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Pittsburgh Steelers Betting – Look For Steelers To Push For Super Bowl No.7

Posted by Stan Simmons on 6/9/2011 4:34:05 PM
pittsburgh steelers betting

Most sports betting players who know what they’re doing always factor the Pittsburgh Steelers into the equation when discussing the Super Bowl, as they’ve won two and lost one since 2005. The Steelers fell 31-25 to the Green Bay Packers in last season’s title game, but this year’s team may be better than the 2010 group and barring injury, Pittsburgh will once again challenge for the Super Bowl.

  • Head Coach:Mike Tomlin
  • Offensive Coordinator:Bruce Arians
  • Defensive Coordinator:Dick LeBeau
  • Owner:Daniel M. Rooney
  • Stadium:Heinz Field
  • Capacity: 64,350
  • Super Bowl Wins: 6

Offense

The Steelers are known as a physical, running team, but in recent years they’ve become more balanced as they ranked 11th on the ground and 14th through the air last season. The unit got through the four-game suspension of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and he returned the favor by leading the Steelers to the Super Bowl. Receiver Mike Wallace broke out and is now one of the top three deep threats in the NFL, while Hines Ward is still a top possession receiver and the guy Roethlisberger looks to when he needs a first down, and tight end Heath Miller is dependable as well. Running back Rashard Mendenhall ran for almost 1,300 yards and he was excellent in the playoffs for the Steelers, and he’s still a kid, turning 24 on June 19th. Pittsburgh isn’t going to hurt themselves, as their 18 turnovers were third in the AFC, but the emergence of Wallace really makes the Steelers a little more explosive and willing to take risks down the field, something that Roethlisberger is never afraid to do.

Pittsburgh’s offensive line is still the weak link of the unit, giving up 43 sacks, second-worst in the NFL. Roethlisberger doesn’t help his line out with his tendency to hold onto the ball a little longer than he should in order to make a play, but the line just isn’t good enough when it comes to pass protection. They drafted tackle Marcus Gilbert, a former teammate of Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey at Florida, although they were really hoping that Pouncey’s twin brother Mike would have still been available.

Grade: BDefense

When you think of defense, you automatically have to think of the Steelers, and their NFL betting odds are directly related to their ability to stop their opponents. The Steelers were second in the NFL in total defense, and their run defense was the best in their storied history. It all starts up front with nose tackle Casey Hampton and ends Ziggy Hood and Brett Keisel, who do an excellent job of tying up the opposing line to free up James Harrison, James Farrior, LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons. They’re the best linebacking unit in the game, and it appears as though they’re interchangeable, which allows coordinator Dick LeBeau to be so unpredictable with his schemes.

But they’re not just a run-stuffing team as the Steelers are sixth against the pass, leading the NFL in sacks, and they were second in takeaways. Pittsburgh really has a solid secondary, but the presence of safety Troy Polamalu, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, puts them over the top. You could tell how much he meant to the Steelers as he tried to play hurt in the Super Bowl and was beaten on a couple of plays, which likely wouldn’t happen if he was healthy.

Injury is really the only thing that can stop the Steelers (although the NFL tried their best with a number of fines last year for questionable hits, particularly against Harrison). They drafted end Cameron Heyward, along with corners Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen to add depth to some key spots. Pittsburgh’s defense should be among the NFL’s best again next year, especially if Polamalu can remain on the field.

Grade: A+

Special Teams

The Steelers were 13th in the league in returning kickoffs last season, but dead last in punt returns, so that is something they’ll need to rectify. They improved greatly when it comes to covering punts and kicks, ranking in the top half of the league in both categories, which helps their defense even more, not like they need it.

Pittsburgh had to change kickers halfway through the season as Jeff Reed got the boot, and Shaun Suisham replaced him for the rest of the year. However, Suisham has never been known to be consistent, and Swayze Waters was brought in, so watch that situation carefully.

Grade: C+

Outlook

The playoffs are a must for the Steelers, who are co-favored with Baltimore at +100 to win the AFC North according to NFL betting odds, and they’re listed at +950 to win the Super Bowl after losing the big game in February. They’re going to compete for the Super Bowl again, because this Pittsburgh team may be better than the one that lost to Green Bay. Polamalu and a few others were banged up throughout the playoffs, Roethlisberger didn’t even get on the field until Week 6, and they had to battle numerous fines from the league.

It would be a major surprise if the Steelers didn’t make the playoffs again this season, and they should be one of the top three or four teams you should bet on to win the Super Bowl in your online betting picks.

2011 Schedule

  • Week 1 – at Baltimore (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 2 – vs. Seattle (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 3 – at Indianapolis (8:20 PM ET)
  • Week 4 – at Houston (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 5 – vs. Tennessee (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 6 – vs. Jacksonville (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 7 – at Arizona (4:05 PM ET)
  • Week 8 – vs. New England (4:15 PM ET)
  • Week 9 – vs. Baltimore (8:20 PM ET)
  • Week 10 – at Cincinnati (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 12 – at Kansas City (8:20 PM ET)
  • Week 13 – vs. Cincinnati (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 14 – vs. Cleveland (Thursday, 8:20 PM ET)
  • Week 15 – at San Francisco (Monday, 8:30 PM ET)
  • Week 16 – vs. St. Louis (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 17 – at Cleveland (1:00 PM ET)

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