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Steelers Super Bowl Odds Plummet: Has the Bell Tolled on the Big Ben Era?

Ben Roethlisberger call out a play from the line of scrimmage.
Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers are just 1-2-1. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr).
  • The Steelers’ average odds to win Super Bowl 53 now sit at +2500
  • Is now the time to bet on Pittsburgh?
  • Is it too late for Roethlisberger and Brown to get on the same page?

They wouldn’t be the Mike Tomlin Pittsburgh Steelers without a confounding September loss that sent their fan base into a mini spiral. The only problem is, last weekend’s 26-14 home loss  to the Ravens was the second such loss of the month (not to mention that whole tie debacle). With a 1-2-1 record at the quarter pole, a Steelers team that is always near the top of the leaderboard has taken a dramatic tumble.

Usually the default second-best team in the AFC, the Steelers don’t even have the shortest Super Bowl odds in their own division anymore, with Baltimore passing them (currently +1800).

Super Bowl 53 Odds

Rank Team Record Odds
1 Los Angeles Rams 4-0 +333
2 New England Patriots 2-2 +700
3 Kansas City Chiefs 4-0 +750
T-4 Jacksonville Jaguars 3-1 +1100
T-4 New Orleans Saints 3-1 +1100
T-10 Pittsburgh Steelers 1-2-1 +2000

Not all is bad news for Pittsburgh though. Originally eligible to stay out of the lineup until Week 11, ESPN is reporting that Le’Veon Bell will end his holdout during the Steelers Week 7 bye.  Of course, the odds are good that he could be wearing new colors by then.

So with their season hanging in the balance and reinforcements not on the way for another few weeks, is now the time to bet on Pittsburgh?

The Case for the Pittsburgh Steelers

This.

Beyond that… not much.

The Case Against the Steelers

Every conversation with this team for the last five years started with the Triple Bs. Now, that’s still the case, but not for good reason. Will any of them be left after this year? Bell’s drama is front and center, but there’s also a growing storyline of riffs between Roethlisberger and Brown.

Roethlisberger has had one foot out the door for the past few seasons, bringing up the idea of retirement every offseason like its the one Brett Favre record he’ll actually catch. But this trio has never been so fractured before. It’s almost like, before this season they had some sort of lightning rod to direct all of their ill-will towards.

Without Haley around to take their collective barbs, the Steelers are turning on each other. To borrow from an old Dane Cook bit, he was their Karen. Now, there’s no one left to blame when Ben throws a stupid interception or the offense spends an entire half in their own end of the field.

The days of Pittsburgh’s defense picking them up are long gone too.

The Steelers next two opponents (Atlanta and Cincinnati) rank top seven in offensive DVOA and it doesn’t get much kinder after that. In fact, if you can go through their remaining schedule and find three “guaranteed wins,” then you are far too optimistic and you should get that checked out.

Even in the unlikely scenario this team does “right the ship,” so what? The Steelers have been supposed contenders forever, yet over the last seven seasons, they’ve made just one AFC title game. Even when this team was good, it wasn’t that good.

Where is the Value in the AFC?

What if I told you there was a playoff team from last season that has two more wins than the Steelers and almost double the Super Bowl odds? Right now, the Tennessee Titans are +4000 to win the Super Bowl and +2000 to win the AFC Championship. And they’re getting better.

Tennessee’s offense struggled through the first month: a hit to the elbow left their starting QB unable to throw the football and their backup QB already suffered from that malady, because he is Blaine Gabbert. Despite that, the Titans defense and special teams powered them to a few ugly wins before Marcus Mariota showed a return to form in a gutty win over Philly.

After a few years of not-so-exotic smashmouth football there was real excitement for the potential of this offense to be unlocked under Matt LaFleur and last Sunday was the first sign of growth. With a defense that’s proven its meddle, the already 3-1 Titans are trending upward. Get on them now.

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