There are a lot of unknowns still surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots week 1 matchup in Foxborough. Will Tom Brady be the starting quarterback, or will Jimmy Garoppolo be the one who is behind center on the NFL's prime time stage?
What will the Steelers offense look without the best running back in the league, Le'Veon Bell, their best deep threat, Martavis Bryant, and their All Pro center, Maurkice Pouncey?
Will either defense be able to withstand an offensive attack powered by the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton?
Some questions will be answered sooner than later, while other answers won't develop until the 8:20 p.m. EST kickoff on September 10th. Either way, it is worth looking at what the early lines are saying in terms of who they favor to win the game.
The majority of books in Las Vegas are sticking with the traditional -3 or -3.5 points given by the home team. In this case, the Patriots spotting the Steelers a field goal. However, there are some books which have an open line with the Patriots giving -6.5 points.
This spread could be seen as a surprise to some, but that surprise would be solely based on the unknown which is Tom Brady and the Deflategate scandal. If Brady is not able to play in the game next Thursday, the playing field becomes much more balanced, even with the numerous Steelers starters who are going to miss the season opener.
If Brady is permitted to play, for whatever reason, you can certainly expect the lines to adjust accordingly. That adjustment would be a heavy swing in the Patriots' favor as the Steelers defense has given up a lot of yardage and points in the preseason, all while coming off a very mediocre 2014 defensive season.
These lines will certainly move between now and Sepetember 10th, but it looks as if most sports books are waiting on the decision of Brady's presence in the game before really moving in one direction or the other.