Roethlisberger Suspension Affects Bookmaker Odds

Bookmaker odds on the Pittsburgh Steelers have been adjusted with the news that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been suspended for the first six games of the 2010 NFL season.

The suspension could be reduced to four games but the Steelers chances vs. the odds supplied by the online bookmaker have definitely taken a hit.

The bookmaker had to adjust the odds on the Steelers with the news that Big Ben would be suspended.  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the suspension on Wednesday, just a day before the NFL Draft.  The latest rumors now have the Steelers offering Roethlisberger to other teams in a potential trade.  Roethlisberger was suspended for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.  Even though Roethlisberger was not charged in a sexual assault case involving a 20-year-old college student, there is no doubt that Roethlisberger exhibited terrible judgment. "The Personal Conduct Policy makes clear that I may impose discipline 'even where the conduct does not result in conviction of a crime' as, for example, where the conduct 'imposes inherent danger to the safety and well being of another person,'" Goodell said in a letter to Roethlisberger.  Goodell added later that he was very concerned about Roethlisberger’s behavior. "I recognize that the allegations in Georgia were disputed and that they did not result in criminal charges being filed against you. My decision today is not based on a finding that you violated Georgia law, or on a conclusion that differs from that of the local prosecutor. That said, you are held to a higher standard as an NFL player, and there is nothing about your conduct in Milledgeville that can remotely be described as admirable, responsible, or consistent with either the values of the league or the expectations of our fans."

The Steelers are totally on board with the NFL’s decision. In fact, they are fed up with the antics of Roethlisberger and are listening to trade offers for him.  "I agree and support the decision the commissioner made today," Steelers president Art Rooney II said. "We really can't answer questions about trades, particularly [right before the NFL draft]," Rooney added.
Pittsburgh is a franchise that simply doesn’t tolerate bad behavior. The online bookmaker noted that they traded Santonio Holmes to the New York Jets earlier this month after he was suspended for four games.

The Steelers have just been an average team in recent seasons when Roethlisberger didn’t start. Bookmaker statistics indicated that they are 5-5 in the ten games started by other quarterbacks since 2004.  Pittsburgh’s first four games this season are against Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Tennessee and Baltimore. Pittsburgh has a bye in Week #5.