Steelers vs. Chiefs Odds, NFL Playoff Predictions: How Experts Are Betting Spread, Total On Wild Card Sunday
Getty Images. Pictured: Steelers RB Najee Harris, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill
Steelers vs. Chiefs Odds
|Time||8:15 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings as of Sunday afternoon. Find real-time NFL odds here.|
After 18 seasons and 268 starts, including 22 in the postseason, Ben Roethlisberger gets one more shot in the NFL playoffs when the Steelers head to Kansas City to take on the 2-seeded Chiefs. The last time Pittsburgh went to Arrowhead was only three weeks ago, when it lost 36-10 to Patrick Mahomes and Co.
So where’s the betting value on this Wild Card Sunday finale? Our experts break down their picks below.
Steelers vs. Chiefs Picks
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|Tyreek Hill Under 70.5 Receiving Yards|
written by Brandon Anderson
Last season, the NFL playoffs expanded to seven teams in each conference. If it weren’t for that change, neither of these teams would be playing this weekend — the Steelers would be sitting at home while the Chiefs would be on a deserved first-round bye.
By about halftime, I expect order to be restored.
Big Ben and Mike Tomlin have been underdog darlings their entire careers. Nobody loves a rah-rah underdog spot like they do. But while the Steelers have been live dogs against some opponents this season, the Chiefs aren’t just any opponent. Kansas City’s defense improved greatly as the year went on and the offense is humming again. And what exactly is Pittsburgh good at? The pass defense has been good when healthy, but the run defense is bad and the offense is nonexistent.
These teams aren’t just in two different weight classes; they’re playing two different sports.
Remember, they just played in Arrowhead on the last Sunday of December. Kansas City rolled, 36–10, and it wasn’t even that close. The Chiefs were up 30-0 halfway through the third quarter. At that point, they had out-gained the Steelers 380-to-123 yards. It could have been 50-0.
Remember the ignominious ending to Drew Brees’ career last year? How about the 62-7 drubbing Dan Marino took in his final NFL game? We might get that sort of game from Big Ben. The Chiefs defense is good now, and Big Ben can’t move or get it downfield. The Steelers are in the playoffs in spite of Ben, not because of him.
Double-digit home favorites are a perfect 5-0 against the spread (ATS) in the Wild Card Round since 2003, covering by 5.6 points per game, per our Action Labs data. Even if the Steelers defense keeps things close for awhile, I’m not sure they will ever feel like a serious threat — and that one final Ben Roethlisberger pick-six will always be looming late.
If you don’t trust the high line, you can tease the -12.5 down to -6.5, then you just need the Chiefs to win by a touchdown.
written by Chris Raybon
These two teams played to a total of 46 in the first meeting, and I expect the second meeting to be even tighter, sort of like a divisional game — given the recent added familiarity.
The Steelers will be hard-pressed to move the ball through the air. The Chiefs’ 23rd-place ranking in defensive passing DVOA is deceiving, as they are 11th since Week 10. Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s defenses always seem to peak late in the season, and the addition of Melvin Ingram from these very Steelers bolstered the Kansas City pass rush.
But more importantly, Ben Roethlisberger may literally be incapable of moving the ball downfield through the air. Here’s a look at his average depth of target (aDOT), yards per attempt (YPA) and yards-per-completion (Yd/C) splits over the past four games compared to the first 13:
- Weeks 1-14: 7.3 aDOT, 6.3 YPA, 10.3 Yd/C
- Weeks 15-18: 6.0 aDOT, 4.5 YPA, 7.2 Yd/C
Even if the Steelers are in comeback mode, they may take forever to get the ball down the field.
Another reason to like the under is both teams are top-seven in pressure rate, and Pittsburgh can holds its own against Mahomes, as it ranks eighth in pass-defense DVOA.
Including the postseason, Steelers road unders have covered at a 57% clip with Mike Tomlin as head coach (72-54-1), according to our Action Labs data. And since 2003, wild-card unders in games played outdoors have gone 39-18 (68%).
Tyreek Hill Under 70.5 Receiving Yards
written by Sean Koerner
Hill was limited with a heel injury in Week 18, finishing with only one catch for two yards on a critical fourth-down conversion. There’s a chance the Chiefs use him as a decoy here in order to keep him healthy for a potential Super Bowl run. They should be able to beat the Steelers with a run-heavy, conservative game plan, so I like the value we are getting on a banged up Hill.
I’m projecting this closer to 63.5 yards and would bet the under down to 65.5 yards.
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