“Never tell me the odds.”
I think the Pittsburgh Steelers would have to agree with our buddy Han on this one when it comes to telling this team how well it will (or won’t) perform over the course of a season. That doesn’t stop Vegas or any other betting outfit from creating odds for people willing to gamble.
The bookies over at Bovada certainly don’t like the Steelers chances of making a significant turnaround from back to back 8-8 seasons. They have the over/under win total sitting at 8.5. Eeesh. So much for keeping the optimism train a rollin.’ Well it won’t stop me, and I hope it won’t stop anyone in Steeler Nation in thinking that this team can post 10 wins or more this season.
One big reason – it’s the NFL. Anything can happen, and that’s why they play the game. I lost count of how many bad bounces the ball made that put the Steelers on the wrong side of the outcome. Luck is a factor, and you can’t analyze or quantify that from one season to the next.
Another reason is whether you really want to believe it or not, the Steelers made some upgrades and positive changes – both within the coaching staff and with the roster. The team is setting themselves up in improvements across the board, except perhaps in the secondary (which the coaches appear very confident with who they have in that area at this time). Whether that all pans out has yet to be played out, but again, that’s why they play.
Lastly, if you want to put any stock in what Vegas puts out there, the Steelers have a very good chance of beating their own odds based on everyone else’s in the AFC North. Cincy sits at a 9, the Ravens at 8.5, and the Browns are at 6.5 for over/under win totals. That means that overall it’s a weaker division, allowing the Steelers a chance to run the table against their own division rivals. Bovada also posted the Steelers and Bengals at 2-1 odds to win the division while the Ravens and Browns are at 5-2 and 5-1 respectively.
I don’t know if I’d put any money down on the Steelers this season in winning the Super Bowl. But I certainly would take a gamble in betting these guys squeeze in at least one playoff game in 2014. And those are better odds than having to navigate an asteroid field.