PITTSBURGH -- The second half of the Pittsburgh Steelers' win over the Tennessee Titans left a poor taste in the players', coaches' and fans' mouths. And apparently, it did the same for oddsmakers.
As the clock struck zero, the Steelers handed the Titans their first loss of the season and became the last remaining undefeated team in the AFC - eventually the NFL. Yet still, they opened Week 8 as a dark horse.
The Steelers currently sit a +5.5 underdog to their AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens, according to BetOnline.ag.
Not being favored on the road against a one-loss Ravens team isn't a surprise. M&T Bank Stadium isn't a friendly place for the Steelers. Now, they'll face a 4,000 fan crowd and enter their second consecutive road game against what Ben Roethlisberger said might be the best team they'll face thus far.
"A lot of our games have been at home which you expect to win, but to go on the road twice and to come here to an AFC team that's undefeated as well and play them, it feels really good," Roethlisberger said following the Steelers' win over the Titans. "But we know what's coming up next week, we can throw the records and all the other stuff out the window, because we got a team coming off the bye that's one of the best in football."
Would the odds still be this far apart if the Steelers didn't struggle in the second half, though? If they kept their 24-7 lead and dominated the Titans through four quarters the way they did two, is nearly a touchdown underdog how they'd be looked upon?
It's hard to say yes. The Steelers were everything you're starting to imagine they are when they took the field on Sunday in Tennessee. Derrick Henry couldn't get anything going, the offense was moving with ease, and they were claiming every stat line they could for the first 30 minutes.
Then, the second half hit, they started to allow the comeback, and a missed field goal kept them undefeated for another week. But that perfect record is expected to have a blemish in Week 8.
"We're kind of hard on ourselves this year," guard David DeCastro said Monday. "We have high expectations for ourselves. Offense, defense. No one's complacent right now. We're staying grounded and just looking get better. We know it's a big test thing week."
It looks like the oddsmakers are a bit harder on the Steelers than themselves.