NFL Betting: Sharps Fade Steelers After Big Ben Injury

Jason Lake

Monday, October 17, 2016 9:18 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 17, 2016 9:18 PM UTC

Before you could say “torn meniscus,” the wiseguys were dumping Ben Roethlisberger's Pittsburgh Steelers and putting the New England Patriots in their Week 7 NFL picks.


Record: 12-7-1 ATS, 4-7 Totals

In the words of Roman philosopher and noted wiseguy Seneca, luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Sharp bettors got “lucky” on Sunday when Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger hurt his knee in a 30-15 loss to the Miami Dolphins (+7.5 at home). BetOnline was one of the sportsbooks on our NFL odds board that opened the Steelers early as 2-point home dogs for next Sunday's game against the New England Patriots. Now that Roethlisberger is confirmed out with a torn meniscus, the Pats have moved all the way to –7.5 as we go to press.

Were you prepared to seize that opportunity? We're still waiting for the expanded consensus data for Week 7 to start rolling in, but it's clear that most of the early action for Sunday's matchup has been on the Patriots. Even at –7.5, our preliminary figures show 72 percent of bettors on New England. That's a spicy meatball.


It's also a fantastic opportunity to take the middle and put the Steelers in your Week 7 NFL picks. Provided you already have New England –2, you can grab Pittsburgh +7.5 and scoop up some of that sweet, sweet arbitrage; if the Patriots win by anywhere between three and seven points inclusive, you get paid twice. If they win by two, it's a payday and a push. Any other result, and the bets cancel each other out, except for the vigorish.

Even better, you can make a more optimal hedge by using our SBR Arbitrage Calculator, along with some help from Wizard of Odds. They equate a spread of –2 with a fair moneyline of –130, and +7.5 works out to +271. Plug those numbers into the calculator, and it recommends betting $47.69 on the Steelers for every $100 you've already bet on the Patriots, locking in a profit of 19.8 percent – again, not including the vig.

If you don't already have the Patriots at –2, Pittsburgh still has some potential value as a contrarian bet. Is Ben Roethlisberger worth 5.5 points more to the Steelers than his back-up, Landry Jones? Especially when those points cross the magic numbers 3 and 7? Maybe: Pittsburgh split a pair SU and ATS when Jones filled in for Big Ben last year. We'll take our chances at these odds, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

Free NFL Pick: Pittsburgh +7.5Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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