BlackJack’s Patriots-Steelers Preview: Who I’m Backing in Brady vs. Roethlisberger

BlackJack’s Patriots-Steelers Preview: Who I’m Backing in Brady vs. Roethlisberger article feature image

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger

  • It's Tom Brady vs. Ben Roethlisberger in a must-win game for the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET on CBS).
  • See who BlackJack Fletcher is backing in this matchup with big implications for the AFC playoff picture.

This is a matchup everyone thought might be for control of the AFC playoff picture at the beginning of the season.

Instead, New England is fighting to hold off Houston for the No. 2 seed while Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes are on life support after two straight losses and a date with New Orleans looming in Week 16.

So two teams that desperately need this win are taking the field in Pittsburgh on Sunday, what ever shall we do?

The answer is simple.

It’s New England. It’s always been New England.

There are those of you who will say it’s crazy to bet against a home dog like Pittsburgh catching 2.5 in a must-win spot (cc: Chad Millman). But indulge me for a moment if you will.

The Patriots suffered a heartbreaking loss last week to the Dolphins in what has been dubbed the “Miami Miracle.” Off a regular-season loss, Tom Brady and the Pats are a staggering 34-11 against the spread.

Even more notable than that is Brady’s record in the second of back-to-back road games. He’s a spectacular 21-10-1 ATS, as detailed by our own Evan Abrams, who also highlighted that the Pats cover in that spot by an average of 6.5 points.

On the other side of the equation is a Pittsburgh team that’s reeling.

The Steelers suffered a home loss to the Chargers then a devastating road loss to the Raiders in which Ben Roethlisberger suffered a rib injury. His delicate status combined with the uncertainty of how effective James Conner will be could seriously hinder Pittsburgh’s offensive prowess against New England.

New England doesn’t suffer back-to-back clunkers. That Miami loss will galvanize this team and motivate the Patriots to make a statement on Sunday. That will be more than enough, as Roethlisberger is only 3-7 against Brady ATS in their 10 meetings.

Brady and the Pats don’t drop two in a row this late in the season. Jump on this before the line moves.

THE PICK: New England -2.5

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