Pittsburgh Steelers 2019-20 NFL Postseason - Odds and Predictions

After missing out on the postseason for the first time since 2013, the Pittsburgh Steelers, led by their freshly paid MVP quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, will make a run for their seventh Lombardi Trophy in 2019 but without two of their best players on the roster.

With enough young talent already on staff to plug the huge holes left by departing offensive stars Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, general manager Kevin Colbert spent the offseason adding various depth to the roster and drafting Devin Bush, the player he hopes will eventually fill the role as defensive quarterback for the still inactive Ryan Shazier.

Make no mistake, the 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers have every intention of one-upping their 6-total-Super-Bowl rivals in New England this season, but whether they can do that sans two of the three Killer Bees remains to be seen, so we examine the odds and predictions of this team making the postseason happen once again.

The 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers are:

  • Owner: The Rooney Family (President Art Rooney II)
  • General Manager: Kevin Colbert (Promoted August 2011)
  • Head Coach: Mike Tomlin (Hired January 2007)
  • Offensive Coordinator: Randy Fichtner (Promoted January 2018)
  • Defensive Coordinator: Keith Butler (Promoted January 2015)
  • Quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger (16th NFL season, all with Steelers)
  • Offensive Stars: Wide Receiver Juju Smith-Schuster and running back James Conner
  • Defensive Stars: Linebacker T.J. Watt and Cornerback Joe Haden

2018 Franchise Records:

  • Overall 9-6-1
  • Home: 5-3-0
  • Road: 4-3-1
  • Divisional: 4-1-1
  • Conference: 6-5-1

2019-20 Schedule:

T-19th toughest

Week 1 Matchup:

Steelers vs. New England @ away

How did the Pittsburgh Steelers do in 2018?

Amidst unnecessary drama caused by unhappy players, the 2018 Pittsburgh Steelers failed to make the playoffs for the first time in five seasons, the worst part of that being that they started off the season with a 7-2-1 record.

Then, at Week 17 with a 9-6-1 record posted and their playoff hopes barely alive, the worst-case scenario happened for the Steelers – they could possibly win the AFC North and play football in the postseason, BUT only if the Cleveland Browns could defeat the Baltimore Ravens, which failed to happen, the Ravens barely winning that final game, 24-26.

With all the bickering and finger-pointing that went down all season between certain players whose last names all begin with the letter ‘B,’ by the end of the season it was obvious that the front office was ready to move on from Bell and Brown, placing faith in their young replacements who seemed capable of (somewhat) filling their All-Pro shoes.

What major offseason moves happened in Pittsburgh?

In addition to Bell being released (he signed with the New York Jets) and Brown being traded (he’s catching balls for the Oakland Raiders now), the team lost several other key players to free agency.

Tight end Jesse James took a four-year deal worth $22.6 million ($10.5 million of that is guaranteed) but with the Detroit Lions, who, unfortunately for James, just drafted the talented T.J. Hockenson, who looks to be a starter at tight end on that roster.

The Steelers also lost linebacker L.J. Fort (48 tackles, 3 for loss, 3 quarterback hits and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown in 2018) to the Philadelphia Eagles after he signed a three-year deal worth $5.5 million with $1.9 million of that guaranteed.

On the plus side, Pittsburgh signed wide receiver Donte Moncrief (2 years, $3.5 million), cornerback Steven Nelson (3 years, $7.5 million) and linebacker Mark Barron (2 years, $12 million).

For more detail on the Steelers’ offseason moves, check out our earlier coverage: Pittsburgh Steelers Offseason Moves.

Why are Big Ben and Antonio Brown STILL going at it?

In what sounds like a script pitch for ‘Days of Our (football) Lives,’ Ben called out Antonio in front of the media so Antonio’s feelings were hurt and he acted out until he got benched for the final game of last season.

That hurt Antonio’s feelings even more, so he requested a trade, which he got, but since then Ben has told the media he wished he’d never said those mean things before about Antonio.

To which Antonio replied on Twitter that they were never friends, hoping to hurt Ben’s feelings the way his were hurt by the big man so many times before. Oi.

For those scoffing and assuming this is an exaggeration, take a look at the tweet yourself:

To which Brown replied in a since-deleted Tweet:

“Never friend just had to get my ends……shut up already”

How was the Steelers’ offense improved?

Last season the Steelers offense was ranked fourth overall after averaging 403.3 total yards of offense each game, but here’s the funny thing about that – the great majority of those yards, 313 of them, as a matter of fact, were gained through the air, and just 90 of those yards were on the ground.

The result being that the Steelers air attack was second-best overall last season (ranked 2nd) but their ground attack was shockingly second-worst in the league (ranked 31st).

The Steelers did add Moncrief (48 catches for 668 yards and 3 touchdowns for Jacksonville Jaguars last season) to their receiver room, but otherwise with the same quarterback, same offensive line and running back as last season, it’s tough to say how this Steelers team got better offensively this offseason (maybe with depth?).

However, with the loss of Brown (and Bell the season prior), it’s far easier to say exactly how this offense got worse.

How was the Steelers’ defense improved?

Tough to improve on this sixth-ranked defense (6th overall against the run and 10th against the pass) that allowed opponents to gain just 327.2 yards of total offense per game.

Where the Steelers’ defense was relatively weak was in points allowed per game, with the team being tied for 16th in the league after allowing opponents to score an average of 22.5 points per game, important considering the team lost by one score five times as well as tied one game last season.

With the addition of cornerback Steven Nelson and linebacker Mark Barron (see above), general manager Kevin Colbert hopes to turn that weakness around in 2019.

When was the last time the Steelers made the playoffs?

Until last season, the better question was when haven’t the Steelers been to the playoffs?

Over the last decade, the Pittsburgh Steelers have earned a playoff spot six times, with one Super Bowl appearance during that decade in 2010, when they lost Super Bowl XLV to the Green Bay Packers, 25-31.

Of the other 5 postseason appearances during that stretch, the team tallied two Wild Card losses, two Divisional Playoff losses, and one Conference Championship loss to the New England Patriots in 2016 by a lopsided score of 17-36.

But in terms of championships, the Pittsburgh Steelers have six (tied for most ever in the league with the New England Patriots) and have been to the Super Bowl eight times and have won six of those, the latest one being Super Bowl XLIII in 2008, when they beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 and Mike Tomlin was named NFL Coach of the Year.

Why WILL the Steelers make it to the postseason in 2019?

The easiest answer is because the Steelers typically do, but if you look at the AFC North right now, the Steelers seem like the most likely team of the bunch.

Tough to think they’ll be outmatched by the Baltimore Ravens, who have a second-year quarterback and are adjusting to more of an RPO type offense, or the Cleveland Browns, who have a talented roster but are being led by a first time head coach and new coordinators, or the Cincinnati Bengals with a new head coach and a team that seems forever vulnerable to the injury bug.

And let’s not forget the fact that had a few of their one-score losses (or that frustrating tie with the Browns in Week 1) gone the Steelers way last season, they would have easily made the playoffs, and given that virtually that same team (sans Brown) is back, they’re likely to get it done this season.

Why WON’T the Steelers make it to the postseason in 2019?

Those same AFC North teams that could struggle during 2019 could also find their magic – like say if Lamar Jackson and / or Baker Mayfield prove to be the real deal, or if Andy Dalton figures out how to get back to his winning self under welcomed new leadership.

Or if the lack of Antonio Brown as a target (of Roethlisberger’s passes AND more often than not opposing double-teams) puts too much pressure (and coverage) on his replacement Juju Smith-Schuster and the passing offense slumps instead of pulling the weight.

Or if third-year running back James Conner takes a step backward and the Steelers are forced to realize how big a hole he’s trying to fill in the backfield where Bell no longer roams.

What are the current odds and predictions for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2019 NFL postseason?

According to these odds, the 2019-20 Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to win the AFC North and get to the playoffs, however, it’s interesting that the Cleveland Browns (+140) have better odds in both of those categories.

The Steelers are not predicted to be a Super Bowl Champion this year, and the oddsmakers are even skeptical that they could pull off a Super Bowl appearance.

It’s tough to predict how the team’s offense will be affected by the loss of Brown or how long before the Steelers’ run offense begins to click on all cylinders, so bet with caution on the Steelers or any team in this very shakable division.

The latest odds for the Pittsburgh Steelers are provided by 888Sport and FoxBet NJ. Good luck!

Will the Pittsburgh Steelers make the NFL postseason in 2019?

SportsbookYESNOLink
888Sport NJ-121+100

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Analysis: Obviously this bet is an either/or, but betting against the Steelers to make the playoffs is tough to put money on.

Think of this be like a coin flip – Pittsburgh has been to six of the last ten postseasons, so bet heads.

And remember, the Steelers could always sneak in as a Wild Card team, so this one’s easy.

Odds of the Steelers winning the AFC North:

SportsbookAFC NorthLink
888Sport NJ+155
FoxBet NJ+150

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Analysis: This bet is slightly deceiving because at first glance it seems as though the oddsmakers are predicting an AFC North win for the Steelers.

But when you check out the total odds for the AFC North, the Cleveland Browns have +140 odds of winning that division.

This division is too evenly matched (three of four of the AFC North teams could go either way) to feel confident with this one.

The number of regular-season Steelers games won:

SportsbookOverUnderLink
888Sport NJOver 9

-148

Under 9

+120

FoxBet NJOver 9.5

+110

Under 9.5

-150

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Analysis: The Steelers’ 2019 schedule is tied for 19th toughest in the league, so nine or ten wins seems more than possible.

Pittsburgh has gone 10-6 or better in six of the last ten seasons, so it’s not a bad bet.

Neither is 11-5 or better, which the Steelers have done five times over the last decade.

Odds of the Steelers winning the AFC Championship:

SportsbookAFC ChampionshipLink
888Sport NJ+1000
FoxBet NJ+900

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Analysis: Just so you know, there are five AFC teams with better odds than the Steelers of winning the conference championship.

Spend a $100, make a thousand if the financially secure Big Ben can do what he hasn’t done in almost a decade – go to the Super Bowl.

This team has been together and successful long enough under head coach Mike Tomlin that they’re at the very least in this conversation.

Odds of the Steelers winning Super Bowl LIV:

SportsbookSuper Bowl LIVLink
888Sport NJ+1800
FoxBet NJ+1800

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Analysis: Eight other NFL teams have better odds than the Steelers of winning the next Super Bowl, and of course one of them are the New England Patriots, who have the same number of rings as the Steelers (6).

This bet would have been more makeable back in 2017 when both Bell and Brown and Ben were working together, but now it seems slightly farfetched given the current roster.

But if you’re a Steelers’ fan, you might as well put your money where your heart is and take a chance on your team returning to glory.

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