Tennessee Titans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers kicks off this Thursday at 8:15pm EST in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania as a home game for the Steelers. The Titans are currently a +3 underdog and +136 on the moneyline while the total is set at 36.5. With defense taking center stage, expect the likes of Will Levis and Najee Harris to struggle as valuable player props for this Tennessee Titans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers matchup.
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It’s one of the uglier Thursday Night Football games of the year as Will Levis makes his stint as a starting quarterback against one of the better defenses in the league. He got off to a hot start by shredding the Falcons defense with the deep ball yet mightily struggled generating any sort of Success Rate. Expect Levis to mightily regress against the Steelers pressure in what should be a defensive slugfest between the two units.
Will Levis Under 17.5 Pass Completions
Will Levis has seen his fair share of doubts as he was once a first round prospect heading into the draft, slipping to the later rounds in one of the more shocking draft moments. He has since started to silence the doubters after showing out in his first stint as the Titans quarterback, throwing for 238 yards and four touchdowns on zero interceptions.
That same success will be tough to come by as the Steelers defense poses as a far greater challenge for the rookie quarterback to compete against. Levis will find himself under constant pressure as the Steelers rank eighth in Pressure while blitzing at the fourth highest rate in the NFL. The Titans pass protection also does him no favors as they clock in at 30th in Adjusted Sack Rate.
That pressure will force Levis into getting the ball out of his hands quicker than anticipated while throwing into tight passing lanes against an improved Pittsburgh secondary. The Steelers back end currently ranks ninth in Def Pass DVOA and eighth in Def Pass EPA. They struggle to defend against Success Rate yet Will Levis ranks dead last in converting short throws to cut the distance to gain in half.
Will Levis Under 1.5 Passing Touchdowns
With a downtick in expected completions comes a higher chance of clearing this prop as well as success will be tough to come by at all levels of the field for the Titans offense. Levis backed his passing success on his downfield throwing ability in his first game out, now losing out on that factor as he will find himself with less time to operate in the pocket against the Steelers front four.
WILL LEVIS TO HOPKINS AGAIN 🤯
3 TDS ❗️
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 29, 2023
The Titans may also be better off running the ball on the off chance they get into the red zone as that has been a weak point in the Steelers defense. Pittsburgh currently ranks 17th in Def Rush EPA and has the unfortunate favor of trying to take down star running back Derrick Henry. With a very low total and touchdowns coming at a premium, capitalizing when in scoring position is crucial and giving it off to Henry serves as their best option for success.
Derrick Henry Anytime Touchdown
With that said, it comes as no surprise as this is the next prop for all the same reasons mentioned beforehand. The Titans best course of offense is to hand it off to Henry as the Steelers defense gets backed up in the red zone, negating their stretched-out coverage and running it up the gut as the best bull back in the league.
Even when stacking the box, opposing defenses have still struggled against the Titans rush attack as they currently rank 11th in Rush DVOA, eighth in Rush Success Rate, and 12th in Rush EPA. He has gotten off to a slow start in the scoring department while maintaining his career rushing average, being pegged as a prime bounce back candidate for a touchdown.
Najee Harris Under 46.5 Rushing Yards
While most of the offensive struggles can be blamed on their play caller Matt Canada, Najee Harris has yet to capitalize on his chances when receiving the ball. His struggles are expected to continue against a defense that ranks second overall in Def Rush DVOA as well as 15th in Def Rush Success Rate and 16th in Adjusted Line Yards. Backup running back Jaylen Warren is also carving out more of a role as their dual threat back, taking away precious attempts from Harris that helps clear this under.