The 2018 season NFL draft is not yet over, but some analysts have already predicted that New England Patriots
are the most favorites to lift the AFC title once again this season. However, that should not come as a surprise to anyone after watching the Patriots in the last seven AFC title games. But, looking at the Patriots rivals in the AFC title, you can clearly see they're getting closer to knocking them down in this season title. And one of those likely teams is the Pittsburgh Steelers
. According to some betting platforms, the latest Steelers odds to win AFC title game stands at 9/2, which looks great since they've proved to be among the biggest headache for the Patriots in 2018 AFC title. The Steelers have already adjusted their weaknesses that led to a disappointing finish in the last season championship.
The Steelers now looks like a strong team that will challenge the Patriots after making several key changes. Starting with the coaching changes, Steelers have replaced Todd Haley (offensive coordinator) with Randy Fichtner (former quarterback) and also making some swapping out changes like that of Carnell Lake swapped out with Tom Bradley as their defensive backs coach. However, fans have already questioned the in-fighting and play-calling that involve Ben Roethlisberger (quarterback) and the team, which they now perceive as a big problem that could affect the team. For several years their defensive secondary has been a problem too, but now they have received a new leader after saying "c'est la vie" to their superstars William Gay, Robert Golden and Mike Mitchell. The two players expected to replace them are veterans Nat Berhe and Morgan Burnett.
Le'Veon Bell is expected to be part of this season Steelers roster unless something drastic happens. Another reason why the Steelers are at a better position compared to others is that they're not rebuilding the entire team that was the biggest challenge for the New England during the 2017 conference championship. With their star quarterback Roethlisberger plus the return of two receivers Martavis Bryant and Antonio Brown, marks the return of core players in the 2018. Other key players expected to add more strength to the team include JuJu Smith-Schuster and Vance McDonald at the offense. The Steelers' entire offensive line will be intact this season, while the defensive starters have been entrenched. This has made the Steelers to have a greater starting point of reference when compared to other franchises who're currently struggling to resolve the weaknesses in their rosters.
According to just released NFL odds, the New England odds to lift AFC conference title stands at 7/4, which is definitely behind the Steelers. Apart from these two teams, other teams include Houston Texans
, Jacksonville Jaguars
, Oakland Raiders
and Kansas City Chiefs
. However, these teams have questions that need answers apart from the Jags. Others are yet to bounce back after their previous poor performance. Most of these teams have placed their hopes on their quarterbacks that they'll be in top form this season. But, despite good predictions for Steelers, the Patriots are looking forward to do it again this season. They're likely to be AFC favorites once again with Tom Brady taking under center. The Patriots are planning to bounce back after recovering from last season's Super Bowl disappointment. This is something that Pittsburgh cannot overlook.
Top Betting Odds to Win Super Bowl
New England Patriots : +400
Green Bay Packers : +750
Pittsburgh Steelers : +800
Betting Odds to Win AFC North
Pittsburgh Steelers : +800
Baltimore Ravens : +3300