2012 Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Preview
The Pittsburgh Steelers remain perennial championship contenders, having won 12 games three of the last four seasons, making the playoffs four of the last five seasons, and figuring to be right in the thick of the AFC title race again this season. Pittsburgh seems to have a knack for replacing people when the need arises, and they’ll try to do that again this year, after losing several familiar faces on both sides of the ball.
Last Season in Review
The Steelers got belted by Baltimore in the opener last year, and sat at just 2-2 through the first quarter of the season. They then won four in a row, beating New England in the process, but then lost a very important game at home to the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers then won four more in a row, but got beat out in San Francisco with a hobbled Ben Roethlisberger working at way less than full capacity. A couple more wins to finish got Pittsburgh to 12-4, but because of the two losses to Baltimore the Steelers had to start the playoffs as a Wild-Card on the road. Pittsburgh then had its season end in shocking fashion in Denver on a long Tim Tebow passing TD on the first play of overtime.
The Pittsburgh Steelers ranked 12th in total offense last year at 372 YPG and 14th in rushing at 119 YPG, while the defense led the league in total yardage at 272 YPG and ranked eighth vs. the run at 100 YPG.
So Pittsburgh also led the league in total yardage at +100 YPG, ranked 12th in total rushing at +19 YPG and second in time-of-possession at +5:06 per game.
In the league as a whole last year teams that outgained opponents covered the spread 62 percent of the time, and teams that won the T-O-P battle covered 66 percent of the time.
The Steelers went just 7-9 ATS last year, and 3-5 ATS when favored by a touchdown or more. Also, as Pittsburgh games averaged 34.5 points per, third-fewest in the league, they played 6-10 on the ‘over/unders.’
Over the off-season, either through retirement or free-agency or attrition, the Steelers lost WR Hines Ward, LB James Farrior, CB William Gay and DL Aaron Smith and Chris Hoke. So there are holes to fill.
On top of all that Pittsburgh isn’t sure when it will get back RB Rashard Mendenhall, who blew out a knee in the regular-season finale last year.
The Steelers used the 24th pick in the draft to take Stanford OG David DeCastro, then tabbed Ohio State OT Mike Adams with the 56th pick. Both might very well find themselves in the starting lineup on opening day.
But their biggest move might be the hiring of former Chiefs HC Todd Haley to take over at OC, where he’ll re-emphasize the running game, after Roethlisberger threw 513 passes last year and got sacked 47 times.
2012 Steelers Schedule
Pittsburgh is set to play the 14th-toughest schedule this year, based on last year’s W/L records, but it looks a little tougher than that. They’ve got six games vs. teams that made the playoffs last year, plus dates with the Jets, Eagles, Titans, Chargers and Cowboys. The Steelers open the season with a revenge game, a Sunday nighter at Denver, which is expected to be Peyton Manning’s debut with his new team.
2012 Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Odds and Prediction
5Dimes sportsbook has pegged Pittsburgh with a regular-season wins ‘over/under’ of 10 (O +105/U -125), while Bovada is offering the Steelers at +125 to win the AFC North, 15/2 to win the AFC and 16/1 to win Super Bowl 47. With Coach Tomlin, Roethlisberger and that defense Pittsburgh is still a serious contender. They’ve got some holes to fill, namely along the offensive line, and WR Mike Wallace isn’t happy, but they should manage. And we like the idea of getting back to the run. Those odds on winning the division don’t do much for us, but we’re tempted by the 15/2 on the Steelers to win the conference.
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.