Internet gambling companies are a little bit wary about the odds on the Pittsburgh Steelers for 2010.
The Steelers are considered one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl in online gambling but only if they have Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback.
Internet gambling companies would have to move the odds a great deal if Roethlisberger does not play. Big Ben is involved in legal trouble in regards to allegations he sexually assaulted a Georgia woman. The Steelers are concerned about the problems and they are taking no chances as they signed backup quarterback Charlie Batch to a new contract. Batch sat out the 2004 and 2008 seasons due to injury but he is very familiar with the Pittsburgh offense. The Steelers believe he could fill in for Roethlisberger if necessary. Dennis Dixon started one game last year for Pittsburgh because Batch was out due to a broken left wrist.
The Roethlisberger situation is a messy one for the NFL and it is also a concern to Internet gambling companies. There are not many teams that have such a drop off at quarterback from the starter to the backup. Only the Colts with Peyton Manning and the Patriots with Tom Brady are considered to have a bigger drop off from their starting quarterback to their backup.
Pittsburgh was ninth in the NFL in passing yards a year ago. Roethlisberger threw for over 4,000 yards and had another excellent season. Pittsburgh was able to finish 12th in points scored a year ago and Roethlisberger was a big reason for their success. The Steelers did not have much of a running game so they relied upon Big Ben to carry them. The Steelers lost some games they shouldn’t have a year ago in online gambling but that was not the fault of Roethlisberger. The defense for Pittsburgh was 5th in total yards allowed last season but they did slip to 12th in points allowed. If the team loses Roethlisberger for any length of time this season, that defense will need to play better.
The Steelers are expected to contend again for the AFC North title in 2010. The Baltimore Ravens look improved but the Steelers are still the favorite in online gambling to win the division even though they finished behind the Cincinnati Bengals a year ago and even with the Baltimore Ravens in the standings.