The top-seeded New England Patriots will be hosting the red hot Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game this Sunday, January 22nd at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. New England took care of the Houston Texans at home to the tune of 34-16 last weekend while the Steelers edged the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 18-16 on the road. New England took the top seed in the NFC this year as well as the NFC East Division with their 14-2 record. Pittsburgh won the AFC North at 11-5 and then downed the Miami Dolphins 30-12 at Heinz Field in their first playoff game. Pittsburgh hosted the Patriots in week 7 and was beaten 27-16. New England is 7-3 against Pittsburgh in their past 10 meetings.
Steelers vs Patriots: Bovada NFL Betting Line:
- Point Spread: Patriots -6 at -115 with the Steelers +6 at -105
- Over/Under: 51 points, both at -110
- Money Line: Steelers +185 to win with the Patriots -225
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Steelers vs Patriots Betting Trends:
- Season record: 13-5 straight up, 11-6-1 against the spread
- Pittsburgh has gone 7-1-1 against the spread in their past nine contests
- Pittsburgh has gone 5-0 in their past five outings
- The total has been under in 16 of Pittsburgh’s past 22 encounters
- Pittsburgh has gone 5-0 straight up and against the spread on their past five road trips
- The total has been under in seven of Pittsburgh’s past eight road games
- Pittsburgh has gone 1-3-1 against the spread in their past five meetings with New England
- Pittsburgh has gone 1-4 in their past five games with New England
- The total has been over in eight of Pittsburgh’s past 12 encounters with New England
- Pittsburgh has gone 1-3-1 against the spread in their past five games in New England
- Pittsburgh has gone 1-4 in their past five trips to New England
- The total has been over in four of Pittsburgh’s past six games in New England
New England Patriots:
- Season record: 15-2 straight up, 14-3 against the spread
- New England has gone 5-0 against the spread in their past five games
- New England has gone 5-0 in their past five outings
- New England has gone 5-1 against the spread in their past six home performances
- New England has gone 17-3 in their past 20 home games
- The total has been over in four of New England’s past six home games
- New England has gone 10-3-1 against the spread in their past 14 meetings with Pittsburgh
- New England has gone 4-1 in their past five meetings with Pittsburgh
- The total has been over in eight of New England’s past 12 games with Pittsburgh
- New England has gone 4-1 in their past five home games with Pittsburgh
- The total has gone been over in four of New England’s past six home meetings with Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Steelers – A Closer Look:
The Steelers are currently riding a nine-game winning streak which included five consecutive road victories. They scored 24.9 points on average per game in the regular season and allowed 20.4 against. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been leading the way along with a lot of help from Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. But the inconsistent Roethlisberger still has room for improvement as he’s been picked off nine times in his past eight outings. He’s also struggled on the road this season. While Brown and Bell had fine games last week, kicker Chris Boswell was the star of the game since the Steelers’ didn’t manage to score a touchdown.
All 18 points came courtesy of Boswell as he was successful on all six of his field goal attempts. As far as Roethlisberger went, he gained 224 passing yards by completing 20 of his 31 attempts and was also intercepted once. Running back Bell ran for 170 yards on 30 runs and his carries helped to set up the majority of Pittsburgh’s field goal opportunities. Wide receiver Brown did his part also with six receptions for 180 yards. New England will be facing Roethlisberger for the first time this year as he missed the game in week 7 with an injury.
Landry Jones was the quarterback for that game, which was a 27-16 loss. Brown managed 106 yards against new England in the contest on seven receptions and was the Steelers’ best player. Pittsburgh’s defense had a good game in Kansas and should have a bit of momentum this week. They conceded just 61 rushing yards to the Chiefs and 166 yards in the air. During the regular season, the Steelers’ run defense was 12th-best in the league at 100 yards against per game on average and the pass defense was 11th best with 242.6 yards against. The Steelers’ road record this season was 5-3.
New England Patriots – A Closer Look:
New England was one of the top offensive teams this regular season by scoring 27.6 points per game and was the best defensive squad by allowing only 15.6 against. They went 6-2 at Gillette Stadium during the regular season and 4-1 with Tom Brady at quarterback. In addition, New England’s record at home in their past nine playoff games there is an impressive 8-1. Brady struggled against Houston last weekend, but still has 18 touchdown passes in his past eight contests along with three interceptions. The Patriots also won each of the eight games.
Defensively, New England allowed just 88.6 yards per game on the ground this season for the fourth-best run defense, so may be able to keep Bell in check. Meanwhile, the pass defense allowed 238 yards against per outing. Brady completed just 18 of his 38 pass attempts last week against Houston, but tossed for two touchdowns. He gained 287 yards, but also threw a pair of interceptions. Running back Dion Lewis helped him out big time with three touchdowns.
Lewis ran back a kickoff return for a score and also chipped in with a rushing and a receiving touchdown. LeGarrette Blount could also be a key figure against the Steelers as he ran for 127 yards against them in week 7 on 24 carries with two touchdowns. Brady had a pair of touchdown passes in that game and threw for 222 yards by going 19 for 26. The Patriots’ offensive needs to roll up their socks though as Brady was hit quite often by the Texans and was sacked twice.