Le’Veon Bell Odds: Where Will the Steelers Star Play in 2019?
Published on September 13, 2018
The 2018 NFL season has begun, and yet there hasn’t been a Le’Veon Bell sighting.
The star Pittsburgh Steelers running back should have been with his teammates taking on the Cleveland Browns in week one, but instead, he was on social media tweeting out cryptic messages.
On the heels of heavy criticism from numerous teammates after reports surfaced that the star rusher’s contract holdout would bleed into the regular season, that really isn’t shocking.
It might still be somewhat surprising if Bell doesn’t report soon, however, and the Steelers ultimately agree to some type of record-setting deal with him.
Then again, the Steelers almost topped the Browns without him.
Even though their first game of the year ended in a tie, it arguably had almost nothing to do with not having their top rusher. In fact, backup James Conner was fantastic in his stead, amassing 192 total yards and a touchdown.
Suffice it to say, there is an argument that the Steelers can live on without paying Bell a rich salary.
That has Le’Veon Bell trade rumors heating up, and even if he doesn’t end up getting dealt, the chatter of him potentially walking as a free agent this offseason is bordering on deafening.
It still would make a lot of sense for the Steelers and Bell to come together and figure this thing out. That’s precisely why Pittsburgh still leads the way with the best odds to retain the star rusher.
Regardless, Bell and the Steelers are not on the same page, and it’s quite possible they may never be. The potential for some type of divorce has to have bettors thinking about what other teams Bell could play for in 2019 and beyond.
SportsBetting.ag is way ahead of everyone, as they’ve pushed out Le’Veon Bell destination odds and give you nine viable options to wager on.
Per usual, I am a little disappointed that there aren’t even more options (say, odds for every single NFL team?) and/or a betting option for Any/Field.
There are quite a few teams not listed here that could be in talks to sign Bell when/if he hits free agency.
Whether they’ll have a ton of money to work with or simply badly need help at running back, I’d certainly want to see the likes of the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as viable candidates.
They’re not, though, so you have to look at this list and decide if Bell is staying in Pennsylvania or if one of these other teams is likely to land him.
Obviously, Bell sticking with the Steelers is a very real possibility.
He’s currently on their roster, they’re the only franchise he’s ever known, and assuming the relationship isn’t fractured beyond repair, he probably wouldn’t mind playing and winning there.
The +100 price is tempting just because it’s still very possible he stays in town. I always like to target wagers that sports betting sites are offering, even though I feel no change is coming.
Of course, the top betting sites have actually been pretty good about this stuff.
Whenever you see these crazy player prop bets featuring Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Paul George, Khalil Mack, Kawhi Leonard, and so many others, something big tends to happen not long after.
In fact, of this illustrious list, the only guy to defy the online sportsbooks and ignore the outside chatter was PG-13, who opted to stay in OKC.
From the list of teams above, my favorite options are the New York Jets (+900) and Indianapolis Colts (+900).
If Bell is traded for and later signs an extension, you can take a look at the 49ers (+400). They’re second in the Le’Veon Bell sweepstakes per the top NFL betting websites, and considering top back Jerick McKinnon was lost for the year with a torn ACL, they have a big need.
Teams like the Pats or Packers could also make a splash and trade for Bell. Green Bay makes some sense due to having two first-round draft picks, but this is just such a huge investment that would require draft picks and a boatload of cash.
A trade has to happen for it to be the Niners or a lot of these other teams, in my opinion. Due to the risk for these teams, I don’t know if I see that happening.
Nobody is going to have more cash available to spend in 2019 than the two franchises I’ve highlighted as Bell’s potential next teams. Both of them literally rank 1st and 2nd at Spotrac.com in terms of salary they can spend going into next year.
Both teams also could use a legit franchise rusher. New York has played with the idea of Bilal Powell being that guy in the past, and this offseason, they brought in Isaiah Crowell. Those guys are fine as a committee, but they’re not Le’Veon Bell.
Ditto for Indy, who routinely fields a roster full of nobodies around one of the best pure passers in the game in Andrew Luck.
An aging Frank Gore was the top back for the Colts for far too long, and in 2018, they’ve got a shockingly bad collection of pedestrian rushing talent.
Either of these teams could and should pay big money to land Bell, and right now, I’m going to lean toward the Colts.
Indy’s need is slightly greater, they’ll have more cash to spend, and they also have a more proven star quarterback under center. Bell would be promised more cash than anyone can give him, and he’d still go to a team that might have a shot to face the Steelers in the playoffs.
I think you can look at other fliers, and a return to Pittsburgh can’t be ruled out. However, you’re looking for logic and upside with this wager. That has me rolling with the Colts for now.