Von Hagen is bullish on the Pittsburgh Steelers to go ‘over’ 9 wins

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a season win total of nine flat.

With the NFL Draft on the horizon, sportsbooks are ramping up their available selections for the 2020 season.

DraftKings is offering odds on team totals, player totals, awards and playoff odds. Here are several wagers I like for the 2020 season.

Pittsburgh Steelers ‘Over’ 9 Wins (-110)
Oddsmakers are likely hesitant to put Pittsburgh in the double-digit win category based on an aging Ben Roethlisberger, who is returning from a Week 2 elbow injury that sidelined him in 2019.

Roethlisberger says he feels better than ever and is throwing without any pain. The good news for Steelers’ fans and ‘over’ bettors is that he doesn’t need to be perfect to cash this bet.

Pittsburgh has one of the best defenses in the NFL, coming off a 2019 season in which it led the league in sacks and was second in interceptions. Minkah Fitzpatrick had five interceptions after being traded to the Steelers, returning one of them for a touchdown.

It was the quarterback position that really held the Steelers back, as Mason Rudolph faded down the stretch. Roethlisberger was the NFL’s leading passer in 2018 and Pittsburgh GM Kevin Colbert said Big Ben might be even better after his surgery.

The Steelers also have the second-easiest schedule in 2020 based on opponent winning percentage (.457) in 2019. I like Pittsburgh to finish 10-6, with a push being the worst-case scenario.

Ryan Tannehill ‘Over’ 22.5 Touchdown Passes (-110)
Ryan Tannehill burst onto the scene after replacing Marcus Mariota at quarterback for the Titans in October last season.

He threw 22 touchdowns in just 10 starts to close the regular season. Tennessee leaned heavily on Derrick Henry in the postseason, though, not asking Tannehill to do too much.

However, now that Tannehill has signed his $118 million deal, expectations are going to change. The Titans clearly believe that he can sling the rock, so I expect him to be doing so throughout the season.

Tennessee is also going to want to save Henry’s legs for the playoffs as much as it can, so Tannehill should be asked to throw even more than he did last season. He has only started all 16 games four times in his career, but he went ‘over’ 22.5 touchdowns in three of those four years.

Wide receiver A.J. Brown had an excellent season as a rookie in 2019 and established himself as a weapon in the passing game. Corey Davis, Kalif Raymond and Adam Humphries provide other options for Tannehill.

Tight end Jonnu Smith finished strong in 2019 and will be a major factor in 2020.

Julio Jones ‘Over’ 1400.5 Receiving Yards (-110)
Julio Jones has gone ‘over’ 1,400 receiving yards in five of the last six seasons. The lone campaign under that number came last year, when he fell six yards shy of the 1,400 mark.

Atlanta got off to a slow start and was unable to piece things together until the second half of the regular season. I think the Falcons are going to ride that wave of momentum into the 2020 season.

Jones is obviously a crucial component of the offense and one of the best receivers in the league. He averaged 126 yards per game in the final three games of the regular season, but was held back by three games under 55 yards in the first five games of the year.

Jones could begin declining in 2020, but I’ll have to see that happen to believe it. He is a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame once his career is over and those numbers are only going to grow this season.

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