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October 30, 2014

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Vegas Play of the Day: Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles

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Associated Press

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles passes against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013.

I’m facing more than the team I’m picking against in today’s South Point-lined Play of the Day.

I’m also battling history with an 0-6 record in games that could have taken me over my initial starting bankroll of $10,000. Here goes nothing in attempt No. 7.

Philadelphia Eagles minus-3.5 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: $440 to win $400

They say week 3 of the preseason is the closest exhibition games get to the real thing. With that in mind, it’s hard not to lean towards Philadelphia thinking it would be the bet at minus-3.5 in a regular-season game hosting Pittsburgh.

That’s far from the only reason, though. The Eagles are just 2-4 straight-up and against the spread in the preseason under coach Chip Kelly, but they were pushing to win in both games so far this year.

The defense was horrendous in both, giving up a combined 76 points to Chicago and New England. There’s no way the coaching staff doesn’t stir a more spirited effort out in game three.

Also, the offense looks like it will be at full-strength. Quarterback Nick Foles will have his full complement of starting receivers — Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper and Jordan Matthews — for the first time. Running back LeSean McCoy is expected to play the whole first half.

Pittsburgh has looked less inspired than Philadelphia in preseason games over the last two years, going 1-5 straight-up and against the spread. And the win was a fluke last week when the Steelers beat the Bills 19-16 with a last-second field goal despite getting outgained by more than 100 yards.

The home team will want this game more.

Standings: Bern (42-33-1, $12,617), Keefer (36-39, $9,692), Brewer (30-43-3, $1,800)

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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