Ben Roethlisberger has missed the past three games and the Steelers line against the Chargers was left off the board until official word came in regarding his injured shoulder. If Big Ben was a go, we we're looking at Steelers -8 ½ and if Charlie Batch had to take over again, we were might have seen Steelers -4.
On Thursday, it was announced that Big Ben would play and Las Vegas sports books quickly posted the Steelers -7 ½ with a total of 41. A few books took immediate action on the Steelers and have bumped the side up to -8.
There was also other news Thursday regarding the Chargers. It seems that San Diego coach Norv Turner's nine lives have finally been used up. Apparently Turner and GM A.J. Smith will be let go at season's end. It's amazing that duo has been able to hang around as long as they have with so many underachieving seasons together.
November has typically been the month that Turner saved his job each year, making a big push for the playoffs and being fortunate that the AFC West was so weak, that a record at .500 or slightly better allowed them to get in. But they were left out last season and after winning their first game in November this season, they proceeded to lose their next four.
The Chargers have lost seven of their last eight games and don't look to be close to breaking that streak anytime soon. Their biggest problem this season has been protecting quarterback Philip Rivers. They have used a make-shift offensive line that rarely gives Rivers time to throw. It won't get any easier with the Steelers pass rush on Sunday.
Here's a look at some of the line movements at Las Vegas sports books for Week 14.
-- The Redskins were posted Sunday at pick 'em at home against the Ravens, but that was before their impressive win against the Giants. The Redskins were re-posted -1 ½ on Tuesday and then bet up to 2 ½.
-- The Browns have won two games in a row and will be favored for the second consecutive week. They opened as 5 ½-point home favorites against the Chiefs and have been bet up to -6 ½.
-- The Colts opened as 4 ½-point home favorites against the Titans and have been bet up to -5.
-- The Jets beat the Cardinals last week thanks to finally benching Mark Sanchez, but Sanchez is back as the starter this week at Jacksonville. The Jets opened as 2 ½-point road favorites and, surprisingly, were bet up to -3 (EVEN).
-- The Bears floundered last week at home against the Seahawks and opened as three-point favorites at Minnesota. Some sports books have gone to -2 ½. William Hill sports books offered a prop on Adrian Peterson reaching 2,000 yards this season with YES getting +175, NO -200. Peterson leads the NFL with 1,446 yards rushing and has four games remaining. Whether he gets the record or not, Peterson's come back has been one of the most impressive recoveries ever seen. Didn't the Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose have the same injury?
-- The Falcons opened 3 ½-point favorites at Carolina and the number hasn't moved. Cam Newton is coming off his best back-to-back games of the season and nearly beat the Falcons the first time around.
-- The Buccaneers opened as 9-point favorites Sunday night over the Eagles, before the Eagles showed some offense in their Sunday night game against the Cowboys. The line was re-posted at -7 and has been bet up to -7 ½.
-- The Bills laying 3-points at home against the Rams hasn't found any takers on either side.
-- The Bengals opened as 2-point home favorites against the Cowboys on Sunday night. After the Cowboys win over the Eagles in the SNF affair, the Bengals were posted at -2 1/2 and then bet up to -3. The Bengals have won and covered four games in a row, and the UNDER has come in all four times as well.
-- The 49ers opened 10-point favorites against the Dolphins and have been bet up -10 ½. The total has been bet up from 38 ½ to 39. Colin Kaepernick makes the 49ers more volatile than the conservative Alex Smith at quarterback. Kaepernick can make the sensational plays, but he's more apt to making mistakes which makes the 49ers a tough team to back any more, or side with the UNDER.
-- The Saints have lost two games in a row and will be traveling to New York to face the Giants this week. The Giants were early six-point favorites before their Monday night loss. They are currently -5.
-- The Seahawks opened as 10 ½-point home favorites against the Cardinals. The Cards will be hoping to avoid their ninth straight loss, but Seattle is not the ideal place to gain confidence as the Seahawks have won and covered all five home games this season.
-- The Packers opened as 7-point home favorites against the Lions and have been bet against, down to -6 ½. The Lions are currently on a four-game losing streak.
-- The big game of the week is Monday night between the 11-1 Texans and 9-3 Patriots. The Patriots opened up as 4 ½-point home favorites and Texans money has dropped the number to 3 ½. The Texans haven't lost on the road this season, but the Patriots have beat their last six opponents by an average of 40-20. The total dropped from 51 ½ to 51, despite the Patriots going OVER the total in nine of their past 10 games.