Pittsburgh is coming off a 12-4 regular season that saw them win the AFC North. They came out of the AFC and defeated Arizona in the Super Bowl.
NFL odds show that the Steelers went 9-7 against the online sports betting number a year ago. That tells you they were overvalued quite a big in NFL odds considering they only lost four times outright all year. Pittsburgh did not make many changes in the off-season and have basically the same personnel they did a year ago.
Pittsburgh simply had a dominating defense a year ago. They were first in the NFL in points allowed, yards allowed and passing yards allowed as NFL odds stats show. They were second in the league against the rush. Simply put, the Steelers were great on defense. There are a number of stars on the defense including Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison and safety Troy Polamalu.
The offense was not great last season but it got the job done. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger continues to prove he is one of the best in the NFL. Running back Willie Parker is good when healthy and Mewelde Moore filled in well. Hines Ward is a great leader at receiver and his counterpart Santonio Holmes continues to make big plays as he showed in the Super Bowl. The Steelers also have a very reliable tight end in Heath Miller. The Steelers were only 20th in points scored as NFL odds stats show, but with their defense ranked #1 the Steelers don’t have to score a lot of points to win.
Head coach Mike Tomlin didn’t tinker with the Steelers much in the off-season and why would you? The defense was great, Roethlisberger continues to play smart football and the team wins. Pittsburgh is going to win a lot of games again in 2009 and unless they are beset by injuries, the Steelers should be favored in NFL odds to meet New England in the AFC title game in 2009. Pittsburgh is the 6-1 second choice in NFL odds behind the Patriots to win the 2009 Super Bowl.
Pittsburgh opens up the 2009 regular season as they host the Tennessee Titans in NBC’s Thursday night opener. Pittsburgh is a 4.5 point favorite in that game.