Ben Roethlisberger threw for a career high 522 yards and six touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts. But Steelers fans weren’t the only ones cheering Big Ben and Pittsburgh on their way to a dominant 51-34 win against the Indianapolis Colts. Out of sheer necessity and despair, sportsbooks turned into Steelers fans by default, excitedly waving their Terrible Towels as Roethlisberger saved the books from near doomsday.
The day actually started on a positive note for the books with the Falcons covering against the Detroit Lions during their London game that was played early – 9:30 am EST – in the US. It seemed like a fairly easy cover when the Falcons went up 21-0 at halftime. But nothing about betting on Atlanta these days is easy. The Lions ended up coming back from the first half shutout by shutting out the Falcons in the second half on their way to a last-second 22-21 victory. Despite the collapse, Atlanta still ended up covering the four-point spread, giving the books an early jump before the majority of the games in the US even started.
But then, things took a turn for the worse when three public favorites – New England, Miami, and Kansas City – romped their way to easy wins. The Seahawks and the Bengals helped stem the tide, but a lot of parlays, teasers, and parlay cards were still alive heading into the late afternoon game. Of those games, the books had one circled, presumably accompanied by a lot of exclamation points: Indianapolis at Pittsburgh.
To say that the books needed Pittsburgh to come through could be interpreted as a massive understatement. Everybody had the Colts. The public. The sharps. Maybe even Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. All types of bets were all on the line and it was hinging on who won that game. Had the Colts covered, it would’ve been a blood bath for the books and an early Christmas present for the betting public.
Then Ben Roethlisberger played the game of his life, single-handedly deflating the public and burning all those teasers and parlays with one touchdown pass after another.
The Arizona Cardinals and the New Orleans Saints also helped the books out, but none of it would’ve mattered if Pittsburgh had lost to Indianapolis. For another week, books ended up on the positive end of the ledger. They don’t have the massive winnings to show for it like they did in Weeks 1 and 2 but with so much riding on one game, you know that they’ll take the win any way they can get it.