Bettors Beware - You Must Learn From Opening Night!
The defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers launched the NFL 2006-2007 season Thursday night, when they hosted the Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field.
Normally, when a defending champion is playing in their crib, you would think that the host would be laying big numbers in the game.
It’s amazing what a whole lot of positive propaganda about a football team can do to affect a point spread by 3-4 points. But that is exactly what happened in this circumstance. Pittsburgh had a star quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger, who had a tumultuous offseason with his much publicized motorcycle accident, a damaged throwing hand, and an emergency appendectomy. He was being replaced by career journeyman Charlie Batch and the Steelers were minus Mr. Inspirational Jerome ‘The Bus’ Bettis.
On the other side of the ledger were the Miami Dolphins, led by the latest genius in the NFL coaching fraternity and that would be Nick Saban. The fish had also made a splash in the free agent pool this past spring by signing Daunte Culpepper who was coming off a serious knee injury.
Regardless of how many times gamblers are warned that preseason games are a joke, those enjoying some football betting were getting sucked into all the reports that Daunte was looking great and Miami finally had a star quarterback. What those in sports betting refused to understand was that the Dolphins had a brand new and suspect defensive backfield as well as a questionable offensive line.
On the flip side, we knew that the Steelers would pound the ball with their talented offensive line and have Batch use the tight end and some safe play action passes. Playing at home is much easier than on the road in a noisy stadium and Coach Bill Cowher would keep the game plan very familiar.
The line at my sportsbook came crashing down as all of America jumped on the dog Dolphins and the newspapers pumped up the visitors. All this did was light a fire under the Champion Steelers’ butt and they manhandled the visitors in the 4th quarter.
Culpepper’s final stats were not pretty with 18 completions on 37 passes for 262 yards. He threw two interceptions and was sacked three times but did not throw a TD pass. In that respect, Batch got the better of Culpepper. Batch completed 15 of 25 passes for 209 yards and three touchdown passes.
Steelers 143 yards rushing – Dolphins 38 yards rushing.
Pay attention to the facts!
About the Author: Bob is an experienced sports writer and handicapper, who has written for the sports industry for over 10 years. His years of writing for Sports Scene, sports consulting on 33 Made for Television and Major Motion Pictures and his work as an instructor at Pro Teach Baseball Academy, have made Bob a trusted and respected source in the sports world.