It’s nearly impossible for US online sports betting fans to ignore the buzz around the Pittsburgh Steelers after a strong end to the last season and a fantastic preseason campaign. On paper, they have bolstered the roster with additions of offensive lineman Broderick Jones and cornerback Joey Porter Jr. from a couple of first-round draft selections in April.
Superstar linebacker T.J. Watt is fit for the start of the season, quarterback Kenny Pickett is no longer a rookie in the league, and the Steelers are consistently refusing to have a below .500 campaign under Mike Tomlin.
However, as much as we would like to be optimistic about Pittsburgh’s chances, the reality is that they will have a mountain to climb to make it to the playoffs in the highly competitive AFC North.
It does not mean there are no top-notch Steelers’ futures NFL betting options to grab ahead of the season, though. Below, we share our three favorite pre-season markets as well as mention the odds for the most popular team and player futures related to Pittsburgh.
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1) Will Pittsburgh Make the Playoffs — NO (-150) at DraftKings
The odds are not spectacular, but we truly believe a miracle could happen for the Steelers to get out of the AFC North this year. We are talking about the strongest division in the NFL according to most parameters.
The Cincinnati Bengals have been the kings of the division in the previous two years and are the main favorites for the three-peat. Lamar Jackson is healthy, and the Ravens are loaded up offensively, while the Cleveland Browns are projected to have a much better campaign with rusty Deshaun Watson than last year.
Most sportsbooks have the Steelers at 8.5 or 9 wins in the regular season, implying another positive record for Mike Tomlin. Nine wins will certainly not be enough for the playoffs in this division.
The fans will get back to the 6-1 ATS record at the end of the last season following T.J. Watt’s return from injury. Indeed, Watt did make an immediate impact, but we also have to look at the list of the teams and quarterbacks he has played against during the late winning stretch.
The list includes the likes of Marcus Mariota, Matt Ryan, Tyler Huntley, Sam Darnold, Derek Carr, and Deshaun Watson (who was as rusty as he could have been on the occasion).
Taking everything into consideration, this pick will probably give you the best -150 odds you will get all season.
2) Kenny Pickett Under 11.5 Interceptions (-120) at DraftKings
This bet may raise people’s eyebrows as it seems like a random one, but we like it very much, and we have very simple reasons. Mike Tomlin has managed to win at least eight games in 16 subsequent years. What was the main catalyst for such an admirable accomplishment? The answer is defense.
This Pittsburgh team will once again rely on their stop unit to win games. The stern defensive line will keep most games low-scoring and tight until the final minutes in the fourth quarter.
What do you not do in tight games? Throw risky passes. After all, the sportsbooks’ lines reveal a lot, with as many as twelve of the Steelers’ games having at least field goal spreads. This screams tightness.
As for the offense, Pittsburgh will once again run the ball more often than not. Aside from George Pickens, Kenny Pickett does not have the wealthiest array of weapons among the receivers anyway, and he still plays under Matt Canada, who is known for his admiration towards the ground plays.
Pickett threw for just seven touchdowns last year, following up with nine interceptions in the process. This represents a modest offensive output, and the fans and the sportsbooks expect much more in the upcoming season.
Nevertheless, most books have his total passing yards for the season at around 3300, which is yet another indicator of the team’s focus on the ground game.
We find this line for interceptions just a bit too high for our taste, which is why the Under seems a great option at the -120 odds with DraftKings »
3) T.J. Watt to Win Defensive Player of the Year (+850) at DraftKings
The Pittsburgh Steelers got off to a nightmare start to the 2022 season as their stalwart linebacker T.J. Watt suffered a Week 1 injury. It completely messed up Mike Tomlin’s plans, crippling Pittsburgh’s main strength right at the beginning of the campaign.
Watt returned later in the season to prove how essential he is to this team as his comeback intertwined with the Steelers’ rise in form late in the season.
Takeaways such as interceptions, sacks, and fumbles are generally underestimated in the NFL. These things can change the course of each game, and they have been the bread-and-butter of Pittsburgh’s game plan for years under Tomlin.
The mere presence of T.J. Watt on the ground is a game-changer for the Steelers. If he reaches the quarterback, you will hardly find someone better at forcing a fumble.
If the rivals give him additional attention, they leave Alex Highsmith with a favorable matchup. If they both get increased attention, the opposing quarterback will be forced into a rushed throw, increasing the chances of an interception.
To sum it all up, we have one of the best linebackers in the game playing for a team focused on defensive success. The only caveat is that the Steelers will most likely not make the playoffs, which may affect Watt’s chances of earning the prestigious prize for the second time in his career.
Nevertheless, we have already seen players earning the DPOY in seasons in which their team failed to qualify for the playoffs, like J.J. Watt did with the Texans in 2014. The price tag is still too good to ignore at +850.
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Other Popular Steelers Futures Markets
The Steelers are nowhere near championship talks, but we will still highlight the most popular futures markets to show you all the significant Pittsburgh odds before the start of the season.
- Pittsburgh Steelers to Win Super Bowl (+6000) at BetMGM Sportsbook
- Pittsburgh Steelers to Win AFC (+3000) at BetMGM Sportsbook
- Pittsburgh Steelers to Win AFC North (+500) at BetRivers Sportsbook
- Kenny Pickett to win the MVP (+5000) at BetRivers Sportsboook
As tempting as these odds seem, we would advise you to avoid them by all means. All of Pittsburgh’s rivals got better in the offseason, and the Steelers are firm underdogs for the AFC North title as per the latest odds.
As for Pickett, the books have placed him tied for 16th among quarterbacks in the MVP race. It would take a genuine miracle for Kenny to beat out the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Aaron Rodgers, or Jalen Hurts. They would all need to have terrible campaigns packed with injuries and misfortunes.
We will leave you to judge how realistic this scenario is. Our guts scream the value is better with the +6000 for Pittsburgh to win the Super Bowl (their defense may somehow pull it out in a parallel universe) than with the +5000 odds for Pickett to win the MVP.
There are battles you can choose to defy the odds, but these are not the ones.
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