And now, West Virginia NFL bettors can get on with the 2022 season.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s Tuesday announcement that Mitchell Trubisky will be his starting quarterback when Pittsburgh visits the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday helps Mountain State gamblers put their wagering ducks in a row.
The preseason-long drama over who would start (Trubisky or first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett) had raised gambling uncertainty over player stats. For the near term, Mountain State gamblers can put Trubisky into their equations.
Here are seven points for West Virginia online sportsbook bettors to ponder about the Steelers and the league.
Pittsburgh Steelers odds at West Virginia online sportsbooks
No. 1: Tomlin avoided the wrong move
The Steelers obtained Trubisky in the offseason. They didn’t sign him to bench him.
Tomlin resisted the clamor to start Pitt graduate Kenny Pickett, who generated significant media hype because of local connections. In holding off naming a starter during preseason, Tomlin placed a marquee value on the position left vacant by the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger.
It may have also been Tomlin forcing Trubisky to earn his right to be named team captain, which he was.
Trubisky is in a make-or-break career segment. He was the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft by the Chicago Bears, started 50 games, and has gone 29-21. He twice led the Bears to the postseason and was voted to the Pro Bowl after the 2018 season.
He’s also been, at times, a reckless gunslinger. This could be his last opportunity to be a starter.
He’s the running threat Roethlisberger wasn’t but not nearly as physically strong. In his younger years, Big Ben could take a big hit and still avoid the sack.
The pressure will be on Trubisky to produce quickly, but the job is his to lose.
No. 2: Does Trubisky’s preseason give the Steelers an early edge?
He could give the Steelers one advantage, at least early, against the Bengals. Trubisky had to win his job and played the entire preseason. Joe Burrow, the Bengals quarterback, sat.
Burrow is a great quarterback but could be rusty early. When first-half props open up, a Steelers bettor may look at that.
No. 3: The Bengals were the Steelers’ blind spot last year
Cincinnati toppled the Steelers 24-10 in Week 2 in what would become Ja’Marr Chase’s first-ever two-touchdown game. The Bengals torched them 41-10 in the teams’ second matchup.
Otherwise, the Steelers swept the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns. They will probably be happy to win four of six AFC North matchups. But the Bengals owned them last year.
No. 4: Anytime touchdown scorer prop odds
DraftKings WV provides the following odds for anytime scorers from both sides:
- Najee Harris +110
- Diontae Johnson +195
- Pat Freiermuth +235
- Chase Claypool +275
- Mitchell Trubisky +550
- Steelers defense/special teams +700
- Joe Mixon -165
- Ja’Marr Chase +105
- Tee Higgins +115
- Tyler Boyd +165
- Joe Burrow +500
- Bengals defense/special teams +450
No. 5: Unique Week 1 NFL props from DraftKings
Any team to score more than 41.5 points is available. The over is +100, and the under is -130.
Will any team in the league win a game by more than 24.5 points? Both sides are -110.
Can a quarterback throw for more than 500 yards this week? The yes option is at +900. That’s the ripple effect of Burrow’s 525-yard game against the Baltimore Ravens last year.
Now and then, it happens.
Who will be the highest-scoring team in the league for Week 1?
The Kansas City Chiefs are +700, while the Bengals are +1300 and the Steelers are +6500.
No. 6: Expanding the over-under markets
Pittsburgh’s over-under season win total of 7.5 is -110 on either side.
Do you believe the book is close to the Steelers’ actual win total? If you think so, there’s an interesting option to ponder by linking that to the exact wins category.
Pittsburgh is +700 to win exactly eight and +800 to win exactly nine games. An over bettor might be tempted to play the eight and nine numbers on the nose. That would provide two chances to cash in at an average between +350 and +400.
The six and seven-win total is +550 each. That would provide a return of just under 3:1 by covering both numbers.
The downside of the bet is if the Steelers win fewer than six or more than nine games. Nonetheless, this is a nice four-game, average range of outcomes.
One might hope to pick the right side of the over-under prop to start and then enhance the payout by nailing the exact total.
No. 7: There’s one last chance to join DraftKings NFL pools
The Free Dynasty Pick’Em allows gamblers to make five selections against the spread each week. Every correct selection is worth one point. Every entry is allowed one skip week.
The $250 Pick’Em Pool is similar to the freebie. It pays down to 135 places. The top prize is $250,000.
According to Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, 50% efficiency against the spread won’t cut it in this competition. Gamblers have to hit 60% of their picks to realistically consider cashing a ticket, he told PlayWV.