Quarterback is the most important position in football and with the impactful injury news coming down about New Orleans Saints signal-caller Drew Brees and Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, Odds Shark is seeing heavy movement on their Super Bowl and divisional odds.
The Steelers saw a massive drop with their Super Bowl 54 odds going from +2600 to +5000 following a Week 2 loss to the Seahawks along with the news that Big Ben will miss the rest of the season.
The Saints’ odds saw a sizable move from +1200 to +2000 to win Super Bowl 54 with Brees expected to miss six to eight weeks due to torn ligaments in his thumb.
How Do the Saints/Steelers Perform Without Roethlisberger/Brees
As tough as Ben Roethlisberger is, he has been susceptible to injuries in his 16-year career. The two-time Super Bowl champion has missed 21 games since his second season in the NFL and there is some drop-off offensively when the Steelers have to go to their backup quarterback.
Take a look below at the table that shows how Pittsburgh fares with and without Big Ben in the lineup since 2005:
|Steelers Offense||With Roethlisberger||Without Roethlisberger|
|Number of Games||224||21|
|Points Per Game||24.2||21.4|
|Rushing Yards Per Game||109.9||124.3|
|Rushing Yards Per Attempt||3.7||5.1|
|Time of Possession||31.9||30.5|
As you can see, the passing offense takes a massive dip as the Steelers have tended to lean on their running game immensely instead of the backup quarterback.That means running backs James Conner and Jaylen Samuels will likely see a heavy load for the foreseeable future.
The Steelers still have a ton of talent on both sides of the ball to remain competitive but they could be in trouble with the Niners, Bengals, Ravens and Chargers upcoming over the next four weeks.
Pivoting over to the Saints’ predicament, there isn’t much of a sample size without Brees, who has been an ironman for New Orleans since he arrived in 2009. He’s missed three starts (four games total if you count Week 2 of 2019) since arriving in the Bayou and two of them were meaningless Week 17 games when they had a playoff spot locked up.
So, it’s hard to parse the data to find an edge to project what the Saints offense would look like without Breesus. Here is the data so you can see for yourself:
|Saints Offense||With Brees||Without Brees|
|Number of Games||221||4|
|Points Per Game||28.0||13.8|
|Rushing Yards Per Game||108.8||105.5|
|Rushing Yards Per Attempt||3.0||4.2|
|Time of Possession||31.3||29.6|
Not much to take from this information but the points per game and passing yards drops are startling!
AFC North and NFC South Outlook
Prior to the season, the Steelers were +185 to win the division and second in odds behind the Browns. Now, the Steelers have dropped to +700, which is third in the division. They trail the Ravens (-125) and Browns (+140) and are slightly ahead of the 0-2 Bengals at +3300.
As for the NFC South, oddsmakers are not buying the Saints’ competition to usurp them in the division with New Orleans still an odds-on favorite at -125. That’s a dip from -190, which was the Saints’ odds prior to the season, but I’m dubious that New Orleans can tread water for six to eight weeks without Brees in the lineup.
Week 3 Outlooks for Steelers and Saints
The Steelers are currently +7 underdogs for their Week 3 game in San Francisco while the Saints are +4.5 dogs for their game in Seattle.
When the lookahead Week 3 lines were released last week, the Steelers were 1.5-point road favorites while the Saints were 1-point underdogs vs the Seahawks. Oddsmakers have deemed that Roethlisberger is worth 8.5 points to the spread while Brees is worth 3.5 points.
I don’t necessarily agree with the Steelers spread as I’m not as high on the 49ers as some are and think QB Mason Rudolph has some upside in that offense.
As for the Saints, I think they’re only 4.5-point dogs because oddsmakers and bettors aren’t certain which quarterback they’ll run out there (Teddy Bridgewater or Taysom Hill) for Week 3. Head coach Sean Payton is an offensive magician but even he may have trouble pulling a rabbit out of his hat.
Check out the betting previews for Saints-Seahawks and Steelers-49ers to get the most recent betting info before placing your wagers.