Steelers, Eagles Both Favored Again Despite Starting Seasons On Opposite Notes

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The first week of the NFL season had sharply different results for Pennsylvania’s two teams, though they are both favored by the state’s online sportsbooks to win Sunday.

The Steelers looked strong — especially on defense, as anticipated — in a 26-16 Monday Night Football victory over the New York Giants. They are now favored by at least a touchdown in hosting the Denver Broncos.

The Eagles, meanwhile, imploded in the second half playing at Washington and lost 27-17 despite being favored. This Sunday afternoon, they are favored again while hosting the Los Angeles Rams, but only by 1 to 1.5 points.

Aside from the chance to bet on (or against, for contrarians) the home teams, the sportsbooks again have a full slate of special offers to try to entice bettors.

And that’s before whatever new is offered by Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook, which was not yet approved for permanent operation by Friday morning but was expected to receive that OK from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board later in the day.

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The bonuses add to the betting allure

It was no surprise that so many bonus offers for NFL betting were available from the nine sportsbook sites in the first week of action. The fact that so many again have incentives for a second week couldn’t be counted on, and it’s quite welcome.

Here’s a rundown on those:

DraftKings: A profit boost of 25% is being offered on every Week 2 NFL contest. Additionally, if you place a $50+ point spread bet on either side in the Steelers-Broncos game, a “Scoring Special” gives you $6 in site credit for every TD your team scores.

FanDuel: The “Football Double-Up” doubles your winnings if you place a pre-game moneyline wager and your team scores at least 35 points while winning.

FOX Bet: Its “NFL Triple Play” is offering a +300 price on the Steelers, Eagles, and Cowboys (-5 vs. Falcons) all to win.

Unibet: A “Happy Hour Boost” provides a 30% profit boost for wagers on the three late afternoon games Sunday (Washington-Cardinals, Chiefs-Chargers, and Ravens-Texans).

BetAmerica: A “Touchdown Special” rewards those betting at least $50 on a point spread with a $5 bonus for each passing TD in the game by both teams.

Low scoring projected in Steelers game

If looking to bet on the Steelers to go 2-0 while beating the spread for the second straight week, you can get them -7 at most sites in the state. BetAmerica adjusts the vig to +103 if you’re willing to bet them at -7.5, and Caesars has that same spread at +100.

The over/under on the game is an unusually low 40.5 at most sites, and is even better for an “over” bettor at FOX Bet, which is posting o/u 40.

That prediction of a low score is factoring in not just the Steelers’ stellar defense, which held the Giants to 16 points, but how the Broncos’ offense looked in a 16-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans Monday night.

The Steelers got a nudge up in futures betting after their season-opening win. The sites’ Super Bowl odds now have them somewhere between 22/1 (FanDuel) and 20/1 (everyone else except FOX Bet, at 21/1). They were 25/1 a week ago.

FanDuel and DraftKings still post total wins o/u betting, and both have Pittsburgh at 9.5, with FanDuel posting the better plus-price (+110 vs. +103).

Eagles hope to do what Cowboys couldn’t

Most of the sites have the Eagles -1 against the Rams but with different vigs, the best being -103 from Kambi-backed sites such as DraftKings, Unibet, and BetRivers. FanDuel makes Philadelphia -1.5 (-105).

The o/u on points is 45.5 at most sites, but Caesars has 46, making it the best place for an “under” bettor.

While the Eagles are looking to bounce back and avoid an 0-2 start that puts them in a tough position, the Rams appeared strong in defeating the Dallas Cowboys, 20-17. The Eagles may end up thanking the Rams for that win over their division rival, no matter what happens Sunday.

Sunday’s 27-17 loss against a Washington team viewed as one of the weaker in the NFL did knock down the futures betting odds on the Eagles. Where they were 20/1 to 25/1 previously to win the Super Bowl, they are now between 25/1 (Kambi sites) and 35/1 (Caesars).

Philadelphia’s win total o/u fell, as might be expected, from between 9 to 9.5 to now 8.5 (+110 from DraftKings, +100 from FanDuel).

Pitt heads PA college football betting board

Penn State, the state’s college football team with the biggest following, got a reprieve on its season when the Big Ten reversed course and decided to play this fall. The Nittany Lions’ abbreviated schedule is not yet announced, but it won’t start before Oct. 23.

That leaves Pitt as the in-state team of choice for bettors who want to be in action on Saturdays as well as Sundays, and the Panthers open ACC conference play Saturday as a heavy favorite against visiting Syracuse.

FOX Bet makes Pitt -21 (-118) while other sites have the Panthers -21.5 with lower vigs.

The o/u on the contest is 50 by everyone except FanDuel, which has 50.5, making it the go-to spot for those betting the under.

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Gary Rotstein

Gary is a longtime journalist, having spent three decades covering gambling, state government, and other issues for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in addition to stints as managing editor of the Bedford (Pa.) Gazette and as a reporter for United Press International and the Middletown (Conn.) Press. Contact Gary at gary@usbets.com.

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