Should Faith Be Restored in the Pittsburgh Steelers?
December 30, 2020
The Pittsburgh Steelers looked like a great team to bet on for the first three months of the season. Since they were winning the game, of course, it made sense to bet on them from week to week.
But they also looked like a good bet to go undefeated, win the AFC North, the AFC, and maybe even the Super Bowl.
Things were looking so good for the Steelers that they had the second-best odds to win the Super Bowl next to the Kansas City Chiefs through the month of November and into December. The same was true for their odds to win the AFC.
But then they lost their first game of the season, a shocker to the Washington Football Team. As could be expected, their odds started to get longer. So, they slipped up for one game.
No big deal, right? Then they did it again, this time to the Buffalo Bills. Once again, their odds got longer.
Surely, they would get back on track the following week against the Cincinnati Bengals, right? They did not, of course, and their odds continued to climb higher.
The offense had gone from being effective to anemic. While the defense was still playing well overall, the injuries had begun to take a toll. Heading into Week 16, many fans that had bet on the Steelers to win the Super Bowl, AFC, and even the division were probably regretting doing so.
They probably felt even worse when the Steelers were down 24-7 heading into the half against the Indianapolis Colts. But then something wondrous happened in the second half—the offense came alive.
The defense did its job and effectively muzzled the Colts offense, and the Steelers were able to mount a comeback. With the 28-24 win, the Steelers locked down the AFC North division title.
But is one good half of football reason enough for faith to be restored? Can the Pittsburgh Steelers make a run in the playoffs?
Are the Pittsburgh Steelers a Good Postseason Bet?
That depends. Is that one half against a solid Colts defense enough proof to believe all is right in the world with the Steelers? For diehard fans and people that already have money on the Steelers, the answer is probably ‘yes.’
It would be nice to see the offense click again just to prove the second half against the Colts was not an isolated incident. But the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to sit Ben Roethlisberger and will likely sit others.
So, fans will have to wait to the wild card round to find out if the Steelers have regained their mojo or not. While fans are probably fine with that, gamblers that have yet to bet on the Steelers would prefer to have some answers.
Right now, the Steelers’ odds of winning the AFC are at +1000 (via DraftKings Sportsbook). They have not been that long since the end of Week Two.
As for their Super Bowl odds, DraftKings has them listed at +2200. The last time their odds were that high was the day after their season opener—but they were shorter by the next day.
To put those odds into context, a $100 bet on the Steelers will win $1000, while a month ago, it would have won about $250. A similar bet to win the Super Bowl will win $2200, but a month ago, it would have only been about $500.
If the Pittsburgh Steelers have regained their mojo, there is a ton of value in betting on them to win the AFC and the Super Bowl. But just because there is value, that does not mean they are a good bet.
So – How Should You Bet?
Before answering that question, it would be beneficial to take a look at the likely postseason road to Tampa Bay for the Pittsburgh Steelers. If the seeding in the AFC does not change after Week 17, they will face the Baltimore Ravens in the wild card round.
On the one hand, the Steelers did beat them twice this season. There is no reason to think they cannot do it again. But the second win came against a severely weakened Ravens team. Since getting healthy down the stretch, the Ravens have been crushing their opponents.
The defense has played well, and flashes of Lamar Jackson, the MVP, have been coming out. Pittsburgh will be catching the Ravens as they are peaking.
If they make it past the Ravens, they will probably face the Buffalo Bills, who may be the hottest team in the AFC heading into the postseason. Then, of course, there will be the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC title game.
It does not matter who will make the Super Bowl from the NFC since the Steelers will not make it that far.