The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a very disappointing season a year ago, as they missed the playoffs and failed to win at least 10 games for the first time since 2013. The Steelers head into the 2019 season without Antonio Brown, but they seem to have better chemistry and optimism is high in Pittsburgh that the team will bounce back this season. If the Steelers don’t make the playoffs for the second straight year it could spell the end of the Mike Tomlin era in Pittsburgh. Let’s look at the odds on the Steelers making the playoffs and some things to consider.
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Steelers Odds to Make the Playoffs
Steelers Playoff Odds Analysis
The Steelers play in the AFC North which is expected to be a very competitive division in 2019. No longer is the division all about the Steelers and Ravens, as the Browns are vastly improved and the Bengals have a new head coach. If you think the Steelers will make the playoffs the price is reasonable at just -152. If you think the Steelers will miss out again then you can get +119.
Pittsburgh Steelers Odds
The big news in the offseason for the Steelers was the trade of Antonio Brown to Oakland. Brown was a great player for Pittsburgh, but he was also a constant problem on the sidelines and now he is gone. The Steelers have plenty of receivers who can take over for Brown, so he may not be missed as much as some people think. JuJu Smith-Schuster had an excellent season a year ago, catching 111 passes for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns. He now takes over the number one spot and Pittsburgh has depth behind him including James Washington. Pittsburgh still has an elite quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger and they shouldn’t have any problem scoring points. The Steelers feature James Conner in the backfield and they have one of the best offensive lines in the league.
The key for Pittsburgh this season will be the defense. The Steelers traded up in the NFL Draft to take Devin Bush and he already looks like a future star. Pittsburgh also upgraded the secondary with the addition of Steven Nelson. The Steelers need their defense to keep games from turning into shootouts this season. The defense looked much faster in the preseason than a year ago with Devin Bush leading the way.
Safety Terrell Edmunds said to ESPN that the defense is all-in. “We’re trying to go out there together, fight together, win together, and hopefully we don’t, but we’ll lose together.” Mike Hilton said that this season the players are comfortable together. “We’re all comfortable,” Hilton said to the media, “We’ve got a lot of guys who are versatile. We’ve got a room full of guys who are able to make plays at different positions. That helps our defense. We ask each other questions. We pay attention to what each other is doing. We’re confident in where guys can play. It just makes us versatile. It definitely feels more real.”
When you look at whether or not a team will make the playoffs you not only have to consider the overall team, but their schedule. The Steelers schedule is tough early but easy late. They open up at New England against the defending Super Bowl champions and then have to host Seattle in Week 2. Pittsburgh gets no break in Week 3 having to travel across the country to play at San Francisco. Games at home against Cincinnati and Baltimore should be wins but then the Steelers have to go across country again to face the Chargers in Week 6. The Bye for the Steelers comes in Week 7 and then they get two games against the Dolphins and Colts they should win. The Steelers then face the Rams, Browns twice and Bengals before closing out with winnable games against Arizona, Buffalo, the Jets and Ravens.
The Steelers should win at least 10 games this season and that should be enough to get them back into the playoffs, so the Yes looks like a decent play at the current odds.
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