Steelers' Betting Guide Ahead of 2022 NFL Season

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxCorrespondent IAugust 8, 2022

Steelers' Betting Guide Ahead of 2022 NFL Season

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 09: Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin reacts after Chase Claypool #11 caught the ball over defender Patrick Peterson #7 of the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter of the game at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 9, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
    Can HC Mike Tomlin keep Pittsburgh in playoff contention this season? (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

    The Pittsburgh Steelers head into the 2022 season with perhaps more uncertainty than we've seen in early two decades. Longtime starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is retired, and it's unclear whether the competition between Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and rookie Kenny Pickett will yield a quality starter.

    The Steelers also reside in the brutal AFC North, which features the perennially contending Baltimore Ravens and the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals.

    It's hard to know just what to expect from Pittsburgh this season, though the oddsmakers in Las Vegas certainly have their opinions. We'll dive into those opinions and make a few predictions of our own here.

    Below, you'll find a full Steelers' betting guide, complete with odds, projections and player props for the 2022 season. All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook.

Odds to Win the AFC North: +1000

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 25: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) throws the ball during the team's OTA practice on May 25, 2022, at the Steelers Practice Facility in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Mitch Trubisky appears to be the front-runner at QB. (Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    It doesn't feel very likely that the Steelers will claim the AFC North for the second time in three seasons. The Bengals and Ravens (if healthy) should be quite good, but Pittsburgh has plenty of question marks.

    The biggest is at quarterback, where Trubisky appears to be the front-runner. He has the most starting experience among Steelers QBs, but he's been far from flawless in training camp.

    "Trubisky hasn't been consistent at all," The Athletic's Mark Kaboly wrote last week.

    Regardless of who emerges as the starter from the preseason—which kicks off Saturday against the Seattle Seahawks—Pittsburgh will have the division's third-best quarterback behind Cincinnati's Joe Burrow and Baltimore's Lamar Jackson (assuming Cleveland's Deshaun Watson will be suspended for part of the season).

    This, combined with a questionable offensive line and a defense that ranked 23rd in points allowed last season, makes Pittsburgh an extreme long shot in the division.

    The Steelers are +1000 (bet $100 to win $1000) to win the AFC North. The Cleveland Browns have the third-longest odds at +300, while the Ravens and Bengals are +155 and +190, respectively.

    Here's the thing, though. The Steelers are almost always relevant in the AFC North, and 10-1 odds are hard to pass up. The potential payoff is huge, and this is one long shot worthy of a small wager.

Win Total: Over/Under 7

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 25: Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) smiles during the team's OTA practice on May 25, 2022, at the Steelers Practice Facility in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Najee Harris and the Steelers should run their way to .500. (Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    While picking the Steelers to win the division feels like a gamble worth the risk, picking them to top seven wins almost feels like easy money.

    Yes, the quarterback position is unsettled. Yes, the defense was a borderline embarrassment in 2021—it ranked dead-last against the run. Sure, the divisional competition is fierce. Pittsburgh is also tied for the 12th-toughest schedule in terms of opponents' 2021 winning percentage (.512).

    However, the Steelers still have several great individual players. T.J. Watt is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. Running back Najee Harris and wideout Diontae Johnson were Pro Bowlers in 2021.

    Despite having deficiencies along the line and on defense, the Steelers were a playoff team last season. Even if the Steelers quarterback is near the bottom of the divisional talent pool, he shouldn't be much worse than a 39-year-old Roethlisberger was in 2021.

    Perhaps most importantly, though, the Steelers still have Mike Tomlin as their head coach. Under him, Pittsburgh has never experienced a losing season. Despite all of the question marks, it feels unlikely that Tomlin's impressive streak will come to an end in 2022.

    The Steelers simply aren't a sub-.500 team. Bettors should take the over here with a relatively high amount of confidence.

Player Props

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 16: Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18) before an AFC wild card playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs on Jan 16, 2022 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Pro Bowl WR Diontae Johnson finally got his contract extension. (Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    While the oddsmakers don't expect the Steelers to win a ton of games in 2022, they do have some remarkably high expectations for Pittsburgh's skill players. Many of the player props we found at DraftKings seem unreasonable high. However, we did find a couple that feel fair.

    The first involves Pro Bowl receiver Diontae Johnson and fellow wideout Chase Claypool. The duo is -105 (bet $105 to win $100) to combine for more than 1,750.5 receiving yards.

    This feels like a realistic over/under now that Johnson has signed a two-year extension and has ended his camp "hold-in."

    "I felt like I took the right deal," Johnson said, per Joe Rutter of TribLive.

    Johnson and Claypool combined for 2,021 receiving yards last season. Both should remain integral pieces of the passing attack, regardless of who is under center. Both will have to stay healthy, of course, but fans should expect the duo to hit the over on this prop.

    Another intriguing prop involves Harris. He's +300 to top 149.5 rushing yards in a game at any point in 2022.

    Harris, who logged 307 carries as a rookie last season, should get the workload required to hit 150 rushing yards in a game. He did so against the Browns in Week 17 last year, and he also had a 122-yard outing against the Denver Broncos in Week 5.

    Pittsburgh will face a few teams with questionable run defenses, including Cleveland, the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Jets. With questions at quarterback, the Steelers should also carry a run-heavy approach into multiple contests this season.

    Expect Harris to have at least one huge rushing performance in 2022.

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