2010 NFL preseason betting odds don’t list the Pittsburgh Steelers as the favorites in the AFC North.
That might seem weird but the Steelers are considered the second or third best team in the division. Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl just two seasons ago but they are 20-1 long shots in NFL preseason lines this year.
2010 NFL preseason betting lists Pittsburgh at about 3-1 to win the AFC North this season. That is well behind the Baltimore Ravens who are -200. The Steelers will be missing starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for at least the first four games of the season.
NFL preseason lines on the Steelers begin in August 14th as they host the Detroit Lions. The Steelers are in New York in Week 2 for a game against the Giants. They are then at Denver in Week 3 in a game that can be seen on Fox television. They finish up at home against Carolina.
The preseason for Pittsburgh is going to be all about finding consistency for the offense without Roethlisberger. It is likely that Byron Leftwich will get much of the playing time although Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch will try and win the job. Whoever ends up with the starting job will have to develop chemistry with the receivers. Santonio Holmes is now gone so it will be up to Hines Ward and Mike Wallace to step up. The Steelers will have to hope that Rashard Mendenhall is ready for a full season because they let Willie Parker get away. Mewelde Moore is a nice receiver but he is not a full time running back. The holes could be smaller for Mendenhall this season since right tackle Willie Colon is out for the year with an injury.
Pittsburgh’s defense is going to have to be great this season if the Steelers are to make the playoffs. It is absolutely essential that Troy Polamalu not miss any more time due to injuries. The Steelers have a lot of talent on defense with players like James Harrison and James Farrior but they need Polamalu to hold everything together. Pittsburgh did add Bryant McFadden in the off-season and he will help the secondary.
The Steelers will get a lot of attention in the preseason because of the situation regarding Roethlisberger. They could actually be undervalued to start the season but the key will be how well the backup quarterbacks play and the preseason could provide you with some clues.