The 2017 AFC Championship will go down as the most drama filled tilt of the 2017 NFL Playoffs. A week of a war of words from both sides will come to a head this Sunday when two perennial Super Bowl contenders hit the grid-iron to handle their differences. One of the two will face either the Packers or Falcons for Super Bowl LI
The AFC Steelers Vs Patriots NFL betting line favors the Patriots by 6-points. Kick-off is this Sunday, January 22nd at 6:40 PM ET on CBS from the Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts.
Pittsburgh Steelers Vs New England Patriots Line & Betting Advice
What: AFC Championship
Who: Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5) at New England Patriots (14-2)
When: Sunday, January 22, 2017
Start Time: 5:40 PM ET
Where: Foxboro, MA
Stadium: Gillette Stadium
Spread: Patriots -6
Moneyline: Pittsburgh +210 vs New England -230
Game Total: 50.5
Stream: CBS Sports
Listen: Pittsburgh vs New England
Why Bet The Pittsburgh Steelers To Beat The Patriots
The Pittsburgh Steelers advanced the AFC Championship game by beating the Kansas Chiefs 18-16 in the divisional round. They are 13-5 SU and 11-6-1 ATS this season including the playoffs. They average 24.8 points per game (11th) and give up 20.4 points per game (10th).
Betting on the Steelers this year has been profitable, as they went 9-7 against the spread (ATS) during the regular season and have followed that up by covering the spread in both playoff games so far. If you include the postseason, the Steelers are 11-5 ATS this year with Big Ben under center.
The Steelers average 262.6 passing yards per game (5th). A midseason knee surgery prevented QB Ben Roethlisberger (3819 yards, 29 TDs & 13 INTs) from suiting up when these teams played in October. He’s struggled on the road all season (78.4 passer rating away from Heinz Field as opposed to 116.7 at home) and has already thrown three interceptions in these playoffs. Pittsburgh has provided solid pass protection, and that could be critical against an average New England pass rush.
The Steelers are 7-0 in the postseason when Roethlisberger throws for fewer than 225 yards. They’re 0-3 when he throws for more than 300 yards.
All eyes will be on WR Antonio Brown (106 rec, 1284 yards, 12 TDs) after his much-discussed Facebook Live locker room broadcast after their win last week. His on-field matchup versus the Patriots’ Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler, who’s developed into one of the league’s top corners. Brown’s 232 receiving yards are more than any other player in this postseason. He could be the Steelers’ best hope for success if Bell can’t shake loose.
Pittsburgh averages 110.0 rushing yards per game (14th). RB Le’Veon Bell (261 car, 1268 yards, 7 TDs) missed the first three games of the season due to a suspension. Every week since his return his workload has increased. His patient running style has been driving this offense for two months, averaging 173.9 yards from scrimmage while finding the end zone 11 times in his last nine games.
I think it’s going to be a showdown," Bell said of the meeting against the Patriots. "Two great quarterbacks going head to head. Two of the best teams in the AFC. It’s time to settle it next week."
Bell thrives at setting up his blocks, accelerating to daylight and running routes as crisp as any receiver. He’s probably the guy Patriots coach Bill Belichick has identified as the player New England must shut down. It’s worth wondering if that task might have been more manageable if athletic LB Jamie Collins hadn’t been traded at midseason.
Pittsburgh owns the 12th-ranked total defense in the NFL. They allow 243.0 passing yards per game (16th) and 100.0 rushing yards per game (13th) during the regular season. The Steelers recorded 38 sacks this season (9th). Lawrence Timmons had 114 tackles in the regular season and James Harrison 5.0 sacks.
Why Bet The New England Patriots To Beat The Steelers
The New England Patriots covered a colossal betting spread when they beat the Houston Texans last week by a 34-16 score. They moved to 15-2 SU and 14-3 ATS this season including the playoffs. They average 27.4 points per game (3rd) and allow 15.6 points per game (1st).
The Patriots average 269.3 passing yards per game (4th). QB Tom Brady (3554 yards, 28 TDs & 2 INTs) struggled against the Texans top-ranked defense. Brady completed only 18 of 38 passes for 287 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He was sacked two times.
Brady has blazed the Steelers for most of his career, including the 2004 AFC title game in Pittsburgh. Brady is 9-2 all-time against the Steelers with 26 touchdowns and three interceptions. Roethlisberger is sixth all-time with 13 playoff wins.
"It’s two old guys playing this game for a long time. He deserves all the credit he gets," Roethlisberger said. "I think this is more than just the two of us. We’re not playing tennis. At the quarterback position you get used to it — a lot of talk quarterback vs. quarterback. I know and I’m sure he knows it’s bigger than us."
WR Julian Edelman (98 rec, 1106 yards, 3 TDs) was Brady’s favorite target last week. He caught eight passes for 137 yards.
New England averages 117.0 rushing yards per game (7th). RB LeGarrette Blount (299 car, 1161 yards, 18 TDs) saw very little action last Saturday. Instead, it was RB Dion Lewis (64 car, 283 yards, 0 TDs) who scored the only rushing touchdown of the night.
New England has the 8th-ranked total defense in the NFL. The Patriots allow 238.0 passing yards (12th) and 88.6 rushing yards per game (3rd). The team recorded 34 sacks this season (16th). Logan Ryan led the Pats with 92 tackles in the regular season and Trey Flowers with 7.0 sacks.
If You Still Can’t Decide Who To Bet On:
- Pittsburgh is 7-1-1 ATS in its last nine games
- Pittsburgh is 5-0 SU in its last five games
- Pittsburgh is 5-0 ATS in its last five games on the road
- Pittsburgh is 5-0 SU in its last five games on the road
- Pittsburgh is 1-3-1 ATS in its last five games when playing on the road against New England
- Pittsburgh is 1-4 SU in its last five games when playing on the road against New England
Steelers Vs Patriots Free Pick
58% of the betting public is on the Patriots. They finished the regular season with a league-best 13-3 ATS record and even covered as 17-point home favorites in the divisional round over the Houston Texans.
Early sharp money also landed on the Patriots, but since has split.
New England is also the most popular teaser bet of the weekend for sharps and squares alike (Pats would just need to win outright with a six-point tease to pick ’em).
History has not been kind to the Tom Brady era. Since Brady took over early in the 2001 season, the New England Patriots are 9-3 in head-to-head meetings with the Steelers, including 2-0 in the playoffs.
I am betting the Steelers to cover the 6-point spread as dogs.