When the 2015 NFL Schedule was released, the betting lines accompanied the schedule, and the opening game of the 2015 season which has the Pittsburgh Steelers traveling to the New England Patriots on Septemeber 10th was a game which saw the Patriots as heavy home favorites. Why wouldn't they be favored, since the NFL moved the kickoff game to Thursday night, whenever the Super Bowl Champions hosted the game they haven't lost. The early line was the Patriots giving the Steelers 6.5 points.
Then Monday happened, and the NFL revealing the 4-game suspension of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The discipline means the Steelers will be facing Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 1. How big of a deal is this? Just look to Las Vegas for the answer. Although many sports books have yet to place a line on this game yet (when the Wells report was released most sports books removed the game until NFL discipline took place), but several have re-opened their windows for the game and the early line is the Patriots -1.
Steelers fans might scoff at this spread as the Steelers go from a seemingly no-win situation to a game where they likely should leave Foxborough with a victory under their belt. Nonetheless, the Patriots are still the defending champions and will have plenty to play for on September 10th.
The overall spread isn't the only gambling line to change. The over/under on the Week 1 game started at 54.5, but has since dropped to 49. For those who don't know, the over/under line is to show the total points scored by both teams. In other words, the suspension of Brady has Vegas thinking there won't be nearly as many points scored without Brady as if he were in the lineup.
If fans are realistic with themselves, they will realize Bill Belichick will have plenty of time to draft a game plan for the Week 1 matchup as well as the games which the team won't have Brady in the lineup. For Pittsburgh fans to think this game will be a cake walk might be a bit presumptuous.