Despite a three-game losing streak, the Pittsburgh Steelers have opened as 2.5-point favorites in for their Heinz Field finale against the Indianapolis Colts, according to odds released on Sunday by BetOnline.ag.
After starting the season 11-0, the Steelers have lost three straight games, including Monday night’s 27-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Pittsburgh’s recent downturn has happened at the sports book as well as on the field. The Steelers have failed to cover the spread in four straight games, twice losing last favorites in that span, including Monday night, when they were favored to win by 14.5 and lost by 10.
Overall, the Steelers are 8-6 against the spread after starting the season 8-2. When favored at home, they’re 5-1, with a 4-2 mark against the spread.
Indianapolis is 10-4 overall and also 8-6 against the spread. The Colts have not been an underdog since Oct. 11, when they lost by nine as a 1-point underdog at Cleveland. That was the only game this season the Colts were not favored in.
The over/under total for the game is 45.5 points. The Steelers and Colts are scheduled to kick off from Heinz Field at 1 p.m. on Sunday. No fans will be in attendance.
Despite Speculation, Steelers Not One of Betting Favorites to Land Matthew Stafford
When reports emerged late last week that the Detroit Lions and long-time quarterback Matthew Stafford are headed for a divorce, Pittsburgh fans immediately began pitching him as a target for the Steelers.
As fun as it is to imagine Stafford in a Steeler uniform, oddsmakers do not see Pittsburgh as a legitimate candidate to acquire his services.
The Steelers are tied for the 13th-best odds in the league to be Stafford’s next home at 20/1, courtesy of BetOnline.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and Green Bay Packers are also listed at 20/1, but quarterback appears to be the least of their worries. Green Bay has the eventual MVP in Aaron Rodgers, while Jacksonville is a lock to draft Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1-overall pick in April’s draft.
Given that the Steelers are viewed virtually the same as the Jaguars and Packers, oddsmakers clearly have little faith in their ability to assemble a package for or appear attractive to Stafford.
The Indianapolis Colts own the best odds to land Stafford at 3/1, followed by the San Francisco 49ers (7/2) and Denver Broncos (9/2).
Selected with the top pick in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Georgia, Stafford has spent his entire 12-year career in Detroit, throwing for 45,109 passing yards and 282 touchdowns.
Stafford has been selected to one Pro Bowl, and was named the league’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2011.
Odds: Will the Steelers Draft a Quarterback in the First Round?
Will the Pittsburgh Steelers select a quarterback in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft?
Oddsmakers don’t think so.
The Steelers are 5/2 (+250) to draft a quarterback in the first round this April and 1/4 (-400) to go in a different direction, courtesy of BetOnline.
Pittsburgh owns the No. 24 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, and could go in a number of directions to address their mounting needs, including quarterback, running back and offensive line.
While the Steelers will miss out on top flight quarterback prospects like Clemson’ Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields, who are expected to be drafted in the top three, they still could have some enticing quarterback options at No. 24.
A pair of Heisman Trophy finalists in Alabama’s Mac Jones and Florida’s Kyle Trask could both be available for the Steelers to select late first round.
Jones is coming off a national championship and 41 touchdown pass season for the Crimson Tide, while Trask led the country with 43 touchdown passes for the Gators.
The speculation Pittsburgh will select a quarterback comes as current signal caller Ben Roethlisberger weighs retirement following his 17th season leading the team.
Roethlisberger will turn 39 on March 2, and has one year remaining on his current contract.
Odds Say Ben Roethlisberger More Likely to Return than Retire
One of the biggest question marks facing the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason is the future of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and whether or not he will retire. Oddsmakers have released odds for Roethlisberger’s impending decision, and seem to believe the 38-year-old will be back for
Roethlisberger is favored to return this offseason at 1/5 (-500), courtesy of BetOnline. He is 3/1 (+300) to return for the 2021 season.
The veteran passer was open about the uncertainty surrounding his future and that of teammates like Maurkice Pouncey following the game.
Roethlisberger led the Steelers to a 12-4 record and division title in his 17th year, but his season was a tale of two halves. He was tremendous to start the season, but seemed to decline as the year went on, raising questions about his future.
Roethlisberger three for 3,803 yards and 33 touchdowns with ten interceptions, completing 65.6% of his passes. Six of those interceptions came over the last six games.
His performance was inconsistent in the Steelers’ first round playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns last Sunday night, as he tossed four interceptions, but also passed four touchdowns and 501 yards. Pouncey and Roethlisberger lingered on the field long after the loss at Heinz Field.
Roethlisberger is set to turn 39 years old on March 2.