Week 9 Monday Night Preview?Pittsburgh at Denver
A streaking Pittsburgh Steelers team in search of its fifth straight win travels to Denver for a Week 9 Monday night clash vs. the 6-1 Broncos. Online sportsbook have the number on this game pegged at -3 for the visiting Steelers. The Over/Under line has been sitting at 40 throughout the week.
The sports betting public didn’t pay much attention to this game over the weekend, with lower volume than usual, but obviously that’s changed as of Sunday night and throughout the day Monday.
Looking at the Broncos, their one loss was delivered last week by the Baltimore Ravens, a convincing 30-7 drubbing. But that game was on the road, not at Mile High (yes, I still call it Mile High), where the Broncos are 3-0 straight up and against the spread so far this year.
Early in the season when Denver was listed by oddsmakers as a home underdog against teams such as Dallas and New England no one batted an eye. It’s fair to assume that rookie head coach Josh McDaniels may have used the home dog label as a motivational tool for his new team but for sports bettors and oddsmakers, the pointspread made sense.
A 4-1 ATS record in five games as an underdog this season vs. teams with a combined 26-13 straight up record, and it’s no longer just the players using the points as an incentive. When online sportsbooks posted the line seven days ago bettors were still digesting the first blemish on Denver’s record. Line movement was insignificant through the first six days of betting but anyone making picks on the Broncos in the final countdown to kickoff is now paying a price of inflated juice on the line.
Perhaps Denver’s perfect 3-0 ATS all-time mark as a Monday Night Football home underdog has something to do with it. Or could it be that NFL bettors are just starting to believe?
Home dogs may have helped sway the tide a little in Week 9, with both Sunday pups (CIN, TB) not only covering the spread but winning straight-up as well. Stat junkies are also aware that Denver ranks third in the NFL in rushing defense at 86.1 yards per game. Denver has also owned the Steelers at home, going 4-1 SU in the past five meetings but those games took place over such an extended period of time it’s hard to put much weight into the number.
There is very little chance the veteran Steelers will get caught looking past this matchup but news of Cincinnati’s upset win over Baltimore on Sunday has likely found its way into locker room conversations on the visitor’s side at Mile High. The Pittsburgh will host the Bengals next week and could use this win to pull back into a draw with Cinci for wins.
Both of these teams are relatively healthy since the Steelers are coming off a bye and Denver’s was just two weeks ago. It’s shaping up as another playoff calibre Monday Night betting matchup and one thing that’s certain is that both of these teams will fight to the end for a win.