Betting the Steelers Win Total for 2020

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By: Zach Herbaugh


I previously released an article detailing who I thought was the best bet to win NFL Comeback Player of the Year. There are several other propositional bets regarding the Pittsburgh Steelers that I believe are sure-fire to earn you some money at the end of the season. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be covering which bets I think are easy winners, starting with the win total for the Steelers in 2020.

At the beginning of each off-season, typically after the release of the NFL schedule, Vegas insiders release their Over/Under win totals for each team. This bet is as simple as it sounds – you are placing a bet on how many games out of 16 you think a team will win. The Steelers are coming off an 8-8 season in 2019 in which they were without their franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. After a second straight year in which the Steelers have failed to make the postseason, oddsmakers have set the O/U win total at 9 for the Steelers. Below are five reasons why you should bet the over 9 wins for the Steelers:


1. Strength of Schedule

The Steelers currently have the second easiest schedule according to 2019 opponent win percentage. The combined record of the Steelers opponents for the upcoming season in 2019 was 117-139 (.457-win percentage). Yes, this includes the Cincinnati Bengals who had the worst record in the league last year at 2-14, but it also includes the Baltimore Ravens who had the best record in the league in 2019 at 14-2. These two teams essentially counteract one another and this still leaves the Steelers with the second easiest schedule in the NFL.


2. History

Under head coach Mike Tomlin, the Steelers have never had a losing record. Since Tomlin took over for Bill Cowher in 2007, the Steelers have also never missed the playoffs in three consecutive seasons. Tomlin has been one of the most successful coaches since he became the head coach of the Steelers and has a career win percentage of .645%. Tomlin has an amazing ability to captivate a locker room and truly get the best out of his player’s week in and week out. It’s hard to believe a team that has only upgraded since the end of last season will not be significantly better under Tomlin in 2020 and win more than 9 games.


3. Opponent Turnover

The Steelers have one of the few rosters/coaching staffs in the NFL without significant changes since last season. The majority of the teams the Steelers will be playing have either changed head coaches or quarterbacks since the 2019 season commenced. The New York Giants, Cleveland Browns (x2), Dallas Cowboys, and Washington Redskins all have new head coaches for the 2020 season, while the Cincinnati Bengals (x2), Indianapolis Colts have new quarterbacks. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos are also currently committed to second-year quarterbacks with little NFL experience. So in total, the Steelers will play HALF (8/16) of their games against teams with a new head coach or starting quarterback. In a shortened off-season in which coaches and quarterbacks have had their time together significantly reduced, this only works in the Steelers favor.


4. Stephon Tuitt

The Steelers had one of the best defenses in the NFL last year. However, one of the best players on their defense went down very early in the season – Stephon Tuitt. In just 5+ games last year, Tuitt had 3.5 sacks, 6 tackles for loss, 7 quarterback hits, and 22 combined tackles. Tuitt has quickly become one the best defensive lineman in the NFL and the Steelers are at the top of their game when he is on the field. Tuitt coming back is not only going to solidify the Steelers as the best defense in the NFL, but will also help them to easily win more than 9 games against a schedule that does not have top tier interior offensive lineman to stop him.


5. Ben Roethlisberger

It’s hard to ignore the glaring difference between the Steelers with Roethlisberger and the Steelers without him. Since Roethlisberger busted onto the scene in 2004, he has consistently been one of the top quarterbacks in the game and the Steelers have done nothing but win. The Steelers were still able to go 8-6 without Roethlisberger last year, a feat that many found unbelievable for a team playing without their franchise quarterback. The Steelers average better than a touchdown a game, an additional 130 pass yards per game, and are 8% better on third down when Roethlisberger is under center. 3 out of the last 4 quarterbacks over the age of 35 have won 12 or more games when coming off a season-ending surgery and its highly likely Roethlisberger will make it 4 out of the last 5.


As I stated in the previous article – prop bets are risky and can be nerve-wracking. However, don’t fret when making this bet as the Steelers are almost a guarantee to win more than 9 games in 2020.

How many games do you think the Steelers will win? Are there other prop bets you like for the Steelers? Sound off in the comments below!


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