When I was eleven years old, my father explained to me everything there was to know about sports betting. What the betting spread was, how odds worked, as well as several tips to pick winners. Most kids’ dads taught them how to ride a bike. For me, it was parlays, teasers, and more.

Since then, I’ve always been eager to find edges in the world of football betting and I’ve come up with an overall philosophy and a few rules. Most of those are of a mathematical nature but some are based on players and/or coaches. Here’s one of the biggest ones:

Do not bet against Pittsburgh Steelers‘ HC Mike Tomlin when he’s an underdog. In fact, try to bet him as much as possible in that situation. And although that could be forced to change now that Tomlin doesn’t have Ben Roethlisberger, I’ll stick to that rule until convinced otherwise.

That’s particularly important this weekend as the Steelers are 2.5-point underdogs versus a New England Patriots team that looked completely uninspiring on offense last weekend.

Consider the following numbers from Action Network:

“He’s now 46-23-2 (against the spread as an underdog), covering two of every three, and that includes a pristine 14-3-2 ATS at home, covering 82% of the time by 6.5 points per game with an impressive 13-6 record straight-up.”

That’s an impressive track record for the Steelers head coach. And I’ll tell you something, I believe intangibles in football tend to be romanticized or overrated but I’d be lying if I said I don’t believe Tomlin’s attitude lights a fire on his army of men.

Earlier this week, safety Minkah Fitzpatrick joined The Pat McAfee Show and discussed Tomlin’s all-in approach.

“He’s a players’ coach,” said the Steelers defensive star who got in the endzone last weekend. He also talked about a particular message Tomlin shares with his team consistently as a motivation tactic.

“Coach T has this phrase where he says ‘cut your eyelids off,” said Fitzpatrick. “Don’t blink. That means that no matter what’s going on in the game, don’t act surprised. Don’t act like we’re out.”

The Steelers will need games to be nasty, low-scoring affairs in order to win in 2022. While they still don’t look like a playoff team (they have a lot to clean up), you can’t rule them out of any game. Not with Tomlin at the helm.

As for this weekend? Home underdogs? You know the Steelers will be in it versus Mac Jones and company. Even without T.J. Watt, the defensive front should give the Patriots’ offensive line trouble. As long as they keep this from being an efficient running game from New England’s RB duo, they should be able to escape with the “upset” win.

Give me the points and Steelers in the money line.

Featured image via Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports