Sportsbook Handicappers Note More Bad News for Steelers

December 1, 2010 Sportsbook

The hits keep coming to the Pittsburgh Steelers and their chances of winning vs. the sportsbook odds continue to lessen.

The latest blow to the Steelers chances vs. NFL odds at the sports book is the injury to starting offensive tackle Willie Colon. He tore his Achilles on Monday and will likely miss the season.

Sportsbook odds do not favor the Steelers to be Super Bowl contenders in 2010. The team will be without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for at least the first four games of the regular season.  Now they lose a big piece of their offensive line.  When a team loses their starting quarterback it is bad enough but when a starting offensive lineman is lost, it can be just as devastating. The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t have a great offensive line to begin with but now it is really going to struggle.

Pittsburgh was able to keep it together last season with Roethlisberger scrambling around and making plays.  This season they are going to need a major miracle to move the ball on offense. Byron Leftwich is an experienced backup quarterback and he will probably start the four games that Roethlisberger misses.  Leftwich is not a mobile quarterback and with the loss of Colon upfront, he going to get sacked a lot. The Steelers give up a lot of sacks anyway and this year it figures to be ugly.  The loss of Colon also hurts the running game as Rashard Mendenhall as the holes will be harder to find.

So many times when gamblers look at the football odds at the sportsbook they ignore the linemen.  That is a mistake since without a good offensive line a team can’t move the ball.  Pittsburgh’s offensive line was not considered that great to begin with and now they are going to be well below average.  With the loss of Roethlisberger, Colon and the departure of Santonio Holmes in the off-season, the Steelers are going to struggle on offense early in the season.

The Steelers are 20-1 longshots at the sportsbook to win the Super Bowl this season.  Those odds are probably optimistic considering all the problems Pittsburgh is having.  The Steelers are not the favorite at the sports book in the AFC North to win their division. That honor goes to Baltimore. The Steelers might not even finish in second as Cincinnati is the defending AFC North champ.

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