NFL Picks: Pittsburgh Steelers Win Totals & Game-by-Game Predictions

Thursday, May 28, 2015 5:10 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 28, 2015 5:10 PM UTC

The Pittsburgh Steelers enter 2015 as the defending AFC North champions, but a brutal schedule could be their undoing. Indeed, bookies have set an 8.5 season win total, setting the bar rather low. Do the bookies have it right? Find out in this game-by-game preview of the Steelers' 2015 NFL schedule.

<p style="text-align:center;"><iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="330" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Can Steelers Defend AFC North Crown?</strong><br /> The Pittsburgh Steelers will look to defend the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Ravens Appear Poised For Step Back In AFC North">AFC North</a> crown when they get their 2015 season off the mark, but the NFL odds are stacked against them. The Ravens enter the AFC North betting field as the team to beat at +163 <a href="" target="_blank" title="Compare NFL odds trading in the market now">NFL odds</a>, while the Steelers come in as the close second favorites at +200 NFL odds.</p> <p>One of the main reasons why the NFL odds are stacked against the Steelers is their brutal schedule, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Strength of Schedule &amp; Projected Season Win Totals">ranked the hardest of the entire field with a 0.579 winning percentage</a>. Last season, the Steelers had the 23rd toughest schedule with a lowly 0.449 winning percentage. That's a considerable difference that could impact their season win totals in 2015. </p> <p>This increased difficulty of the schedule is down to the fact that the AFC North has drawn both the AFC West and NFC West divisions, not to mention they'll also face off against the defending Super Bowl champions Patriots and the up-and-coming Colts.</p> <p>Obviously, a lot is going to change between now and week 1 of NFL betting. Lots of roster changes may occur, injuries can befall certain key players and trades are yet to be completed in their entirety. Nevertheless, we're going to tackle the Steelers' NFL schedule, preview each and every game and serve up NFL picks, in order to deliver our prediction for their 2015 season win totals.</p> <p>Last season, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Revisit our Steelers Total Wins Odds and Game-by-Game Predictions from last season">we correctly predicted the Steelers would go OVER 8.5 wins</a> for our <a href="" target="_blank" title="Plethora of NFL Picks, Predictions &amp; Odds Analysis">NFL picks</a> on season win totals. They did that and then some with an 11-5-0 mark and the AFC North title. Let's see if we can get it right again. </p> <p>Here goes.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Week 1: vs. New England (road), Thursday, Sept 10 at 8:30 PM</strong><br /> This should have been a landmark game for the Steelers to test their mettle against the defending Super Bowl champions. Now with <a href="" target="_blank" title="How Does Brady's Suspension Affect Patriots Odds?">Tom Brady's four-game suspension</a>, the hype surrounding this game has deflated somewhat (pun intended). There's a slim possibility that Brady's suspension will be reduced, but probably not enough for the future Hall of Fame quarterback to make an appearance against the Steelers in week 1 of NFL betting. Working on the assumption that the Steelers will take on Jimmy Garoppolo instead, they'll fancy their chances. That said it's a road game and winning at Gillette Stadium doesn't come easy for opponents. Bill Belichick is a master tactician that can defy the NFL odds with whatever players he has at his disposal.  Other things to consider why a bet against the Steelers might prove the savvy NFL pick are: transitions on Steelers' defense and the ineligibility of Le'Veon Bell for this game.</p> <p><strong>NFL Pick: Loss<br /> Record: 0-1</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Week 2: vs. San Francisco (home), Sunday, Sept 20 at 1 PM</strong><br /> San Francisco are coming off a disappointing 8-8 SU season that saw them part with long time coach Jim Harbaugh and undergo a complete overhaul in key positions. How the 49ers will fare in 2015 is anybody's guess; although most are predicting an underwhelming season. That said Colin Kaepernick has put in solid work with Kurt Warner in the offseason and if that comes through at Heinz Arena, the Steelers' defense could be challenged greatly. It's a home game for the Steelers, but not a certain win in our opinion.</p> <p><strong>NFL Pick: Loss<br /> Record: 0-2</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Week 3: vs. St. Louis (road), Sunday, Sept 27 at 1 PM</strong><br /> This matchup could prove interesting now that the Rams have Nick Foles as their likely starting quarterback. Rams live by their defense, but Foles will add a new dimension to their offense. The Steelers' defense, by contrast, isn't exactly formidable but their offense can go berserk when Big Ben is on form. If he has one of his stellar days, he could rip through the Rams defense to serve up the win on the road.</p> <p><strong>NFL Pick: Win<br /> Record: 1-2</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Week 4: vs. Baltimore (home), Thursday, Oct 1 at 8:25 PM</strong><br /> This is arguably the biggest rivalry in the AFC North and these two teams will be up for it when they collide on Thursday Primetime football. In the last three seasons, they've split their meetings 3-3 SU, which includes a 2-1 record home-away. The last two seasons in a row each side won at home; the Steelers crushed the Ravens 43-23 at Heinz Arena in week 9 NFL betting. However, they lost the most important game of the season to the Ravens, the wild card game in the NFL playoffs. The Ravens defeated the Steelers 30-17 to advance against the NFL odds.</p> <p><strong>NFL Pick: Loss<br /> Record: 1-3</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Week 5: vs. San Diego (road), Monday, Oct 12 at 8:30 PM</strong><br /> This matchup hangs in the balance of Philip Rivers: will he still be a Charger when the season gets underway? Until word of a trade is out, we must assume Rivers is still the quarterback in San Diego. In any event, the Steelers' offense is much better than the Chargers' offense right now. Travelling from Pittsburgh to the other side of the country is going to be a bit of a trek but with the extra days the Steelers should be up for the task.</p> <p><strong>NFL Pick: Win<br /> Record: 2-3</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Week 6: vs. Arizona (home), Sunday, Oct 18 at 1 PM</strong><br /> Coach of the year Bruce Arians and the Cardinals descend on Pittsburgh in week 6 NFL betting. Arians knows the Steelers well having spent almost seven years at the organization until leaving in 2011. Still, that's a long time ago now and a lot has changed. Cardinals will need Carson Palmer at his best if they are to take the win at Heinz Arena. Palmer is coming off another injury riddled season, his second ACL injury. Steelers win.</p> <p><strong>NFL Pick: Win<br /> Record: 3-3</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Week 7: vs. Kansas City (road), Sunday, Oct 25 at 1 PM</strong><br /> Arrowhead is a tough place to play. Tom Brady had one of his worst games of the 2014 season there, one that prompted his critics to suggested all manner of doom and gloom. This should be a competitive home game for the Chiefs, one in which the Steelers could struggle.</p> <p><strong>NFL Pick: Loss<br /> Record: 3-4</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Week 8: vs. Cincinnati (home), Sunday, Nov 1 at 1 PM</strong><br /> Last season, the Steelers swept the series with the Bengals winning 42-21 on the road and 27-17 at home in week 17 NFL betting. Big Ben has enjoyed success against the Bengals and he should be dialed into this game once again. Home field advantage will be the decider. The last time Roethlisberger lost to Dalton at home was in 2012 when they lost 13-10 in week 16 NFL betting.</p> <p><strong>NFL Pick: Win<br /> Record: 4-4</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Week 9: vs. Oakland (home), Sunday, Nov 8 at 1 PM</strong><br /> <a href="" target="_blank" title="Raiders Might Actually Be Competitive In 2015">The Oakland Raiders might be better than they were last season</a>, but they don't figure to be extremely competitive on any NFL betting radar. That said they've had a measure of success against Pittsburgh, winning four of the last five meetings including a 34-31 win in 2012 and 21-18 win in 2013. Both those wins were in Oakland however. With home field advantage, this should be a straightforward home game for the Steelers as they set the record straight.</p> <p><strong>NFL Pick: Win<br /> Record: 5-4</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Week 10: vs. Cleveland (home), Sunday Nov 15 at 1 PM</strong><br /> Can you think of any reason why the Browns would beat the Steelers at Heinz Arena. Their quarterback situation doesn't look promising with Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel at all and their defense leaves a lot to be desired. This game could go the same way the Bengals-Browns game last season, a complete and utter rout.</p> <p><strong>NFL Pick: Win<br /> Record: 6-4</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Week 11: Bye</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Week 12: vs. Seattle (road), Sunday, Nov 29 at 4:25 PM</strong><br /> This may be the toughest game of the Steelers' NFL schedule in 2015, a date with the 2013 Super Bowl champions, the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Seattle Seahawks Win Totals &amp; Game-by-Game Predictions">Seattle Seahawks</a> at CenturyLink Field. It's nice that they have the bye week before this one to rest and regroup for the final stretch of the season, but how much that will help against the Legion of Boom is debatable. The Seahawks' defense will give Big Ben fits. Then again, the Steelers have a tendency to play up to their opponents so maybe one shouldn't write them off entirely from their NFL picks. We're going for the loss here, but with the caveat that we won't be surprised if the Steelers do pull off the upset.</p> <p><strong>NFL Pick: Loss<br /> Record: 6-5</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Week 13: vs. Indianapolis (home), Sunday, Dec 6 at 8:30 PM</strong><br /> For a second straight season, the Steelers will welcome the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Indianapolis Colts Season Win Totals &amp; Game-by-Game Predictions">Indianapolis Colts</a> to Heinz Arena. Last season, Big Ben was stellar against the Colts. He had one of his best games of the season  throwing six touchdowns and putting up 522 yards in a 51-34 win at Heinz Arena. Andrew Luck rose to the occasion in what turned out to be one of the best shootouts of the season. A six TD performance may not be on the NFL betting cards, but the Steelers should come up trumps again with home field advantage.</p> <p><strong>NFL Pick: Win<br /> Record: 7-5</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Week 14: vs. Cincinnati (road), Sunday, Dec 15 at 1 PM</strong><br /> Pittsburgh dominated Cincinnati last season in a big way. This is a divisional matchup that has seen Ben Roethlisberger thrive while his opposite Dalton succumb to the pressure. More of the same is probably on the NFL betting cards as the Steelers' pass rush gives Dalton fits.</p> <p><strong>NFL Pick: Win<br /> Record: 8-5</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Week 15: vs. Denver (home), Sunday, Dec 20 at 4:25 PM</strong><br /> Peyton Manning and the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Denver Broncos Win Totals &amp; Game-by-Game Predictions">Denver Broncos</a> descend on the Steelers in week 15 NFL betting, a game that could have NFL playoff implications for both AFC contenders. Peyton Manning can turn this into a shootout at Heinz Arena, if the Steelers' defense don't get at him.</p> <p><strong>NFL Pick: Loss<br /> Record: 8-6</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Week 16: vs. Baltimore (road), Sunday, Dec 27 at 8:30 PM</strong><br /> The Baltimore Ravens have won the last two home games with the Steelers in the regular season and, most recently, they beat the Steelers on the road in the NFL Playoffs Wildcard Round. Joe Flacco is unflappable when he gets into a rhythm and the Ravens will be keen to win this game, which is slated for week 16 Primetime football. The Steelers' season could very well hang in the balance of this game (same goes for the Ravens really). It's going to be a must-win for both teams. That said these two sides are so competitive and so evenly matched in the AFC North title race that home field advantage could prove the only difference.</p> <p><strong>NFL Pick: Loss<br /> Record: 8-7</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Week 17: vs. Cleveland (road), Sunday, Jan 3 at 1 PM</strong><br /> Finally, the Steelers close the season with a second straight road game and second straight divisional rivalry. Unlike the Ravens, the Browns cut a poor figure on the NFL odds board. They enjoyed some positives last season, but appear to be on the verge of taking a step back in 2015. The quarterback situation (as mentioned above) being the main problem, along with defensive issues that don't appear to be headed in the right direction. The Steelers win the final game of the season on the road to potentially challenge for a wild card playoff spot.</p> <p><strong>NFL Pick: Loss<br /> Record: 9-7</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>NFL Betting Verdict</strong><br /> By our bold predictions in this game-by-game preview of the Steelers' NFL schedule, we have the Steelers finishing anywhere between an 8-8 mark to a 9-7 mark, give or take a few games. That puts them right smack on the 8.5 win total line that is currently trading with the OVER favored at -130 NFL odds and the UNDER trading on EVEN Money. Clearly, even the odds makers are of the same opinion that the Steelers could go either way of this mark. We're going to be optimistic and pick the OVER 8.5 at -130 NFL odds for our NFL picks. But we're not feeling any joy.</p>
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