The Pittsburgh Steelers have fallen to 1-4 on the season, and oddsmakers are hardly giving them a chance to climb back into the AFC North race.
Prior to Week 5, Football Outsiders gave the Pittsburgh Steelers a 13.2 percent chance to win the AFC North this year. This was somewhat respectable, considering the circumstances. However, after getting massacred by the Buffalo Bills last Sunday, you suddenly can’t seem to pay anybody to place a bet on Mike Tomlin’s team.
The Steelers horrifying loss in Week 5 showed us just how far away this team is right now. In addition to having a rookie quarterback at the helm, Pittsburgh currently ranks near the bottom of the league in both total offense and total defense. They also are dead last in point differential as they sit at -51 points over just five games.
All of these numbers scream ‘this is a bad football team,’ and oddsmakers are starting to agree. According to Fanduel Sportsbook, the Pittsburgh Steelers are now +3300 to win the AFC North prior to Week 6. This is fascinating that their odds are this poor considering the Ravens are 3-2 and the Browns and Bengals are just 2-3.
Theoretically, if the Steelers sweep the Ravens in the second half of the season, that could still make a big difference in the AFC North standings. But that would require Pittsburgh to take care of business before the bye week — something Vegas doesn’t expect them to do.
Steelers winning the AFC North is a bad bet at this point
While it’s tempting to want to take the Steelers at +3300 odds for the off chance they turn things around (considering the sizable payout), I wouldn’t advise it. This team clearly has issues that stretch beyond the offensive coordinator. There’s a talent problem on this team that will have to be addressed in the coming years.
After a 1-4 start, it’s reasonable to think that things could get much worse. Pittsburgh is expected to fall to the Buccaneers this week. This would make them just 1-5 before facing the Dolphins and Eagles prior to their Week 9 bye. Afterward, the schedule remains tough as they will go up against quality quarterbacks like Joe Burrow, Deshawn Watson, Derek Carr, and Lamar Jackson (twice).
The Steelers could steal a win here and there, but even with the success Mike Tomlin has had in the past, it’s not reasonable to expect them to finish at the top of their division — even considering that the AFC North is wide open at the moment.
An upset home win against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers this Sunday could obviously change things a bit, and the Steelers could potentially be just a game back from first place in the division with a win in Week 6. However, they are facing the biggest home spread in franchise history and would take nothing short of a miracle to come away with a victory this week — especially when you factor in not having T.J. Watt once again.
Perhaps somebody out there will end up looking like a genius for placing a longshot bet on the Steelers at +3300 odds, but this seems like throwing away money at this point. Mike Tomlin’s team will look to turn things around quickly after one of the worst starts in franchise history.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.