While a majority of the team that won 12 games and the NFC North title return in 2021, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost key members of the offensive line and oddsmakers aren’t very high on this edition. They’ve never won fewer than eight games in the coaching tenure of Mike Tomlin yet sportsbooks have them with a win total of just 8.5 for the 2021 campaign.
Ben Roethlisberger returns for his 18th season with the club and his time is running out. But the pieces are in place for the Steelers to contend in the brutal division as long as their defense remains one of the stingiest in the NFL. And the group should be motivated after a disastrous finish to what was a more promising season.
The Steelers dropped five of their final six games last year, including a 48-37 thumping by Cleveland in the playoffs. It’s hard to remember that they opened the campaign with 11 consecutive wins to cash the over on their win total of 9.5.
Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 Regular Season Win Total Odds
Steelers Over 8.5 Wins +124
Steelers Under 8.5 Wins -146
(Odds provided by BookMaker.eu as of 8:48 pm ET)
Their alarming finish to last season and the advanced age of Roethlisberger are just a few questions hanging over the Steelers. Along with a new offensive line and remade secondary, many are second-guessing the team. One thing they always do, though, is win games. The Steelers won at least 10 games in five of the past seven seasons and they’ve never finished with fewer than eight victories under Tomlin.
While the offense wasn’t as explosive last season as it’s been in years past under Roethlisberger, it was still pretty good averaging 26 points per game. It could have been better had there been a ground game. The Steelers were dead last in the NFL with just 84.4 rush yards per game. To help rectify that problem Najee Harris was selected in the draft. Top pass catcher from a season ago JuJu Smith-Schuster is back and the Steelers should be strong through the air as long as Big Ben remains healthy and upright.
The offensive line will have a new look with four new starters. That’s not the most ideal scenario with a near 40-year-old QB to protect. An improved running game will certainly take some pressure off Big Ben. The Steelers won a lot of games last season thanks to its third-ranked defense. The line returns intact, but the secondary lost two starters. And the group did not perform well during its season-ending tailspin.
2021 Pittsburgh Steelers Schedule
Week 1: at Buffalo Bills, Sunday, September 12, 1 p.m. ET
Week 2: vs. Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, September 19, 1 p.m. ET
Week 3: vs. Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, September 26, 1 p.m. ET
Week 4: at Green Bay Packers, Sunday, October 3, 4:25 p.m. ET
Week 5: vs. Denver Broncos, Sunday, October 10, 1 p.m. ET
Week 6: vs. Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, October 17, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Week 7: BYE
Week 8: at Cleveland Browns, Sunday, October 31, 1 p.m. ET
Week 9: vs. Chicago Bears, Monday, November 8, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Week 10: vs. Detroit Lions, Sunday, November 14, 1 p.m. ET
Week 11: at Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, November 21, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Week 12: at Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, November 28, 1 p.m. ET
Week 13: vs. Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, December 5, 4:25 p.m. ET
Week 14: at Minnesota Vikings, Thursday, December 9, 8:20 p.m. ET (FOX/NFLN)
Week 15: vs. Tennessee Titans, Sunday, December 19, 1 p.m. ET
Week 16: at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, December 26, 4:25 p.m. ET
Week 17: vs. Cleveland Browns, Monday, January 3, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Week 18: at Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, January 9, 1 p.m. ET
The AFC North might be the strongest in football with three teams winning at least 11 games last season and advancing to the postseason. Baltimore and Cleveland finished a game back in the standings last year and the Steelers’ final two setbacks were to the Browns.
Those teams aren’t going anywhere and the Bengals should be better with a full year of Joe Burrow behind center. Based off last year’s records the Steelers have the most difficult slate. Outside the division they have road games against the Bills, Packers and Chiefs while hosting Seattle and Tennessee. I guess that’s another reason why the win total was positioned where it is.
Pittsburgh Steelers Season Win Prediction
Our Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers OVER 8.5 Wins
Make no mistake the Steelers are still a quality football team with superb coaching and front-line stars. Roethlisberger took a pay cut to return so you know he’s motivated. And the defense has annually been one of the strongest in football. Despite have a tough schedule the addition of a 17th regular season game should help this team top its projected win total.
View the latest NFL betting odds.