Will Mountain State bettors continue thriving by betting with the Pittsburgh Steelers? Or has the time come to start going the other way?
The answer may become clearer after the 1-2 Steelers invade the 2-1 Green Bay Packers as decided underdogs.
Pittsburgh getting approximately a touchdown has traditionally been rare, but this may be the start of an unusually tough season for the Steelers.
They are reeling from two straight Heinz Field losses (which had not happened since 1993) before visiting Lambeau Field.
“This is a pivotal game for the Steelers,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told Play WV. “If they show well or win, people are suddenly going to think that the Steelers are OK.
“But they do have to step it up. You have got to figure that the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns are going to probably win 11 games or so,” he added regarding two of the Steelers’ main AFC North rivals.
“And the Cincinnati Bengals (who dumped the Steelers 24-10 last week) are starting to learn how to win,” he said. “This can turn into a problem for the Steelers.”
Indeed, the Steelers look aged and fading. Going back to last year, they are 2-7 in their last nine.
Pittsburgh Steelers Odds At WV Sportsbooks
What happens if the Steelers sink?
Bettors have options. DraftKings Sportsbook WV has a new wrinkle, adjusting team win totals throughout the early part of the season.
The Steelers, who had an over-under of 8.5 triumphs two weeks ago, are a paltry 6.5 in the new 17-game schedule.
“I like this prop, and we are writing a lot of tickets, because it is always a new bet for somebody,” Avello said of the bet in general.
“If you believe a team has started poorly, you think they should be playing better than they have shown and that they have a chance to win going forward, an adjusted season-long wins bet may make sense to you. We are going to keep updating them for at least for another week or so.”
Thus, an SOS to a Steelers fan could represent a prop-betting buy point.
The contrast is always there.
There is concern about the setback to the Bengals. Roethlisberger was sacked four times, as his lack of mobility is noteworthy and his downfield passes have too much air under them.
The frustration mounts with the defense missing stalwarts T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith and Stephon Tuitt. Some could return this week.
Steelers back Najee Harris looks like a good yardage and anytime scoring threat after he obtained 102 receiving yards last week. The first-round draft pick continues to be a find, as he set a team record with 14 receptions. Harris touched the ball 28 times, which included 14 rushes for 40 yards.
The loss of receiver Diontae Johnson and then JuJu Smith-Schuster crippled the Pittsburgh passing game against the Bengals.
However, Chase Claypool’s 96 yards is a source of interest going forward.
And how about Pat Freiermuth? We talked about him here last week. He scored the team’s lone touchdown against the Bengals and his first ever. Maybe you had him as an anytime scorer.
This will be an interesting dual front as the season progresses, because the Steelers are indicating that the bettors may benefit more than their fans.
Pittsburgh Steelers Props
They are the league’s weakest running team. That’s not on the running backs as much as the offensive line. How do gamblers put that into an equation?
Look for props on Roethlisberger. He threw the ball 58 times last week, a significantly high number. Joe Burrow of the Bengals only put it airborne 18 times.
How to use this information:
Look for yardage for Roethlisberger. He clinked and dinked to 318 yards against the Bengals. The short swing passes to Harris out of the backfield add up.
If the Steelers are trailing, he will have to hoist it up.
You may also want to consider interceptions by Roethlisberger.
If Big Ben has to release the ball before he wants to, it won’t always go where he wants. That will allow defenders to start jumping routes. This could help other teams earn a short field or even a pick-six.
Claypool is a potent deep threat but may have to adjust his patterns a little more toward the middle of the field. Big Ben has just missed on some big connections with Claypool down the sidelines, where Claypool has little room to maneuver.
This wager is enticing on either side.
Because Pittsburgh is 1-2 on the over, totals usually hover in the low to mid 40s. In the modern-day NFL, that’s a great enticement for both betting and teasing the over.
Green Bay (a 30-28 winner over the San Francisco 49ers) played to a total of 58 last week.