2018 NFL Season: Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Recap
No team has made more headlines this offseason than the Pittsburgh Steelers. Unfortunately for them, they also made plenty during the 2018 campaign—and not for the right reasons. Running back Le’Veon held out during the preseason, then held out through the first few games of the regular season, then held out some more, and some more, and ultimately never came back. Wide receiver Antonio Brown played but was never happy, and it showed in both his behavior and his performance. When 2018 was all said and done, it is only fair to say that the Steelers got what they deserved. Let’s take a look at the Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Recap for the season.
For the first time since 2013, Pittsburgh missed the playoffs. Head coach Mike Tomlin’s team came close, but it could not quite overcome all the extracurricular shenanigans. Although Pittsburgh put itself in contention with a six-game winning streak midway through the year, a slow start and a disastrous finish were the difference in giving the players and coaches all-too-early tee times. The Steelers were 1-2-1 through four weeks (with a tie against Cleveland that looked worse at the time than it turned out to be) and went 2-4 down the stretch to seal their own fate. They were alive until the last seconds of the last day, but they needed their own win over Cincinnati (which happened) combined with a Browns victory over Baltimore (which didn’t) to capture the AFC North title. The Ravens held off Cleveland 26-24 to stick the nail in the coffin.
Steelers Against the Spread
Only Tennessee and Miami (both were 8-8 ATS and 8-8 O/U) resulted in less money changing hands than Pittsburgh over the course of the season. Whether you backed the Steelers or faded them, nothing much happened. They went a close-to-even 8-7-1 ATS, but not without a bit of a roller-coaster ride along the way. Mostly in keeping with its SU record, Pittsburgh started slow (2-4-1 ATS) before going on a 5-0 ATS streak. If that inspired confidence in the betting public, the betting public was out of luck. The Steelers promptly limped to a 1-3 ATS record down the stretch to level out just about at .500 in that department.
The over/under also didn’t do much for anyone, as PIT finished an exactly even 8-8 O/U. Despite not having Bell, the Steelers were fourth in the NFL in total offense and sixth in scoring. James Conner (12 rushing touchdowns) proved to be an adequate replacement, Brown was at least very good if not dominant, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger led the league with 5,129 passing yards. Pittsburgh’s defense was also solid (sixth overall, 16th in scoring) which is why games didn’t sail over the total on a consistent basis.
Team in turmoil
Brown is demanding a trade and the organization has already confirmed that it will grant those wishes. Bell is a free agent after skipping the entire season and he will obviously sign elsewhere. Roethlisberger is 37 years old and needs as many weapons around him as possible, but clearly it looks like he will have less than usual at his disposal in 2019. According to the most recent odds, Indianapolis is a +300 favorite to trade for Brown; San Francisco, Oakland, and the Jets are +500 second choices. Indianapolis and Oakland are +400 favorites to sign Bell. The Steelers are +800 to win the AFC (tied for the fourth-best odds) and +1600 to win the Super Bowl (tied for the eighth-best odds). In other words, expectations are low by this franchise’s lofty standards.