NFL betting lines handicappers could find a great motivational angle with the Pittsburgh Steelers in their sports betting matchup with the Detroit Lions on Saturday.
The Steelers are coming off a poor 9-7 season from last year as they needed 3 wins in their final 3 games to assure a winning season. Sloppy and inconsistent play along with key injuries stopped the Steelers from a successful defense of their 2008 Super Bowl champion ship.
The Steelers had an off season that was just as bad as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for the first 6 games of the 2010 regular season because he was dealing with allegations of sexual abuse for the second consecutive year.
The Steelers will be looking for any positives that they can find as they meet a young Detroit Lions team that is also feeling optimistic despite a 2-14 record last year. Second year quarterback Matt Stafford had a rough rookie season as he was under trial by fire and suffered from the normal mistakes of a first year starter in the NFL along with some nagging injuries.
Stafford has had an outstanding off season workout and camp regimen and is poised to take the next step in his development as the team leader.
Roethlisberger, for his part, is having an outstanding training camp as he has said the best way to put his problems away is to focus on football and with improved play.
Byron Leftwich has been quarterbacking the Steelers first team as he is likely to be the starting signal caller during Big Ben’s suspension.
Sportbokks SBGGlobal.com opened with the Steelers as a 2.5-point favorite with an over/under of 33.5.
“I feel good man, I love this system,” said Leftwich in regards to offensive coordinator Bruce Arians’ schemes. “It allows the quarterback to make plays.”
“I feel real good about this situation,” added Leftwich.
One key season emphasis for Pittsburgh to be mindful of besides the quarterback situation is at running back as they ranked 19th in the NFL for rushing yards last year and want significant improvement. Rookie Jonathan Dwyer was hoped to be the answer after he ran for over 1300 yards in each of the past 2 seasons at Georgia Tech but he showed up for camp overweight and has been a disappointment. He has also been missing assignments. Dwayne Wright, a wavier pickup from Philadelphia, will be an alternative that gets attention.