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Pittsburgh Steelers Bettors Stand Behind Big Ben

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Jul/27/2009
Big Ben Rape

Whether he did it or not, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (better known perhaps as simply "Big Ben") enters the 2009/2010 NFL season with external distractions.

A woman has filed a lawsuit accusing Roethlisberger of raping her last summer in his Lake Tahoe penthouse. 

Roethlisberger's lawyer adamantly denied the allegations last Tuesday.

"Ben has never sexually assaulted anyone. The timing of the lawsuit and the absence of a criminal complaint and a criminal investigation are the most compelling evidence of the absence of any criminal conduct. If an investigation is commenced, Ben will cooperate fully and Ben will be fully exonerated," David Cornwell said in a statement.

Sports bettors have expressed mixed sentiment over the matter.

"Some extra money has been coming in on the Ravens winning the AFC North today," Dave Stanley, spokesperson for Sportsbook.com, told Gambling911.com last week.  "I guess some of the bettors out there feel this story has some legs."

But Pittsburgh fans are standing by Big Ben and their Steelers.

Chuck Spangler, a sports bettor originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a few hundred miles east of Pittsburgh, told the Post-Gazette, Big Ben doesn't strike him as a player whose performance will suffer.

"When he's concentrating on the game, I don't think it affects him a whole lot," he said. "The good ones can compartmentalize it. It probably affects [his teammates] more. You know, all the extra reporters that are asking questions of them."

Michael O'Dazier of Alabama suggested the situation might make Roethlisberger play even harder. 

"I saw him at that press conference. He's furious," Mr. O'Dazier said. "He might play better. Once he puts on that uniform, I think he'll block it all out and play the game."

Mr. Jackson said he didn't think it would affect Mr. Roethlisberger one way or the other. And it won't affect how he wagers.

"I don't care about things like that. All I care about is the point spread," he said. "It's not like we're on a jury. We're sports fans, and that's what matters."

The Pittsburgh Steelers remained the favorites to win the 2009 AFC North at -225.

The Ravens would currently pay $350 for every $100 bet if wagers are locked in now and they win the AFC North.

These numbers have not fluctuated much since the initial action came into Sportsbook.com immediately following news of the allegations. 

Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter 

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