- The Kansas City Chiefs are 12.5-point favorites over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday (Jan. 16th, 8:15 pm ET) in the AFC Wild Card Playoffs
- 25 of the past 36 outdoor Wild Card Playoff games have gone under the total
- Read below for odds, analysis, injury news and a betting prediction
Wild Card Weekend is full of rematches from the regular season. Kansas City will host Pittsburgh on Sunday (Jan. 16th) in a rematch of their Week 16 clash. The Chiefs won that matchup convincingly 36-10, and oddsmakers expect a similar result the AFC Wild Card Round.
Steelers vs Chiefs Odds
|Pittsburgh Steelers||+500||+12.5 (-110)||O 46.5 (-108)|
|Kansas City Chiefs||-700||-12.5 (-110)||U 46.5 (-112)|
Odds as of Jan. 14th at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Kansas City is currently a 12.5-point favorite, in a game that features a total of 46.5. Per the NFL public betting trends, 51% of the spread tickets and 69% of the ATS betting handle is on the Chiefs. As for the total, 67% of the bets are on the over, but 63% of the money is on the under.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 pm ET at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, with light winds and 40 degree night time temperatures in the forecast.
Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Analysis
It’s a near miracle the Steelers are even in the playoffs, but it guarantees at least one more game in Ben Roethlisberger’s career. Big Ben is set to retire at the end of this season, and you could argue he should have called it quits a while ago.
"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
He’s averaging just 4.5 yards per attempt and 7 yards per completion over his past four games. That’s underwhelming to say the least. Pittsburgh ranks 25th on offense per DVOA, and has led for fewer offensive snaps this season than the 4-13 Houston Texans.
The Steelers have also been notoriously slow starters in Roethlisberger’s final year. They’re averaging a pitiful 3.1 points in the first half over their past seven games, while Big Ben has just one first half TD pass over that stretch. Falling behind KC early is a recipe for disaster.
Injury wise, rookie running back Najee Harris is dealing with an elbow issue, but is expected to play. Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was back practice and there’s a chance he could play for the first time since Week 5.
Yesterday, Ben Roethlisberger said the Steelers were 14th out of 14 playoff teams and added “we’re probably not supposed to be here.”
Today, Cam Heyward is surprised they’re not bigger underdogs.
On being two-TD dogs: “It was just that? I thought it was more.” pic.twitter.com/HTbkqsyLIA
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) January 13, 2022
If there’s one area Pittsburgh excels at it’s rushing the passer, and they’ll need to be in Patrick Mahomes’ face all game to stand any kind of chance. The Steelers rank third in pass rush win rate per Pro Football Focus, and reigning sack king T.J. Watt should be much healthier in this matchup than he was a few weeks ago.
Kansas City Chiefs Betting Analysis
Pittsburgh’s pass rush could create even more problems this week as the Chiefs are hurting on the offensive line. Also of concern, is the status of Tyreek Hill. KC’s star receiver injured his heel in warm-ups prior to the final game of the regular season, and has been limited in practice all week.
As for Mahomes, the former MVP is fresh off the worst statistical season of his career. He averaged his fewest passing yards per game, and his lowest yards per attempt. He threw a career-worst 13 interceptions, and set career-lows in passer rating and QBR.
This will be postseason start no. 9️⃣ for Patrick Mahomes, the second-most for any QB under 27 in the Super Bowl Era 🤯 pic.twitter.com/4GXhhbu1V6
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 13, 2022
When these two teams met in Week 16, he threw for 258 yards and 3 TD, which was by far his best outing down the stretch.
Steelers vs Chiefs Head-to-Head Results
|Date||Away Team||Home Team||Result|
|Dec. 26, 2021||Steelers||Chiefs||KC Win (36-10)|
|Sep. 16, 2018||Chiefs||Steelers||KC Win (42-37)|
|Oct. 15, 2017||Steelers||Chiefs||Pittsburgh Win (19-13)|
|Jan. 15, 2017||Steelers||Chiefs||Pittsburgh Win (18-16)|
|Oct. 2, 2016||Chiefs||Steelers||Pittsburgh Win (43-14)|
Mahomes is 2-0 in his career versus the Steelers, with a 9-to-0 touchdown-to-interception rate. He’s also been incredible at home in the postseason throwing 15 TD passes and zero interceptions.
Steelers vs Chiefs Pick
Pittsburgh does own a 23-10 advantage in the series versus KC all-time, while six of the past nine games have stayed under 40 points.
Wild Card Weekend has notoriously been dominated by underdogs, except when the the favorite is laying double-digits. Underdogs are 15-3 against the spread since 2017 in Wild Card games, however favorites have covered each of the past eight times they’ve been laying at least 10 points. It’s worth noting, Roethlisberger has never been an underdog of greater than 10.5 points until this weekend.
You’re invited! pic.twitter.com/NGNRIs9FEP
— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) January 11, 2022
I’ll pass on a side here and play the total. A good indication that sharp money is backing the under is the fact that the majority of the handle is on under 46.5, despite the majority of the tickets being on the over.
25 of the past 36 outdoor Wild Card games have stayed under the total, while four of KC’s past seven home playoff dates have failed to clear the number as well.
"Mike Tomlin still with no losing seasons is INCREDIBLE.. it's gonna be an uphill battle for the Steelers against the Chiefs tho" ~@DariusJButler#PatMcAfeeShowLIVE #HereWeGo pic.twitter.com/JvV8PKPOJv
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 10, 2022
Andy Reid teams at home are 26-10 to the under when the game has a total of 43 or higher. Tomlin teams meanwhile, have seen 46 of their 71 contests as a road underdog fall short of the number when the total is at least 43.
Pick: Under 46.5 (-110)