Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos Week 5 Betting Preview, Odds, and Prediction
Date: Sunday, October 10, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
Where To Watch: FOX
Pittsburgh Steelers Record: 1-3-0 SU, 1-3-0 ATS
Denver Broncos Record: 3-1-0 SU, 3-1-0 ATS
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos Preview
The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the midst of a three-game skid that has them slipping into the AFC North basement with a 1-3 record on the season. Form, confidence, morale, motivation all pose concerns ahead of Week 5, not to mention Ben Roethlisberger's fitness too. The veteran signal-caller revealed he suffered a hip injury during last week's 27-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
The Denver Broncos are coming off their first loss of the season as they slip to a 3-1 record. The Broncos were overwhelmed by the Ravens in a 23-7 loss on Sunday after Teddy Bridgewater was forced out of the game due to a concussion. Now, the Broncos are potentially faced with the prospect of fielding backup Drew Lock for this week's contest at Heinz Field.
All told, this is a tough matchup to predict. On the one hand, it appears to be a mismatched battle between a 1-3 and 3-1 SU team. On the other hand, the quarterback question marks facing both teams turn everything on its head.
If Roethlisberger isn't 100%, the Steelers probability of winning diminishes. Alternatively, if Roethlisberger is forced out of the game, the prospect of Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins taking over doesn't inspire confidence.
Alternatively, a punt on Drew Lock, should he get the start, is a risky play. Bridgewater got the gig in Denver because Lock didn't hack it last season or during preseason training camp. Have things changed enough since then? Probably not.
Books cornered the game with the Steelers, opening with the hosts favored at -2, fully expecting Roethlisberger to start. However, early betting moved the line against the Steelers, and it's currently settled on -1 (-110) with most sportsbook operators. So could the public be seriously banking on Lock to lift the Broncos to victory in Steel City?
Pittsburgh Steelers Overview
Mike Tomlin has never had a losing season in his 14-year career in Pittsburgh, but that enviable record is under threat as the Steelers begin their 2021 campaign with a 1-3 record. Of course, it's barely a third of the way into the season. The Steelers have time to turn things around, but they don't have the luxury of a lot of time left. Something needs to happen sooner rather than later.
Ben Roethlisberger hasn't been terrible, but he's not been great either. The offense is struggling in the air and on the ground, and the defense isn't what it once was. So what's gone wrong in Pittsburgh? That is one of the season's mysteries, made all the more frustrating because they'd started so brightly by defeating the Buffalo Bills.
Denver Broncos Overview
Teddy Bridgewater and the Denver Broncos soared to the top of the AFC West standings behind a solid 3-0 start to the season, but things went south quickly last weekend as the Broncos suffered an excruciating loss to the Ravens.
Bridgewater's concussion was the primary catalyst for the lopsided defeat, and it's proving to be a massive blow for the Broncos in the foreseeable future. That didn't go down well with Vic Fangio, amongst other things. He
didn't take kindly to John Harbaugh's and the Ravens' blind pursuit of NFL records as he attacked his counterpart's questionable approach to player safety in his post-game presser.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos Odds
|Broncos||+100||+1||Over 39.5 (-110)|
|Steelers||-115||-1||Under 39.5 (+100)|
The way the markets have pegged Pittsburgh vs. Denver odds is a clear signal that this game is totally up for grabs because a 1-point spread doesn't represent a significant advantage or disadvantage for either side. And yet, the early play is on Denver.
Early consensus betting appears to be going towards the Broncos despite Teddy Bridgewater's uncertain status. The veteran signal-caller made an appearance on Wednesday, but he was held back from practice. Fangio suggested there was a possibility Bridgewater would participate in a limited practice on Thursday, but he can't play on Sunday unless he clears protocols. So, the assumption right now is that Lock is the starter this Sunday.
Roethlisberger is expected to start, but he's listed as questionable on Pittsburgh's injury list. Along with Roethlisberger, backup Dwayne Haskins (face), Wide Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (ribs), and Wide Receiver Chase Claypool (hamstring) are also listed as questionable. Pittsburgh's growing injury list, coupled with their lack of form, is a concern.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos Betting Preview and Predictions
Every week some games could be categorized as options to bet now or later. Given all the question marks that hang over this matchup, this one could fall into the latter category; that is unless bettors have a particular set of loyalties either way and see value in the point spread at it is. So, for those that can, wait and see how the roster decisions pan out to get a better handle on this game before pulling the trigger. It's almost sure to be the difference between a winning and a losing bet.