With a tumultuous off season in which the locker room culture was vastly improved, the Pittsburgh Steelers admittedly moved on from high-quality NFL talent in order to promote more of a team concept. While these moves gave the majority of Steelers’ fans more confidence heading into 2019, the odds makers in Las Vegas chose to focus solely on the production lost from the 2018 season when determining the Steelers projected success this year. Because of this, the Steelers were not favored to win their division in place of the Cleveland Browns, a team who is only 14 games removed from a 1-37-1 stretch. According to the experts, the Steelers were a team on the decline.
What is interesting is once the Steelers arrived in Latrobe for training camp and won their first three games of the preseason, they appeared to possibly be closer to the team who made the playoffs from 2014 to 2017 than the team which came up just short last season. Add in the fact they are entering the 2019 season very healthy, the odds makers are coming back around with their thoughts for the Steelers’ chances this year. In just about every futures bet available, the Steelers have been trending in the direction of “shorter odds.” What this means is that the payouts for betting on the Steelers are less because they are more likely to reach these goals.
For example, according to betonline.ag, the Steelers have moved from 25/1 odds to win the Super Bowl in April to 22/1 odds to begin the season. When it comes to odds of winning the AFC conference championship, the Steelers moved from 12/1 to 11/1. The biggest change came from the Steelers being 2/1 odds in May to win the AFC North up to 3/2 for the start of the 2019 season. As for the Cleveland Browns, their odds of winning the division went from 1/1 to the longer odds of 8/5. The moves of both these teams combined now gives the result of the Steelers having better odds to win the AFC North than the Cleveland Browns. With all of this being the case, the Steelers have now moved from not being favored to make the playoffs to being favored with 5/6 odds of reaching the postseason.
As for win totals on the season, the Steelers were projected at 8.5 wins back in April, one game less than their 9-6-1 record from 2018. But with the regular season now upon us, their win total has moved up to 9.5 wins which is currently tied for the fifth highest win total in the NFL with the Eagles, Chargers, Bears, and Packers. The only teams whose wins are projected higher than the Steelers are the Patriots (11), Chiefs (10.5), Rams (10.5), and Saints (10.5).
If you are a person who likes to gamble on the NFL, the odds were much better for placing a wager on the Steelers back in May than what they are now. But if you’re like me and look at the odds to see the expectations for the season, this movement is in the right direction. As the season rolls on, hopefully these odds continue to get worse for those wagering on the Steelers while continuing to improve for those of us merely wanting to see the Steelers make a long run in 2019.