clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Dallas Cowboys Open As Underdogs Against Pittsburgh Steelers

New, comments

The Cowboys opened as 3-point underdogs against the Steelers for next Sunday's matchup.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

After an uncontested win over the Cleveland Browns yesterday, the Cowboys will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in the next matchup against an AFC North team on the road.

With the Cowboys at 7-1 and the 4-4 Steelers struggling mightily against the Ravens on Sunday, it's a bit of a surprise to see the Steelers open as 3-point favorites over the Cowboys, even if the game is in Pittsburgh.

Peter Childs, risk management supervisor for offshore site Sportsbook.ag, explains the line and how it has developed.

"I don’t like this spot at all for the Cowboys," he said. "This team is very fat and happy, winning seven straight and off their most dominating win of the year. This is their second of back-to-back road games, going into Steel Country, playing a very upset Steelers team. No question, the Steelers will bring 100 percent focus and effort against the Cowboys. I’m not that sure you can say the same about the Cowboys."

Dallas’ current run, and all the public support that surge has brought at the betting window, made this a tough line to set.

"I wanted to open the Steelers a 3.5-point home favorite, but was convinced that bettors would support the Cowboys at just 3, and boy did they ever," he said. "We hung 3 and got hammered with Cowboys money. We quickly went to 2.5, and they’re still hammering the Cowboys. At 2.5, we’re not going to be too quick to move the number. The Steelers are a very good team coming off a horrific effort, so I’m more than happy going into this game needing them for a decent decision."

As usual, keep in mind that the lines offered by the oddsmakers don't necessarily reflect the actual chances of either team winning the game, as the lines are usually set to encourage betting and to make sure that the money being bet is spread 50/50 over both teams (the key to remaining a profitable bookmaker).

As Childs explains above, and because the Cowboys are huge betting draws, these lines could easily be set to lure the millions of Cowboys fans in the betting public to get in on the action. While the current -2.5 odds reflect the bookmakers' best guess as to where the action will remain even on both sides of the bet, the bookmakers could easily adjust the line to reflect the betting public's betting pattern, especially if they continue getting "hammered with Cowboys money."

The over/under for the game is currently set at 50, so expectations are for a fairly high-scoring game. The two teams last met in 2012, when the Cowboys fought back from a 24-17 fourth-quarter deficit to win 27-24 in overtime.

The Cowboys enter the game with the fourth-ranked scoring offense and defense, while the Steelers currently sport the 16th-ranked scoring offense and the 13th-ranked scoring defense.

What are your early thoughts on next Sunday's game?