Joe Manniello's Thursday night NFL pick


Line: Steelers by 4; O/U: 51.5

If you sat through Broncos-Cardinals, Dolphins-Texans and Raiders-49ers the last three Thursday nights, well, your patience has been rewarded.

Panthers-Steelers is an intriguing matchup between two playoff contenders on a roll thanks to electric offenses. The Steelers are on a four-game win streak (all covers) and the Panthers have won three in a row. Both are 5-3 against the spread.

The safe route is to back the home team on a short week. They’re 7-2 this season and 6-2-1 ATS. Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and James Conner (Le’Veon Who?) lead an offense averaging 28.4 points per game.

Carolina is hot, too, and it all starts with offensive coordinator Norv Turner. His play-calling has been superb,

The only concern for backing the Panthers is that they’re 1-2 away from Carolina. Still, I’ll take a shot with one of the hottest offenses in the NFL.

Give me the points, and I’ll go one further and call the mini upset: Panthers 34, Steelers 30.

The pick: Panthers


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