In something that hasn’t happen often in the world of sports betting the Pittsburgh Steelers spent the NFL offseason making headlines for all the wrong reasons. The 6-time Super Bowl winning franchise has long been a symbol of success and class in the sporting world but thanks to the unbecoming behavior of players like QB Roethlisberger, K Jeff Reed and former Steelers WR Santonio Holmes the team has suffered its longest offseason in history.
Unfortunately for the Steelers the damage was limited solely to its reputation either as Holmes, a former Super Bowl MVP and the team’s leading receiver from a year ago (1,248), was traded away for peanuts and Big Ben will have to sit out the first four games of the season as per his suspension.
To make matter worse backup QB and Steelers veteran Byron Leftwich is out indefinitely after injuring his knee in a preseason matchup that could have a huge impact on the team’s NFL betting odds fate.
Second-year QB Dennis Dixon will get the start, just the second of his career on Sunday against a very good Atlanta team that is favored to win this matchup.
Kickoff for this Sunday matchup is set for 1:05 Eastern Time and sbg global.com opened with the Falcons as a 2-point favorite with an over/under total at 37.5.
Atlanta should have a high powered offense this season if QB Matt Ryan can bounce back from a mini-sophomore slump (2,916, 22 TDs, 14 INTs) and RB Michael Turner can stay healthy. Ryan has plenty of weapons on offense in including WR Roddy White (1,153 yards, 11 TDs) and perennial Pro Bowl TE Tony Gonzalez.
The Falcons will also look to play at a high level on defense after the team was 12th in points allowed last season (20.3 points per game).
But in the end it should be the Steelers defense that has the final say in this matchup. This unit struggled a bit last year without All Pro S Troy Polamalu. With the crazy-haired head hunter back in the lineup this defense instantly becomes better and much more versatile.
Look for the Steelers D to make big plays when needed and get the win the win in this NFL gambling matchup.