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  • Writer's pictureAvoid the Vig

2023 Pittsburgh Steelers Season Betting Preview

As part of our 2023 NFL Preseason Preview Series, we look at the current state of each team in an attempt to identify reasons for optimism and causes for concern and, most importantly, what can be exploited in the current betting marketplace.


Mike Tomlin is still the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has finished over .500 in every one of his 16 seasons, so why expect anything different this year? Even with pedestrian-at-best quarterback play, the Steelers finished with more wins than losses. QB Kenny Pickett showed some promise though last season, going 7-2, even if the stats don’t necessarily back it up. The Steelers did all of this despite facing the 2nd-toughest schedule according to DVOA. This year, they have solidified the left side of their offensive line by drafting LT Broderick Jones and signing LG Isaac Seumalo. It is expected that Pickett takes a step forward with Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, and FA signing Allen Robinson II. On defense, when TJ Watt was healthy, PIT went 8-2.


The Steelers were extremely fortunate to stay as healthy as they did. They didn’t have an injury to their offensive starters and no impactful injuries to their defense with the exception of TJ Watt. That will inevitably change this year. Kenny Pickett and the Steelers offense finished ranked #1 in the NFL in 3rd down conversion over expected, which is also not sustainable. Pickett found success from a win-loss perspective, despite pedestrian statistics. That will likely regress this season. The PIT defense also sees several starters finding new homes this offseason, including 3 from the secondary. If the Steelers had this roster and a different head coach without his successful track record, what would their win total be? One would have to think that their market valuation is highly influenced by those last 16 years of success


There wasn’t a team that I found fewer betting opportunities than I did with the Steelers. From a win-total perspective, the market and I are in line. I also generally want to fade Mike Tomlin’s group as favorites and back them as dogs. The market reflects this. In fact, the only value I had on the Steelers was as a favorite and I found they were short-changed as a dog. So where do we go from here? In week 1, the Steelers, who were 8-2 when TJ Watt was healthy, play the 49ers who just happen to have the best defense in the league last year. SF has questions at quarterback, particularly for week 1, and the Steelers have Kenny Pickett, who will likely be a question mark all year long.

Best Bet: Week 1 SF/PIT U41 (Pass at 40.5)


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