The Pittsburgh Steelers will begin the regular season without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger but if they can survive the first four weeks of the season in NFL odds they should get Big Ben back in Week 5.
The Steelers are not being given a lot of respect in NFL lines as they are well behind the Baltimore Ravens in futures for the AFC North.
NFL odds list Pittsburgh at 18-1 to win the Super Bowl. The Steelers have a difficult schedule but they have had tough schedules in past seasons and still thrived. The Steelers open up at home against the Atlanta Falcons and it will be a rare time when Pittsburgh is a home dog. Without Roethlisberger at quarterback the Steelers could struggle vs. a talented Atlanta team. Pittsburgh goes to Tennessee in Week 2 for what could be another difficult game. The Steelers get a break in Week 3 as they travel to Tampa Bay and they should win that game even without Big Ben. Pittsburgh could also be an underdog at home in Week 4 as they host the Baltimore Ravens.
The schedule does the Steelers a big favor as they get a bye in Week 5. That will give them extra time to get Roethlisberger ready as he is likely to return after suspension for Week 6 at home against Cleveland. They will need Roethlisberger as they go on a brutal three-game road trip at Miami, New Orleans and Cincinnati. It doesn’t get any easier in Week 10 as they host the New England Patriots.
The Steelers finally get a break in Week 11 as they host the Oakland Raiders. This is a revenge game for Pittsburgh in NFL lines since they lost at home against the Raiders last year. The Steelers then have a winnable game at Buffalo before facing the Ravens in Week 13. Pittsburgh comes home for two tough games against Cincinnati and the New York Jets in Weeks 14 and 15. The Steelers finish up with two winnable games against Carolina at home and Cleveland on the road.
Pittsburgh is not the favorite in the AFC North but they have the talent to win another title this season. Their schedule is difficult but they do get some help with the bye week at the right time and some winnable games down the stretch.