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Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Odds – NFL Football Futures

Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Odds – NFL Football Futures

After coming up just short in last year’s Super Bowl, the Pittsburgh Steelers are once again poised to make a championship run. Still, the club has plenty of questions to answer heading into the 2011 season.

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A look at the numbers:

Last season – 12-4
Projection this season – 10-6
Steelers Super Bowl XLVI Odds – +1200
Steelers 2011-12 AFC Odds – +550
2011 Steelers AFC North Lines – Even

As usual, Pittsburgh was led by the Steel Curtain last season. The defense ranked first in points allowed, second in total yards and first in run defense at an absolutely absurd 62.8 yards per game. The law of averages suggests that number has to go back up, but even so Pittsburgh should have a formidable run defense.

The Steelers are also a terror against the pass, as they led the NFL with 48 sacks last season. That number could take a dip, though, as leading-sacker James Harrison (11 sacks last season) had offseason surgery. Harrison is getting a little long in the tooth and his body has taken a toll—he could be poised for a drop off. LaMarr Woodley (10 sacks) will need some help from former first-rounder Lawrence Timmons, who has just 15 career sacks through four seasons.

The biggest concern on defense was getting cornerback Ike Taylor re-signed. Pittsburgh pulled it off, so the secondary will have some continuity heading into this season. The club also added depth during the draft, picking up a defensive end (Cameron Heyward) and two cornerbacks (Curtis Brown, Cortez Allen) with three of its first four picks. Heyward was a great pick at the end of the first round and he could be an immediate contributor to a veteran defense.

On the other side of the ball, Ben Roethlisberger returns under center. Big Ben managed an impressive campaign (17 touchdowns, five interceptions) after missing the first four games due to a suspension. Duplicating that success is highly contingent on two factors: getting rid of the football and better protection. Deficiencies in both areas led to Roethlisberger and the rest of the Pittsburgh quarterbacks taking a whopping 43 sacks last season. That simply has to improve. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

However, chances are it won’t. Pittsburgh ’s offensive line situation remains muddy at best. Tackle Max Starks, who missed the last nine games of last season, was released (though he could return). They also released veteran OT Flozell Adams on Friday, a move made possible after the team agreed to terms with free agents Willie Colon and Jonathan Scott late Thursday night. Tackle remains in flux heading into training camp and beyond.

If Roethlisberger has time to throw, he has a ton of playmakers to work with. Mike Wallace (1257 yards, 10 touchdowns) is one of the best deep threats in the NFL, as he averaged an incredible 21.0 yards per catch on 60 receptions last season. Receiver Hines Ward remains an effective chain-mover, while tight end Heath Miller is a nice safety valve. Rashard Mendenhall gives the club a threat in the backfield after rushing for nearly 1300 yards last season, but he had 300-plus carries for the first time in his career and he wore down over the course of the season; Mendenhall should probably be used more sparingly this year.


Pittsburgh has a ton of talent, but it’s easy to see things going south, fast. That said, Pittsburgh battled through injuries, a suspension to its franchise player and the shortcomings of a terrible offensive line last year and still made it to the Super Bowl. The Steelers will be competitive once again.

Season Win total Prediction: 10-6

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About Ian Van Den Hurk

Ian Van Den Hurk has covered amateur and pro sports for years, including a successful run handicapping anything from football to mixed martial arts. Looking for more sports betting tips and expert sports handicapping articles from Ian V? We've got your back...