Pittsburgh Steelers vs Denver Broncos NFL Betting Odds Preview and Pick

August 18 2012; Denver, CO, USA;Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) in the second quarter of a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Peyton Manning makes his highly anticipated return to NFL action this Sunday when the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos meet at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

But there is trouble brewing for Bronco backers. Denver is a 2-point favorite Sunday, but they have been by far the worst home team against the spead as a favorite in recent history.

"Since 2006, they are 5-24-1 ATS in that role at home, which is a money-bleeding situation for Denver fans," said Jack Randall of OddsShark.com, which provides NFL odds to SBNation.com.

For the first time ever, Peyton Manning will take the field in an NFL game without wearing the familiar white and blue of Indianapolis. Denver won the AFC West last season with an 8-8 record (7-8-1 ATS). While Tim Tebow received the headlines, it was the Broncos defense that carried the team.

Now boasting one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game on offense, the Broncos are hoping for a repeat of last year's defensive success to lead to a successful AFC West Title defense.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were AFC Champions in 2010, and followed that up with a strong 12-4 regular season in 2011. And they are 2-7 ATS in their past nine September road games as well, making them one of the worst NFL Week 1 bets.

With Ben Roethlisberger leading a talented passing attack featuring Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace to go along with one of the league's best defenses, the Steelers once again have the tools to compete for an AFC North title and to do some damage in the playoffs.

Of course, the Steelers weren't able to do damage in the playoffs last season as their playoffs came to an early end at the hand of these Denver Broncos. Tim Tebow's touchdown pass in overtime sealed Pittsburgh's fate, and the Steelers have had all offseason to dwell on that game.

Tebow may be gone, but Pittsburgh's anger from last year's defeat certainly hasn't subsided.

Even in Peyton Manning's glory days, the Pittsburgh Steelers' gritty defense has given him some trouble. When you factor in the time it takes to get acclimated to a new team as well as the Steelers' chomping at the bit for revenge, you have to like Pittsburgh in this one to spoil Manning's debut and Denver's home opener here in 2012.

PICK: Pittsburgh +2.0 (courtesy of Pick Shark)

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