NFL Playoff Betting Trends: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos

In this highly anticipated playoff matchup, the Pittsburgh Steelers opened as an 8-point favorite at the market-setting Cris sportsbook and, according to Sports Insights’ NFL Betting Trends, is currently receiving 56% of all spread bets. The public betting percentages were nearly even, but the line still dropped to -7.5 indicating that sharp money is taking Denver.

While Tim Tebow always seems to grab the headlines, Jay Glazer reported that Denver would be using Brady Quinn on 3rd downs and they could use the former Notre Dame standout more if Tebow struggles early.

Injuries will also play a large role in this game as both teams are dealing with a litany of health concerns. The Broncos defense will be without Brian Dawkins who is out with a neck injury while their outstanding rookie linebacker Von Miller is listed as probable with a thumb injury. For Pittsburgh, the medical staff is even busier. Center Maurkice Pouncey, safety Ryan Clark and running back Rashard Mendenhall are all out today, while Ben Roethlisberger will be playing at less than 100% as he copes with a sprained ankle.

Our Premium and Premium Pro members can receive injury alerts to their e-mail or cell phones, but for anybody else make sure to visit our NFL injuries page for up to the minute updates.

This matchup peaks our interest as Denver fits our criteria for late season home underdogs.  As detailed in a recent Bet Sharp article, there is tremendous value betting on home underdogs from week 15 on — specifically when those dogs are getting 8 or more points. Since 2003, teams that fit this criterion are 20-8 including a 1-0 mark in the post-season (Seattle’s 41-36 victory over New Orleans last season).

While Cris is currently offering this game at -7.5, most sportsbooks have Pittsburgh favored by 8. However, Bovada has a line of -9 available which once again illuminates the importance of shopping for the best line.

The following table shows the breakdown of spread betting percentages from our six contributing sportsbooks:


Team

# Bets

Sportsbook

BetUS

Carib

WagerWeb

5Dimes

SIA
Steelers 76603 54% 57% 63% 60% 50% 59%
Broncos 46% 43% 37% 40% 50% 41%

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