The Pittsburgh Steelers season is about to begin, but there is still some time to get your player prop bets in before the start of the Black and Gold’s 2019 campaign.
Below is a look at what we think are the best value Steelers player props for the upcoming season. The lines come courtesy of PlaySugarHouse, which is the top legal online sportsbook in the state.
For these lines keep in mind that a player will have to play in at least eight games in most cases to qualify the bet, so make sure to check the betting conditions prior to a wager.
4300.5 yards passing (Under)
27.5 Touchdown passes (Over)
Roethlisberger has thrown more than 27 touchdowns in all but one of his past six seasons. Though the team is missing one of the best receivers in football, a new high-end receiver has replaced him in Juju Smith-Schuster. However, Ben has only eclipsed the 4,300-yard mark twice over this six-year span. With such a high line, it’s odd to think he won’t surpass the 27 touchdown line. I think the schemes will be similar to 2018 but I’d expect more rushing attempts in 2019 and more play-action and involvement from the tight end, Vance McDonald, this season.
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1050.5 Rushing yards (Over)
10 Touchdown rushes (Push)
If James Conner can stay healthy for all 16 games, I don’t think this will even be close. I expect a healthy Conner to easily break 10 touchdowns. Last season, Conner rushed for 12 touchdowns in just 13 games last season and went for 973 yards rushing. If Conner can get to 14 games this season and the Steelers can utilize more play-action and balance the offense more in 2019, I expect Conner’s YPC to rise and his carries should as well. We should see a massive season from Conner in 2019. I’m going over on the yardage but I’m calling for a push on the touchdowns because I believe teams are going to stack the box inside the 10 with JuJu being the lone outside threat. Expect more play-action near the goal line as the Steelers should balance the offense in 2019 and push for a big postseason run.
1350.5 Receiving yards (Over)
9.5 Touchdown receptions (Over)
Juju had a phenomenal 2018 season. His 1400 yard season was among the best in the league last year and his seven touchdown total should’ve been higher, given all the times he was tackled inside the five-yard line. With AB gone, the void in targets should mean a decent increase in his direction. Expect at least 15-30 more targets in 2019, but don’t be so certain he will again eclipse the 1400 yard mark. Ben threw for an abnormally high amount of passing yards last season and with AB departed, the frequency by which they throw will decrease along with it.
Juju also had a number of broken, deep gains that are much more of a statistical abnormality than one might expect with his overall lack of elite speed. This offense will regress to a more balanced target and carry distribution, unlike last season when the Steelers were the pass-happiest team in the league and were at the opposite end of the rushing attempts ranking. Vance McDonald will get more work because the Steelers will likely be running more play-action, so don’t expect Juju to get many more targets this season than last, simply because AB is gone. I think Juju barely breaks the 1350.5 yardage mark and he just gets to 10 or 11 touchdowns on the year.
700.5 Receiving yards (Over)
6.5 Touchdown receptions (Over)
Vance McDonald had that one terrific play last season where he stiff-armed Chris Conte right out of the league and ran free for a 75-yard touchdown. The weird part is, it wasn’t any sort of coming-out party for McDonald. His target volume didn’t really increase and he wasn’t too involved in pass-catching the rest of the season. With the departure of Antonio Brown, there will be a shift in the scheme. I can’t imagine the Steelers are going to stay with their disproportionate pass to run ratio (2:1) a year after losing one of the best players in football at receiver. With the expected bump in involvement in the offense, it’s fair to expect McDonald will get 90 yards more receiving this season than last. Also, a higher snap count for McDonald means the increased likelihood the Steelers will be using more play-action pass this season, so scheming to stop the run will provide McDonald with some nice coverage assignments by linebackers. M
McDonald’s athleticism will give him the upper hand in those engagements, so I anticipate a big bump in both targets, red-zone targets, and touchdowns this season. Any time a team utilizes more play-action, it usually benefits the tight end more in the red zone, so that’s a good sign for a breakout 2019 season. I think McDonald gets over 800 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Collin is a former Army Intelligence and Logistics officer who will watch any sport and gamble with anyone willing. He currently resides in Texas and has to deal with Cowboys fans all the time.