers defense that gives up the sixth-most rushing yards per game (138.6).
Henry has rushed for 72 yards or more in all but three games this season — in Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints (63 rushing yards), in Week 3 against Cleveland's seventh-ranked rushing defense (20 yards), and in Week 5 against the Indianapolis Colts (43 yards).
Henry turned it around in Week 6 in London, with 97 yards on the ground and an 8.1 YPC average.
Pittsburgh surrendered 79 yards to Travis Etienne last week, and has allowed an opposing quarterback to rush for at least 80 yards in all but three games — against the Raiders' bottom-ranked rushing offense; against Baltimore, in which Gus Edwards and quarterback Lamar Jackson each topped 40 yards rushing; and against the Rams, in which Royce Freeman and Darrell Henderson each rushed for more than 60 yards.
With Henry the lead back in Tennessee, look for another strong outing against a Steelers defense struggling to stop the run.
Top 10 #NFL Rushing Leaders #49ers Christian MCaffrey - 652#Colts Zack Moss - 589#Jaguars Travis Etienne - 583#Eagles D'Andre Swift - 571#Titans Derrick Henry - 526#Dolphins Raheem Mostert - 520#Seahawks Kenneth Walker III - 516#Bills James Cook - 486#Falcons Bijan… pic.twitter.com/0fgtxQERcR— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) October 31, 2023
Top 10 #NFL Rushing Leaders #49ers Christian MCaffrey - 652#Colts Zack Moss - 589#Jaguars Travis Etienne - 583#Eagles D'Andre Swift - 571#Titans Derrick Henry - 526#Dolphins Raheem Mostert - 520#Seahawks Kenneth Walker III - 516#Bills James Cook - 486#Falcons Bijan… pic.twitter.com/0fgtxQERcR
With Hopkins potentially sidelined, or at least limited, on Thursday, Levis will need to get creative in the passing game. Henry has caught for at least 11 yards in all but one matchup (Cleveland), and last week he caught all four of his targets for 21 yards.
The Steelers have allowed an opposing running back to record at least 13 receiving yards in all but one game, and in Week 8 Pittsburgh let Etienne rack up 70 yards on three catches.
Look for Henry to add about a dozen yards receiving on top of a solid rushing performance.
Levis Over 1.5 passing TDs (+180) + Henry Over 71.5 rushing yards (-120) + Henry Over 11.5 receiving yards (-115) = +675
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