The Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3) enter Sunday's matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs (4-6) as heavy favorites. According to SB Nation partner OddsShark, the oddsmakers initially favored the Steelers by 10.5 points on the road, but that line has shifted to as high as 11.5 in some outlets. The over-under is 39.5.
No doubt contributing to the big spread is the absence of Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, who is out for the season with a broken right (throwing) hand. Second-year quarterback Tyler Palko will take his place. In his first start for Cassel, Palko completed 24-of-37 (64.9 percent) passes for 230 yards, but also threw three interceptions and no touchdowns as the New England Patriots rolled the Chiefs, 34-3. Further, Kansas City is coming off a short week, as it played that loss to New England on Monday Night Football.
Palko's inexperience, coupled with the Steelers' defensive excellence--Pittsburgh allows just 17.9 points per game, No. 4 in the NFL--put the odds squarely against Kansas City. However, it is worth noting the Steelers were 11.5-point favorites in the last meeting between these teams, also played at Arrowhead Stadium, and they fell to the Chiefs in overtime, 27-24.