Mike Tomlin’s Pittsburgh Steelers finished with a winning record for the 17th consecutive season and got the help it needed to reach the AFC playoffs as the No. 7 seed.
Pittsburgh has less than a 50% chance of making the playoffs heading into Week 18, but took care of business with a win over the Ravens on a rain-soaked M&T Bank Stadium and slid into the postseason picture after the Titans’ upset of Jacksonville.
Unfortunately, Pittsburgh’s chances of hoisting a seventh Lombardi Trophy are even slimmer.
The Steelers are +13000 to win the Super Bowl at FanDuel Sportsbook heading into the Wild Card Round. While going through a trio of starting quarterbacks this season, Pittsburgh has always had long odds to reach Las Vegas and win it all.
At +130000, they have an implied probability of 0.76% of winning the Super Bowl. A $100 bet on them would win $13,000.
Can the Steelers win the Super Bowl?
While Tomlin’s ability to get Pittsburgh into the playoffs 10 times in 17 seasons has been impressive, it hasn’t translated to playoff success. The Steelers have not won a playoff game since their run to the 2016 AFC Championship game and have dropped their last three postseason contests.
Pittsburgh lost in the divisional round against the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017 before first-round exit in 2020 (Cleveland) and 2021 (Kansas City).
The Steelers have not won it all since the 2008-2009 season and have not made it to Super Bowl Sunday since 2011.
To reach the Super Bowl this season, Pittsburgh would have to win three consecutive road games as a Wild Card. The Steelers went 3-5 away from Acrisure Stadium this season, defeating the Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens in the final two weeks of the regular season to earn a postseason berth.
Steelers offense has improved under new coordinator, quarterback
Pittsburgh shuffled its personnel on and off the field this season and it still resulted in a 10-win campaign and a trip to the playoffs.
Pittsburgh was 6-4 when it parted ways with offensive coordinator Matt Canada. In the seven games with interim offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner, Pittsburgh went 4-3, improved in several offensive categories, and averaged 19.7 points per game. The Steelers scored 30-plus points twice over its three-game winning streak to close the regular season and make the playoffs.
Quarterback Mason Rudolph provided a spark under center after Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky went a combined 7-7. Rudolph guided Pittsburgh to a 3-0 record, completed 74.3% of passes, and threw for 239.6 yards per game with 3 touchdowns against zero interceptions.
Who do the Steelers play in the first round of the NFL playoffs?
Pittsburgh will take the 218-mile trek to Buffalo to play the No. 2 Bills in the first round of the NFL playoffs on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 1 p.m. (EST). The Steelers are the biggest underdog of the first round.
Pittsburgh is a 10-point underdog to Buffalo, which wrapped up an AFC East title with a 21-14 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. At +400 on the money line (to win the game outright), they have an implied probability of 20% to advance. A $100 bettor would net $400 if Pittsburgh pulls off the upset.
With bad weather in the forecast, the total (over/under) in the matchup is the lowest of the weekend, too, at 35.5 points.
A sloppy, low-scoring affair could play into the Steelers' favor, though. Buffalo Bills' quarterback Josh Allen led the AFC in turnovers this season and that could come into play against a Steelers' defense that lives off takeaways. Pittsburgh ranked tied for third in the NFL this season in turnover margin (+11) and 10th in total takeaways (27).
The resurgence of running back Najee Harris (312 yards over the final three games) and a few takeaways from the turnover-prone Josh Allen could be a recipe for the Steelers to pull off a first-round stunner.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.