The Pittsburgh Steelers were double-digit favorites in Week 16 against the Baltimore Ravens, and fans were given a front row seat to one of the more disappointing let down games in recent memory when they didn't just not cover the spread, but lost outright 20-17.
The Steelers are heavily favored again in Week 17 against the Cleveland Browns, and when their playoff hopes hinge on them winning the game and getting some help, fans hope their fate will be different from their Week 16 performance and outcome.
The opening line in the Week 17 game in Cleveland has the Steelers as 8.5-point favorites, but other sports books see Pittsburgh as heavier favorites than the opening line. The average book has Pittsburgh as 10-point favorites, with the highest seeing the Steelers as 11-point favorites.
In Ben Roethlisberger's time in the NFL, he has been double-digit road favorites seven times in his career and failed to cover in each game. This doesn't mean he has lost the game, but from a bettor's standpoint he failed to cover the spread in each of those games. The most recent was last Sunday against the Ravens.
The Steelers will need to have some desperation in their play in Cleveland in Week 17 if they want to keep their postseason hopes alive. If not it will be an early exit for Pittsburgh as they watch the AFC Playoffs with the Ravens and Browns on their couches, rather than competing in the AFC Wild Card round. If there is a time for Roethlisberger to break his streak of covering as a double-digit favorite on the road, it would be this upcoming game in Cleveland.