There are a lot of questions marks swirling around the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise entering the 2010 NFL gambling action. This is still a very talented roster and considered by many a legitimate Super Bowl contender. But after a tumultuous offseason there are plenty of reasons to doubt this team’s success in the year ahead.
In the team’s regular season opener on Sunday September 12th, the team’s starting lineup will not only be missing its Pro Bowl QB (Ben Roethlisberger is suspended for the first four games of the season) but also its leading receiver from last season (Santonio Holmes 1,248 yards in ’09). Further, the third-string QB will be behind center and already shaky offensive line will feature two new starters, one of them a rookie.
It’s easy to understand why the Steelers are underdogs in the sports betting action at a season opener at Heinz Field for the first time in a long while. The Atlanta Falcons are formidable team with playoff hopes of their own and the Steelers will have to bring their A-game if they want to win this game.
Kickoff for this Sunday matchup is set for 1:05 Eastern Time and sbg opened with the Falcons as a 2-point favorite with an over/under total at 37.5.
The Falcons will have the better offense on the field on Sunday featuring QB Matt Ryan (22 TDs, 14 INTs), WR Roddy White (1,153 yards, 11 TDs) and a newly healthy RB Michael Turner.
If the Steelers are going to win this showdown their defense will have to make big plays. Fortunately that’s something this unit is very good at doing when healthy and for the first time in several seasons it will have almost all its top defense players on the field at the same time.
The loss of Big Ben has been making all the headlines but arguably a more important development for the team is the return of S Troy Polamalu. Without Polamalu last season this team struggled somewhat with the pass rush and were horrible in the deep pass coverage late in games. Those are two areas where the wild-haired safety will make an immediate difference.
Replacement QB Dennis Dixon should do decent job leading this offense and using his feet to keep the Falcons’ D off balance and with a good showing by the Blitzburgh D the Steelers should win this NFL betting odds matchup.