Buccaneers move from underdogs to favorites over Steelers on MNF

When CG Technology posted lines in May on every NFL game in Weeks 1 to 16, the Steelers were 6-point favorites over the Buccaneers on “Monday Night Football.”

Pittsburgh opened as a 3-point favorite over Tampa Bay after Week 2, when the Steelers lost to the Chiefs and the surprising Bucs beat the Eagles, and the line quickly dropped to 1.

Tampa Bay moved to a 1½-point favorite on Monday as bettors are backing the Buccaneers and hot quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in a big way.

“If you told me before the season started that we needed the Steelers against Tampa on the Monday night game in Week 3, I would’ve told you you’re crazy,” CG Technology sports book director Jason Simbal said. “But two weeks of play has shifted this line 7½ points. We need the Steelers in this one and they’re also betting the over quite a bit as well.”

The consensus total is 55 at Las Vegas sports books, with 54½ still available at a few spots.

CG Technology took a five-figure bet on the Bucs at minus-1 Monday morning and then took a mid-five figure wager on Tampa Bay laying 1½.

Seventy-six percent of the money is on the Buccaneers, who upset the Saints 48-40 in Week 1 and upset Philadelphia 27-21 behind Fitzpatrick, who has completed 48 of 61 passes for 819 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception.

Pittsburgh, which is reportedly fielding trade offers for holdout running back Le’Veon Bell, tied the Browns 21-21 in their opener and was shredded for six TDs by Patrick Mahomes in a 42-37 home loss to the Chiefs.

“I don’t know what to think,” Simbal said. “You figure when Big Ben and the Steelers need a big win to salvage the start of the season, they do. But they look like a mess. You might want to ride FitzMagic one more night. We’ll see.”

More betting: Follow all of our sports betting coverage online at reviewjournal.com/betting and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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