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NFL Thursday Night Football Betting Preview: Steelers Vs. Titans

It is often in the NFL that injuries can be a determining factor in the betting odds placed on a particular game. Tonight will be a prime example of that as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans meet in a match up of two teams that are struggling to overcome injury.

The Titans come into the game without their starting quarterback Jake Locker. The first round draft pick will miss his second consecutive game, and that does not bode well for a Titans offense that has struggled to score points this season. Tennessee has scored 88 points in five games.

Complicating the offense struggle is the team Tennessee will be facing tonight. The Steelers have consistently had one of the top five defenses in the league over the past two decades under defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau, and this year appears to be no different.

In four games, the Steelers defense has given up 89 points. Outside of a 35 point explosion from Oakland, not much has been done to penetrate the Pittsburgh defensive unit. The Steelers will, however, again be limited on defense due to injuries.

After sitting out games two and three, safety Troy Polamalu returned to action against Philadelphia last weekend. Polamalu did not make it through the game, re-injuring the calf that kept him out earlier this year. Polamalu will not play tonight against the Titans.

Joining Polamalu on the sidelines will be All-Pro linebacker Lamar Woodley. The Steelers just got former Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison back last Sunday, and now they will be without Woodley. It is a team that overall cannot get all of their players on the field together.

Offensively, the Steelers received some good news last week when running back Rashard Mendenhall returned to action. The offense has been sluggish without Mendenhall, scoring only 92 points in four

games. Odds makers see Tennessee's injuries as a bigger concern tonight, installing Pittsburgh as a six point favorite. The total for the game on the NFL Network is 44. The Steelers have a record of 2-2, while Tennessee sits at 1-4.

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