Steelers @ Panthers: Tough to oppose the hosts in Charlotte

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Carolina coach Ron Rivera was full vindicated in his decision to deactivate defensive end Greg Hardy, one of three NFL stars currently embroiled in domestic abuse scandals, prior to the Panthers’ 24-7 home drubbing of the Detroit Lions.

In their second game running at Bank of America Stadium, against a Pittsburgh Steelers side blasted 26-6 in Baltimore last time out, Rivera’s ‘Two States, One Team’ outfit now look a lock to clear a three-point handicap at 5/6.

Pittsburgh are 1-1 for the season, having seen off Cleveland at their Heinz Field headquarters on the opening weekend, but the Browns aren’t expected to make much of an impact on the AFC this term, and can currently be backed at 100/1 joint-ninth biggest outsider odds for Super Bowl XLIX.

That Mike Tomlin’s team, who are 50/1 for that honour, only edged past Cleveland by three points on their own patch suggested worse things were to come, and they duly did against a Ravens side who were themselves beaten by the Cincinnati Bengals 23-16 first time out.

Such form doesn’t bode well for the visit south to face the Panthers, who only edged their season-opening clash with Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-14, but roared back to form on the homestead against Detroit.

For punters in search of a few side bets in Charlotte, the winning margin market could be the best destination.

Pittsburgh went down by 20 points in their last match, which was on the road, while Carolina triumphed by 17 in front of the Panthers’ faithful.

With this in mind, backing the hosts to win by between 13-18 at 7/1 and 19-24 at 12/1 is advised.

Carolina Panthers are 4/7 to win on the outright Money Line, while a first Pittsburgh Steelers triumph on the road in 2014/15 is available at 7/5.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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