There is high hope for Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018. In fact, their odds to win the AFC North have not been higher since 2004, the year Ben Roethlisberger was drafted. Let’s look a little deeper into the Steelers and the AFC North, but from a slightly different perspective.
Handicappers and lines setters have always looked at sports different than the common fan, they see implied probabilities. The models they create to get their betting lines can be excellent indicators of what is to come. With sports betting now legal in Jersey and Delaware, and on the cusp of being opened up in several other states we are going to see more and more of this information coming out on our everyday sports channels. We’re going to cross-reference some of this information from a sportsbook like 5dimes and Bookmaker to get a better read the AFC North and the Steelers
Key Points of Interest
The Steelers are the second favorites to win the AFC (behind the New England Patriots) and third biggest favorite to win the Super Bowl. Pittsburgh also has the second highest season win total, just a half-game behind the Patriots, but are the only team in the AFC North that is NOT favored to go OVER their projected season wins total.
Regular Season Wins in the AFC North
- Pittsburgh Steelers OVER/UNDER 10.5 Games (favored to go UNDER -140)
- Baltimore Ravens OVER/UNDER 8 Games (favored to go OVER -140)
- Cincinnati Bengals OVER/UNDER 6.5 Games (favored to go OVER -165
- Cleveland Browns OVER /UNDER 5.5 Games (favored to go OVER -142)
I find it interesting that the despite the Steelers being the far and away favorites to win the AFC North, have gone over their season wins total for the last five seasons, and having a strength of schedule that ranks among the easiest in the league, the Steelers are underdogs to win 11 games. Meanwhile, the Browns who couldn’t get a single win last season, and have the 5th toughest schedule, are suddenly going to win six games because they have Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield as a QB tandem?
Notable Steelers Player Props
Antonio Brown leads the league on the odds boards to finish the season with the most receiving yards at +300 or 3/1. The next closest is Julio Jones at +600 or 6/1. Antonio Brown is also tied for second to finish the season with the most touchdowns at +700 7/1, behind Andre Hopkins at +500.
Le’Veon Bell is listed at +400 or 4/1 to lead the league in rushing touchdowns. Ahead of Bell is Zeke Elliot 2/1, David Johnson 2/1, Melvin Gordon 2/1, Leonard Fournette 3/1, and Kareem Hunt +250 or 5/2.
Big Ben sits among the most likely QBs to throw the most passing yards in the 2018 season. He is tied for second alongside Phillip Rivers at +300 or 3/1 and sits just behind Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers who are all at +2/1.
Matchups for all 16 Weeks
The Steelers are listed as favorites on the early odds for all but two games. In Week 9 against the Ravens in Baltimore, the game is set at a pick ‘em, meaning there is no favorite in the games. And in Week 16 against the Saints in New Orleans, the Steelers are just 1-point underdogs.
So what does this mean when we add it all up? Multiple Steelers players are expected to be at the top of the league in player stats, highly favored to win the AFC North, and the second favorite to win the conference, and favored on the early lines in 14 out of 16 games … It means that there is a serious flaw in the Steelers season wins total line, and there is serious value in taking Pittsburgh to win more than 10.5 games at +116. The line should have been set at 11.5.
Based off this new information, my prediction is the Men of Steel win at least 12 games in 2018.