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THE KEYSTONE REPORT

Keystone Report

Let’s take a look at some football in the Keystone state and try to figure out the best bets.

EAGLES

The Line: 9.5 wins | Over -175 | Under +145

The real question: are you betting on the Eagles or on Carson Wentz’s health?

There’s a big drop between Wentz and Nate Sudfeld. Wentz played 16 games in 2016, 13 games in 2017 and 11 in 2018. Could he play 16 this year? Maybe, but much more likely someone else is going to have to pick up the slack and The Folkes hero has gotten on his horse and done rode out of town.

On the other hand, the division appears to be soft, DeSean Jackson is back, Fletcher Cox is a monster, and the O-line seemed to be jelling again at the end of last year when they won 6 out of 7. The Eagles are a good solid team.

It’s a close call (those linemakers know what they’re doing). I go through the schedule and see 10 wins, but I also see a fragile QB, no backup, and a tough out-of-conference schedule. I also see -175/-145. I put all that in the blender and go…

The Pick: 1 unit | Under 9.5

STEELERS

The Line: 9 wins | Over -125 | Under +145

He may be a narcissist on the level of TO. He may be the biggest pain in the ass in the entire NFL, stiffing celebrity chefs and throwing his baby mama’s stuff off the terrace of a swanky apartment building. But Antonio Brown scored 15 touchdowns last year for the Pittsburgh Steelers and they went 9-6-1. 15 touchdowns is a shitload of touchdowns to lose.

Do you know how many touchdowns his replacement Donte Moncrief scored last year? Three. Which was an improvement over the year before when he scored two. I’m sure JuJu will chip in a few more this year, but no matter how you slice it the Steelers aren’t going to be able to replace all that productivity.

They’re not going to be awful. The defense looks better. The chemistry will be much better with AB out of town and JuJu looks like a monster. Ben’s got to stay healthy and I see that as a pick ‘em at best (he looks huge in the pre-season and not in a good way).

You add all that up and I see the Steelers as my #1 under in the whole NFL. They look leaky and creaky,  8-8 or 7-9 (or worse) is much more likely than 10-6.

The Pick: 3.0 units | Under 9

PENN STATE

The Line: 8.5 wins

In the last three years, the Nittany Lions have won 11 games, 11 games, and 9 games. But there are big holes on the 2019 team, and the players that are coming back were not the strength of the 2018 team. There’s a reason for relative pessimism about this squad that does not appear to be as loaded as the past three squads.

They better be 5-0 when they head off to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes in Ames. Trips to East Lansing and Columbus follow and the second half of the season could get messy.

A visit from the Wolverines in October might just be the tipping point in PSU’s race to 9 victories.

I’ve always been a James Franklin guy since he won at Vandy. I have more faith in him than the collection of talent he has this year. With my feet pressed to the flames, I’m going….

The Pick: ½ Unit | Over 8.5

PITT

The Line: 6 wins

A lot of holes on this team. First off, they lost their best player in Rashard Weaver and their pass rush took a huge blow when he went down with an ACL injury. The pass game was weak last year and needs improve under new QB coach Mark Whipple. The schedule also has a lot of tough road games.

I can’t get real excited about this version of the Panthers and when I roll through their schedule I think it all comes down to their game at BC. When I add it all up…

The Pick: 1 unit | Under 6

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