The Pittsburgh Steelers had a strong finish to the 2022 season and an excellent 2023 preseason. Mike Tomlin and company will look to build on this positivity as they move further into the post-Big Ben era. Continue reading for my favorite Steelers season-long prop bets for 2023.
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Here are the NFL odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
Kenny Pickett Over 3300.5 Passing Yards (-112)
Pickett stepped up his game immensely after the bye week during his rookie season, and he sh
owed immense further improvement in the 2023 preseason, looking like a completely different player from the guy that first took the field against the Jets in 2022. While he may not have the pure arm strength of Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen, Pickett has shown off incredible accuracy in his most recent performances, and in the 2023 preseason, we saw the game begin to slow down for him. He showed an ability to manipulate defenses and throw his receivers open. I feel that this prop places too much emphasis on his early season struggles last year, and the guy we saw at the end of last season and in the 2023 preseason is the real Kenny Pickett.
Najee Harris Over 875.5 Rushing Yards (-112)
Najee Harris is a durable, workhorse running back. While he struggles with breaking off long runs, he is a guy who can consistently punish defenses between the tackles, with repeated 3-5 yard physical Carrie’s and occasionally a few 15-20 yard runs sprinkled in.
Jaylen Warren makes for an excellent change-of-pace running back, but Harris is the go-to and will be the primary back all season.
I believe Harris will receive around 20 carries per game and can average at least 3.7 yards per carry. At this rate, across 15 games he would record 1,110 total rushing yards. This projection also gives us two cushions: Fewer games built in and a cushion of just over 200 yards more than what is needed for this bet to cash.
I think the Steelers' offense will be much improved this year, and a key aspect of that will be maintaining balance. Harris is going to receive a steady diet of carries, and should easily eclipse this number.
George Pickens Over 4.5 Receiving Touchdowns (-110)
This prop is extremely low, and the only rationale I can see for this is that it is indicative of a lack of belief in Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett. Last season, Pickett and Pickens developed in unmistakable rapport with each other, and this led to flashes of success, including multiple trips to the endzone in the final weeks of the regular season. I’m confident that the last few weeks of the season, plus the 2023 preseason, are much more indicative of what the future will look like for these two young players as they continue to grow together.
Pickens is an elite weapon on go routes, which means he can score from midfield. Pickens is a tall, physical receiver with a gift for acrobatic catches, and this will make him a dangerous weapon in the redzone and a favorite target for Pickett to finish off drives. I would be surprised if he scores at least four touchdowns this season just on box-out plays when the team is within five or ten yards of the endzone. Realistically, this means that he just needs to score 1-2 touchdowns in other scenarios for this bet to pay out. Pickens is incredibly athletic, and with the ability to win on go-routes, slants, and box-out plays in the redzone, there are going to be ample opportunities for him to find the endzone.
Bonus: Pittsburgh Steelers Over 8.5 Wins (-150)
This win total is disrespectful to Mike Tomlin, the Steelers roster, and the growth that the young players have shown throughout the offseason. This simply is not the same team that struggled for the first half of last year, and Kenny Pickett is far from the same quarterback he was in his first few starts.
The team that battled and won tough games, including against division rivals, in the final weeks of the 2022 regular season and the team that lit up opponents in the 2023 preseason is who the real Pittsburgh Steelers truly are. Mike Tomlin is a level-headed, elite coach, an elite motivator, and leader, and he will not let this team finish with a record worse than nine wins. Pickett and wide receiver George Pickens will take second-year leaps, both independently and as a duo, and we will see a healthy Najee Harris running behind a hungry and revamped offensive line.
Truth be told, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Steelers win 11 or even 12 games this year. I think 10 wins is the most likely outcome, which gives over bettors a slight cushion for an unexpected loss. I believe in this team, and I’m buying all the stock in the over for the Steelers win total this season.