It’s the time of year the NFL usually releases the full slate of games for the upcoming season. Occurring sometime the week before the draft, the middle of April has become a focal points to NFL fans as they await the season schedule. But with the NFL reportedly creating the schedule in a way in which could be conducive to missing part of the season, the announcement of when games will be played has been postponed until May.
Fortunately, the home and away opponents for all 32 NFL teams have already been set for some time. So even though the day and time for particular games are not known, oddsmakers have still made opening lines based on matchups for every NFL game for the 2020 season.
Based on their opponents, the Steelers are favored in 10 of their 16 matchups according to BetOnline. To break them down according to home and away games, let’s begin with the contests in which the Steelers will travel. Of the eight road games, the Steelers are favored to win three games. The away games at which Steelers are favored in 2020 are against the New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals, and Jacksonville Jaguars. The closest line of any away game is the Steelers being a one-point underdog to the Cleveland Browns.
Pittsburgh +2½ @ Buffalo Bills
Pittsburgh +7 @ Baltimore Ravens
Pittsburgh -4 @ Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh +1 @ Cleveland Browns
Pittsburgh +3 @ Dallas Cowboys
Pittsburgh -6 @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Pittsburgh -2½ @ New York Giants
Pittsburgh +2 @ Tennessee Titans
When it comes to games played at Heinz Field, the Steelers are favored to win seven of their eight games. The games in which they are favored the most are against the Washington Redskins (-10) and the Cincinnati Bengals (-9.5). The only game in which the Steelers are not favored to win at home is against the Baltimore Ravens where they are 2.5-point underdogs.
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers +2½
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh Steelers -9½
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers -3½
Denver Broncos @ Pittsburgh Steelers -5½
Houston Texans @ Pittsburgh Steelers -5
Indianapolis Colts @ Pittsburgh Steelers -2½
Philadelphia Eagles @ Pittsburgh Steelers -1½
Washington Redskins @ Pittsburgh Steelers -10
With the exact dates of the games unknown, these lines could change slightly with the release of the NFL schedule. If the Steelers are playing a primetime game at home, chances are the odds would go a little bit more in their favor due to their history of success. Additionally, if the Steelers were to travel for a road game on a Thursday, such as Dallas on Thanksgiving day, the odds would probably not move in their favor being the team who has to travel on a short week.
When looking around the NFL, the only team who is favored in every game for 2020 is the Baltimore Ravens. Getting a matchup with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in Baltimore, the Ravens are currently a two-point favorite. The New Orleans Saints are favored in 14 games but are not underdogs in any as they have two “pick ‘em” games at Philadelphia and at Tampa Bay.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Jacksonville Jaguars are not favored in a single game in 2020 and are underdogs in all 16 . The New York Giants, Carolina Panthers, and Cincinnati Bengals are each only favored to win one game but each have at least one pick ‘em game.
One of the most interesting takeaways from looking at each division is the team projected to have the most wins in the AFC East. While many would expect New England to not be favored in as many games, it is actually the Miami Dolphins who are favored in 12 games, underdogs and three, and one game currently even (see EDIT below).
With the NFL draft still to come, there could be some movement on lines if a team is believed to make an upgrade at a key position such as quarterback. After the season gets underway, it is always fun to look back at the opening lines to see how much things have changed once teams have more of a body of work to judge rather than just the makeup of their roster.
EDIT: Although the site listed the Dolphins as favorites in 12 games and underdogs in three, the actual breakdown for each game appears to be the exact opposite. The Dolphins are only favored in three games while underdogs in 12 with one game even. Therefore the Buffalo Bills are favored to win the most games in the AFC East with 11. These predictions appear to make much more sense than those originally listed.