Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs Betting Preview
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
When: Sunday, January 15, 2017, 1:05 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NBC
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Betting on the Pittsburgh Steelers (+2)
Time to wave them Terrible Towels with fervor, as the Pittsburgh Steelers have now won eight-consecutive games after handily eliminating the Miami Dolphins from playoff contention on Sunday, 30-12. The Steelers have gone 6-1-1 against the spread during their sizzling run, which includes four-straight road victories to boot.
Football fans witnessed firsthand just how powerful Pittsburgh can be when the trio of Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell all set foot in a playoff game. Sunday marked the first time that the three “Killer B’s” started a postseason game together, and each of them laid the groundwork for the drubbing of the Dolphins.
First off, elusive back Bell set a new Steelers single-game, playoff record with 167 rushing yards on 29 carries to go with two rushing touchdowns. Then there’s star wideout Brown, who needed just five receptions to amass 124 receiving yards along with a couple scores of over 50 yards.
Meanwhile, Roethlisberger didn’t have to do a lot through the passing game to seal the win, as he finished with 189 yards on 13-of-18 passing. However, Big Ben did also throw two interceptions, and he really shouldn’t have been in the dying minutes of the contest with the imminent victory at hand. He, in turn, threw his second pick of the day and even hurt his right foot during the play in the process.
Roethlisberger sported a walking boot during Sunday’s post-game conference, but he also said it himself that he’ll be ready for next Sunday’s showdown against the Chiefs. But with Bell torching any and all defenses in his path, perhaps Pittsburgh won’t need a high-powered aerial attack after all.
Not only that, but the Steelers defense has quietly gotten better as the regular season went on too. That D finished 11th in the league against the pass and 12th against the run, and came up huge this past Sunday by forcing three-consecutive Dolphins turnovers in the first half, racking up four sacks, and limiting Miami running back Jay Ajayi to just 33 rushing yard on 16 carries after Ajayi torched the Steelers for over 200 yards in Week 4 of the regular season.
Betting on the Kansas City Chiefs (-2)
Many people still underestimate the 12-win Kansas City Chiefs until now, but let’s be reminded that this is the same team that beat the Raiders and the Broncos twice in the regular season and finished with wins in five of their last six games to clinch the AFC West title and a first-round bye.
Although the Chiefs’ offense still looks the same like in seasons past with Alex Smith under center, that underachieving unit got a couple of banner performances from two of its receivers. Rookie wideout Tyreek Hill had touchdown scores of 68 yards or more in each of his last four starts – two receiving and two via TD returns on special teams – and tight end Travis Kelce led all players at his position this season with 1,125 receiving yards.
Above all else: Kansas City’s patented defense was as opportunistic as ever, finishing with NFL-bests of 33 takeaways and a turnover differential of plus-16 during the regular season. However, that same D can be fickle at times when it fails to create turnovers as it finished a mere 24th in the league by allowing 368.5 yards per contest to its opponents.
Still, the Chiefs will be glad to host the Steelers at Arrowhead this Sunday, where they’ve gone 5-2 this season (3-4 ATS) and with both losses having been by just two points apiece and with identical final scores of 19-17. Pittsburgh’s Roethlisberger has been notoriously terrible on the road (nine TDs to eight INTs, 78.4 QB rating), and you can bet head coach Andy Reid has taken well note of this fact.
Then again, the Chiefs have lost four-straight playoff games at home and had not won one in front of their fans since 1993. It’s also worth noting that the Steelers managed to trample over them in Week 4, 41-13, with Big Ben connecting on five touchdowns and with Bell going off for 140 rushing yards in his first game back from a three-game suspension.
Create a betting account now before the NFL wagering action goes full tilt heading into the playoffs!
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