Mountain State magic greets NFL Week 6.
While the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, and Washington Football Team receive substantial interest from the West Virginia sports betting crowd, the spotlight of spotlights beams on Pittsburgh.
It’s the Steelers and Cleveland Browns in an early-season dream matchup.
For the first time in ages, these two teams are heavily supported at the same time by online sports betting in WV. They meet Sunday with Pittsburgh at -3.5. This battle is one of the rivalry’s most highly anticipated matchups in perhaps two decades.
Consider: Pittsburgh is 4-0 for the first time since 1979, and that team took that start to a Super Bowl championship. The Steelers are 3-1 against the spread this season and unfurled a dash of innovative offensive play-calling in Week 5’s 38-29 triumph over the Philadelphia Eagles. Multiple receivers on one side crossed up the Philadelphia defense.
The Browns are 4-1 with four straight victories and three against the number. They have scored more than 30 points in four straight weeks for the first time in over 50 years.
Between them, the Steelers and Browns have won their last eight games.
WV sportsbooks featured matchups
Pittsburgh: The Steelers offense has looked ingenious during the return of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. It has protected him with many quick passing routes that get the ball out of his hands, leaving little risk of a sack. Big Ben has thrown 10 touchdowns this year, with only one pick.
Chase Claypool, the fastest of a talented receiving group, notched a whopping four touchdowns in a wild win over the Eagles. What does that mean? Watch JuJu Smith-Schuster on the prop line for Pittsburgh this week as an anytime scorer. He’s due. So is James Washington.
Fascinating stat: During Roethlisberger’s tenure, the Steelers have amassed a 25–3–1 record against the Browns including a perfect 15–0 mark at home. The Steelers have made 10 playoff appearances in Roethlisberger’s career, including three Super Bowls, while the Browns have not made it to the playoffs and only posted one winning season during this stretch.
The Browns have not won at Heinz Field since … wait for it … 2003.
But now, both teams are strong. Is the jinx about to end for the Browns?
Cleveland: The Browns crossed two major barriers in the last two weeks. They defeated the Dallas Cowboys, a bad defensive team, and the Indianapolis Colts, one of the best units.
The Browns’ offensive line has been stellar, opening holes for Kareem Hunt and protecting Baker Mayfield enough for him to hit key wide receivers Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry, along with former pro-bowl tight end Austin Hooper.
The teams are mirror images with one exception. Roethlisberger is a seasoned veteran. Mayfield makes a few more mistakes but has mobility.
Great game coming.
DraftKings Sportsbook expects a high-scoring affair — 51 points.
Baltimore Ravens invade Philly
The Ravens are 4-1 on the moneyline and against the spread, coming off a dominating 27-3 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals last week. Is being favored by slightly more than a touchdown the right number for Baltimore?
The Ravens’ offensive weapons of Lamar Jackson, Marquise Brown, and Mark Andrews are well-known, but who expected such an effort from its defense last week?
The Ravens scored a touchdown and prevented Cincinnati from getting one. This is the same Cincinnati team that had scored 33 points in its first win, one week earlier.
If the Ravens defense is this good, the rest of the league is in trouble.
Philadelphia has a new star in receiver Travis Fulgham and a hard-rushing back in Miles Sanders. The invisible Zach Ertz needs to step up at tight end. There will be a crowd of up to 7,500 for this game.
Bengals look to rebound
Joe Burrow and Co. got pounded by the Ravens and get more than a TD against host Indianapolis. For Cincinnati to stay in this game, it must force a big mistake by Indy quarterback Philip Rivers. Whenever his teams lose, Rivers usually makes a big blunder. Can Cincinnati, now 4-1 against the spread, force him to commit another?
Washington, New York Giants: Whose “O” will go?
Washington and the New York Giants have lost nine straight between them. At least Washington has one victory in Week 1.
Odds on Washington hover between +2.5 at DraftKings and +3 at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Washington is in disarray, coming off a 14-point loss to the Ravens and a 20-point blowout at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams last week. The Giants are playing tough (3-2 versus the spread) and should go all out for one of their few winnable games this year.
Dak Prescott: Worth nearly a touchdown
We’re going to discover a lot about the Dallas Cowboys system this week when they host the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football.
Dallas suffered a devastating blow when superstar QB Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending injury in the team’s 37-34 triumph over the Giants.
The line dance that followed moved Dallas from -3 against Arizona to +2.5. Prescott is worth nearly six points a game to Dallas.
Now it’s up to Andy Dalton and the offense that gets built around him for the Cowboys. Dalton is a veteran signed in the offseason by Dallas. He’s probably the best backup quarterback in the league and regains his role as a starter.
Dalton can’t run the way Prescott did, but he has explosive weapons in running back Zeke Elliott and receiver CeeDee Lamb. Can the Cowboys take enough pressure off of Dalton whereby he can simply manage the game?
On the flip side, the 3-2 Cardinals have fleet-footed Kyler Murray, running back Chase Edmonds, and stud wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins. Murray might run circles around this defense, the league’s worst at 180 points.
Dallas always gets strong betting support because of its reputation, but here is an unusual stat: Despite averaging more than 32 points a game, the Cowboys have not covered a single game this year.
Other games to watch
The Green Bay Packers are the lone team unbeaten against the spread as they invade the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a slight favorite. It’s Aaron Rodgers versus Tom Brady.
The Rams are slightly favored against the decimated 49ers, and the Miami Dolphins give more than a TD to the hapless New York Jets, trying to follow up on a surprise 43-17 pasting of the 49ers.