An NFL team that last won a playoff game in 2016 is getting Super Bowl LVII love from sports bettors.
This marquee franchise is also heading into its first season since 2003 without its recently retired two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback.
Welcome to the crazy world of gambling!
STEELERS ODDS FOR 2022 SEASON (at FOX Bet)*
OVER/UNDER 7.5 WINS
Kenny Pickett to win Offensive Rookie of Year/Steelers over 7.5 wins: +1180 (bet $10 to win $128 total)
PICK: Steelers to miss the playoffs (-345 at FOX Bet, bet $10 to win $12.90 total)
* = as of 8/27/2022
Ben Roethlisberger retired during the offseason after two Super Bowl titles and the fifth-most passing yards in NFL history (64,088).
Having to replace a likely Hall of Fame quarterback would cause panic among most fan bases. Apparently not with Steelers bettors, FOX Bet associate trader Steven Hemke said.
“We have the second-most bets on the Steelers to win the Super Bowl, only behind the Eagles,” Hemke noted that FOX Bet operates in Pennsylvania. “Obviously, we are very Pennsylvania-driven, but the Steelers seem to be a popular choice across other books as well.”
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The Steelers have won the Super Bowl six times, tied with the New England Patriots for most in history.
But bettors like Pittsburgh’s chances to win No. 7 this season, even though the Steelers’ last Super Bowl win came during the 2008 season – rookie receiver George Pickens was 7 years old when Pittsburgh last won the Super Bowl.
“You kind of have two factions betting the Steelers,” said Ben Fawkes, VSiN Vice President of Digital Content. “First, you had people speculating very early on that with Big Ben retiring, maybe Deshaun Watson ends up landing there. It’s kind of like what you’ve seen in other sports when LeBron James was first a free agent – he had the ability to change the odds for his new team.
“From talking to bookmakers, a lot of this is also from public accumulation – people betting $10 here, $50 there. It makes sense, as Mike Tomlin has never had a losing season. The worst he’s had is 8-8.”
With Big Ben, the Steelers made the postseason 12 times, posting a 13-10 playoff mark.
“This franchise has been very consistent, thanks to Big Ben making the playoffs almost every season,” Hemke said. “The Steelers are a huge public team.”
To replace Roethlisberger, the Steelers drafted quarterback Kenny Pickett from nearby Pitt with the No. 20 pick.
“This team has many holes to fill along obviously at QB and along the offensive line,” Hemke stated. “The Steelers draft well, but I don’t even see them making the playoffs unless Pickett, who seems to play better than he practices, can ‘wow’ as a rookie this season.”
One of the most reliable maxims in football is it’s difficult to win without a good quarterback. The Steelers need to find a reliable replacement for Roethlisberger.
“It’s always difficult when you have a quarterback competition going on,” Fawkes said. “If the Steelers really had a quarterback of the future in Mason Rudolph, they wouldn’t have brought in (Mitchell) Trubisky and then drafted Pickett.
“Generally, if you have to pick between two quarterbacks, you have none.”
Fawkes and Hemke agree that the Steelers face a tough path to the postseason. Not only is Pittsburgh in a competitive division, but they also expect there to be a logjam of teams battling for wild-card spots in the AFC.
“There’s lots to work with there. I think people are taking a shot even though the AFC North is a tough division,” Fawkes said. “There’s so much indecision this year. People think anyone can win in that division so the Steelers at 10-1 makes sense.”
But, as Fawkes pointed out, you never know for sure with sports betting – that’s the No. 1 maxim.
“I can see value at 100-1 (to win the Super Bowl) and taking a shot at it,” Fawkes said. “It could happen. Certainly, crazier things have happened.”
Are you ready to back the new-look Steelers or fade the team in black and gold? If so, head over to FOX Bet for all your wagers.
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