- BetOnline has Kansas City as 12.5-point home favorites over the Steelers on Sunday
- The Chiefs have reached at least the conference championship game in each of the past three seasons
- Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt is the frontrunner for NFL Defensive Player of the Year after tying Michael Strahan’s season sack record
Nothing is unfathomable in a world where the Colts can lose a must-win game to a 2-14 Jaguars team, but it’s hard to imagine Ben Roethlisberger dink-and-dunking his way to an upset over the Chiefs on Sunday night.
Looking to reach their third straight Super Bowl, Kansas City won nine of their last 10 games, narrowly missing out on the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a 12-5 record. Meanwhile, the Zombie Steelers improbably limped into the postseason thanks to three victories in their final four games and Indianapolis’ self-implosion.
Chiefs vs Steelers
|Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||+12.5 (-110)||+550||Ov 46.5 (-110)|
|Kansas City Chiefs||-12.5 (-110)||-750||Un 46.5 (-110)|
Another blowout beckons?
When the Steelers last faced Kansas City a few weeks ago, they trailed 30-0 and wound up losing by 26 points. Making matters worse, Travis Kelce was on the COVID-19 list for that contest and Tyreek Hill played only 29 snaps after being a late activation.
“We don’t have a chance, so let’s just go in and have fun,” said Roethlisberger on Wednesday in advance of what’s likely the last game of a decorated 18-year career with 12 postseason appearances and two Super Bowl wins.
"We don’t have a chance, so let’s just go in and have fun."
—Ben Roethlisberger on the Steelers' playoff game vs. the Chiefs
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 12, 2022
Big Ben didn’t have a single game with 300 yards passing this season and he needed 35 attempts to throw for 159 yards in Week 16 versus KC. More embarrassing still, that 159-yard effort is his high water mark since Week 14.
Needless to say, the Steelers defense that held opponents to an average of 13.3 points per game in their last three wins will have to keep this one close. T.J. Watt just tied the league record for sacks in a season with 22.5, but slowing down Patrick Mahomes is a different beast entirely.
Chiefs to cover 12.5-point spread. Aside from last year’s Super Bowl, Mahomes has only one postseason loss in his career. While a 3-4 start to the the season created much consternation over the play of the star quarterback, he’s tossed 19 TDs against four INTs over the past 10 contests.
Even if the 26-year-old phenom struggles, a lumbering Roethlisberger must find a way to muster offense against a Chiefs D that held opponents to a league-low 12.9 points per contest during a recent eight-game win streak. A tall task considering Pittsburgh managed just 16 points in an OT battle with the Ravens’ bottom-barrel pass defense on Sunday.
— KC Sports Network (@KCSportsNetwork) January 9, 2022
Bet the OVER on 46.5 points. With Hill, Kelce and running back Darrel Williams all expected to play on Sunday night, Andy Reid will have his full complement of playmakers available at Arrowhead. That’s bad news for a Pittsburgh team that’s given up more points than it’s scored this season.
Additionally, Kansas City’s defense has fallen apart in the final two games of the regular season, allowing 839 yards to the Bengals and Broncos. That could give Pittsburgh an opportunity to put points on the board – but a defensive touchdown by Steve Spanuolo’s risk-taking D is just as likely in a potential blowout.
Final Score Prediction: Kansas City 33, Steelers 16.
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