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Week 11: Book rooting for Steelers

The proud Pittsburgh Steelers are tough to top as underdogs at home. Since 2000, the Steelers are 8-2-1 against the spread as home dogs. But bettors aren't buying into that trend this week, when Calvin Johnson and the Detroit Lions visit the Steelers as field-goal favorites. The Lions were listed anywhere from 2.5-point to 3-point favorites heading into the weekend.
Bovada reported heavy early action on the Lions, turning the online sportsbook into big Steelers fans. Weather could be a factor with rain and winds expected at Heinz Field on Sunday.
Bovada also is rooting for the surging Carolina Panthers, who have won five straight, including an impressive victory at San Francisco last week. The Panthers host Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in one of the better Monday Night matchups of the season.
Carolina is around a 1.5-point favorite over a New England team that has taken care of business as road underdogs over the years. The Patriots have covered the spread in eight of their last nine games as road underdogs. They’ve also shined in primetime, going 9-3 against the number in their last 12 appearances on Monday Night Football.
The short spread didn’t scare bettors away from backing the underdog Patriots early in the week. Bovada also reported that it needed the Panthers in another of its biggest decisions of the weekend. Bovada was offering the Panthers at -1 (-120) as of Friday.
It’s not as big of a decision as the two above, but Bovada also says it’s rooting for the distracted Miami Dolphins. With the Incognito-Martin story dragging on, the Dolphins host the San Diego Chargers. Miami is a small 1.5-point favorite over the Chargers. The Dolphins are coming off a disappointing loss to the Buccaneers. San Diego is coming off a loss to the Broncos.