Originally posted on The Sports Rocker  |  Last updated 9/23/13
I was watching some NFL action on Sunday with friend and sometimes-contributor, Andy. He noticed the line on the Chicago Bears as Pittsburgh Steelers game was only the Bears by a point. He was right. The Bears were only 1 point favorites in a game that most figured to be pretty awful, at least from a Steelers fans perspective. But why?Most Vegas books had the line starting at 2.5 points favoring the Bears as of the 17th.Now let's take a look at a few things leading up to the game.The Bears were 0-1-1 against the spread after two games. The push, or tie, came against the Bengals when they won by 3 and tied the spread. So they were winning, but winning ugly, and barely.The Steelers are 0-3 over all, and 0-3 against the points. Which makes the 2.5 spread, or even 1.5, absolutely mind boggling. Unless.Unless it's a suckers bet. As we're sitting there, Andy casually made the comment that if he had some extra money, he'd put some on the Bears. While I was in almost immediate agreement, a thought came to me. A line that obvious, and as bad as the Steelers have been playing, something is rotten in Denmark....Early on, this game looked like a route and Bears backers were already standing in line to cash in. It was 17-0 after one quarter, and the Steelers couldn't do anything right. Roethlisberger was sacked twice in the quarter, leading to a lost fumble and a Bears touchdown four plays later. In the 2nd quarter, Roethlisberger was intercepted and it was returned for a touchdown. The score at halftime was 24-10. If the Steelers did something on the drive Big Ben was picked off on, maybe they score or the Bears don't score and we have a 17-10 game or better at the half. If the Steelers keep it close going into halftime, momentum is with them coming out for the second half.In the third quarter, the Steelers held it together, and outscored the Bears 10-3 in the frame, and trailed by only a touchdown, 27-20.  Don't forget, they trailed after one quarter 17-0. Then the fourth quarter started, and not only did the wheels fall off, but the transmission died. The Steelers struck first with a field goal to make it 27-23. Then the Bears got two touchdowns, one on a Julius Peppers fumble return (Big Ben again) to make it 40-23, which ended up being the final score.Now back to the 2.5 point spread.If (IF) Ben Roethlisberger doesn't have what might be the worst turnover game of his NFL career, this ends up being a one-score game, maybe only a field goal difference at the end. And the Bears barely cover the spread. Or maybe the Steelers pull it out at home and the books rake in money because 63% of the betting public favored the Bears. Generally speaking, the line never moved more than 1 full point all week, so even as the public was trying to print money with the Bears, the books held steady, a recipe for a sucker bet. And it almost happened.
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