This is what a toss up looks like at a sportsbook.
Mountain State bettors placed 58% of the early DraftKings West Virginia tickets on the Pittsburgh Steelers at -1 against the visiting Denver Broncos Sunday.
But that only counts for 47% of the money. The sharps, the big-money bettors, like Denver to prevail at Heinz Field.
The big money also favors the under 39.5, an attractive “counter play” consideration for bettors because Pittsburgh and Denver are a combined 8-0 on the under this year.
The over is overdue.
Pittsburgh Steelers Odds At WV Sportsbooks
WV bettors and Steelers fans may unite behind other themes this week:
- The Pittsburgh defense held the mighty Aaron Rodgers to 248 yards and two scores in a 27-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers last week. They face a downgrade either in Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater, who suffered a concussion last week and may yield to Lock.
- Joe Haden was not offsides in what became a crucial play ruled against the Steelers. A critical call on Haden nullified the blocked field goal that would have been a Pittsburgh touchdown at the end of the first half.
Instead of the Steelers obtaining a special-teams score, they surrendered a second-chance field goal on the ensuing play. What should have been a 17-14 halftime lead became a 17-10 halftime deficit. A 10-point swing against the Packers? That’s hard to overcome.
Haden did rise up in his stance, but did not cross into the neutral zone, as was ruled.
- The call not only burned gamblers, who would have received a special-teams touchdown, but it probably resulted in a chain effect. Pittsburgh lost by 10 when it was a +6.5 underdog. The over-under was 5. A Steelers TD would probably have changed both of those tickets to winners.
The Haden play took away four points from that total. By extension, it also forced the Steelers to go for it on fourth down in at least one situation that would have prompted a second-half field goal attempt. Disclosure: this author did not have a bet on the game.
Can the Steelers win a home game?
This game “lays” right for Pittsburgh. The Steelers are underachieving at 1-3 when WV sportsbooks projected them for roughly nine wins this season. Pittsburgh still has two upcoming games against the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens, the strength of the AFC North. Both are 3-1.
If there was a soft spot on the Steelers’ schedule, this is it. And they need to cash it in. The Seattle Seahawks invade Heinz Field next week and then Pittsburgh visits Cleveland.
Why is this matchup soft? Isn’t Denver 3-1? Yes, but it looks like an overachieving 3-1. The Broncos won five games last year. They already have three with an easy schedule and now face one of their tougher tasks.
They just lost to the Baltimore Ravens, scoring only seven points.
The Steelers win nearly three times as many games as they lose in Heinz Field. But they don’t have a home W this season. This game represents opportunity to a team that has dropped three straight, all by more than a TD.
Betting on Steelers-Broncos
Will each team score at least 15 points? It’s -115 either way.
Look at that over-under. It opened at 39.5, second-lowest in the league to New England-Houston at 38.5.
As the teams continue failing to hit the over, what happens?
The line eventually drifts low enough that the over is going to look attractive to some bettors. Especially if they tease it down and parlay it with another game.
The Steelers-Broncos can be teased down to the 33-point neighborhood and combined with some other game. Two of those types of plays can result in a bet that’s around even money.
The gamblers must hit both bets, but each has a better chance to come in with the cushion provided by a teaser.
Caesars WV props kick in on the first drive of the game.
Pittsburgh first possession:
- Punt -124
- Touchdown +360
- Field goal attempt +390
- Turnover +460
- Punt -124
- Touchdown +350
- Field goal attempt +400
- Turnover +470
Chase Claypool, Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite deep threat, did not play against the Packers because of a hamstring injury. It’s a particularly significant problem for Claypool because of his explosive speed. If he plays, it’s a tough call on whether to make a prop wager on him.
In his absence, James Washington played a strong game for Pittsburgh against Green Bay and is a top-flight receiver. Washington had four catches for 69 yards.
Diontae Johnson returned from injury and hauled in Roethlisberger’s lone passing touchdown. He also snared nine passes for 92 yards.
Najee Harris continues to be a workhorse and scored for the second straight week. He’s always worth consideration as an anytime scorer.