Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Preview 2018
Bet on the Pittsburgh Steelers
Nearly every season, the Steelers are Super Bowl contenders, and 2017 was not an exception. Pittsburgh ranked third in offense and fifth in defense in terms of yards. These numbers helped them to a 13-4 record despite their top stars missing games. Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell each missed a game, and Antonio Brown missed two.
There were two knocks on this team last year. First, they played down to their competition. They only beat the Browns by a combined seven points in two games. They also lost a game to Chicago. Add in the fact that they couldn’t beat Jacksonville in two games which were both in Pittsburgh, and it almost felt like a disappointing season. Getting bounced out of the playoffs in a divisional round game at home wasn’t how this season was supposed to end.
Key Offseason Changes
The Steelers are amongst the most stable organizations in the NFL. From front office to players to coaching staff, there are never a ton of changes from year to year. Mike Tomlin not renewing the contract of offensive coordinator Todd Haley was the biggest move of the offseason. During Haley’s times in Pittsburgh, the offense put up amazing numbers, but he was seemingly at odds with Roethlisberger.
The only other major departure was frequently dog housed wide receiver Martavis Bryant who was traded to the Raiders during the draft for a third-round pick. Bryant saw a significant loss in playtime partly because of non-football related problems plus the emergence of JuJu Smith-Schuster. The only other notable name is safety Mike Mitchell, but his drop in performance makes his exit irrelevant.
The Steelers quickly upgraded from Mitchell with the signing of the former Packers’ safety Morgan Burnett. The veteran is a couple of years younger than Mitchell and plays at a higher level. This isn’t the second coming of Troy Polamalu or anything, but Burnett is still a top safety in the league. He should make a great defense into an all-time defense this year.
It’s a good thing they signed Burnett to improve the defense because the draft was an unmitigated disaster. As it stands now, this draft might not have a signal player left in four seasons except James Washington, but even he was drafted earlier than projected. Taking Terrell Edmunds in the first round was a massive stretch. He isn’t the player his brother his. Washington was drafted in the second round, but he could have been taken later. Then, the Mason Rudolph was awful because he is a bad quarterback. The championship window for the Steelers was already closing, and this draft will slam it shut.
Betting on the Steelers
This is one of the last years for this team to push for the Super Bowl. Roethlisberger doesn’t have many years left, Le’Veon is on the reluctantly on the franchise tag, and the defense is good but doesn’t scare anyone anymore. Pittsburgh fans, enjoy this season because the recent stretch as a great team is coming to an end.
Win the AFC North
GUARENTEED WIN – This bet is easy money, but you won’t earn anything for it. The Steelers are the favorites by a large margin at -280. You’ll have to lay down some serious cash to make a decent return.
Win the AFC Championship
SAFE BET – At +400, only the Patriots are bigger favorites than Pittsburgh to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Like I said, this might be the last year for the team to make a push to the big game.
Win the Super Bowl
GIVE IT A SHOT – I’m not sold on this team taking it all the way this year because I don’t think anyone fears the defense and a new offensive coordinator is scary. However, at +1,000, it is a nice return a favored team.
UNDER -110 – The Steelers sit at 10.5 for the over/under win total, and I have to take the under. It is a tough decision considering I think this team has a good chance of making a super bowl run, but I think they stall at 10 wins. Their schedule is grueling this year. They can win this division with nine wins.