The biggest showdown in the NFL this week will likely be a preview of the AFC Championship Game when the New England Patriots travel to Heinz Field to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. The game will be played on Sunday afternoon and is scheduled to begin at 4:25 PM. ET.
Patriots vs Steelers Odds
Point Spread and Over/Under
- New England Patriots -3
- Pittsburgh Steelers +3
- Over/Under 53.5
New England Patriots Analysis…
The Patriots come into this game trying to rebound from a loss to the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football.
The loss dropped the Patriots a game behind the Steelers in the race for home field advantage in the AFC, which makes this game a must-win for New England if they want to host the Steelers at Gillette Stadium if they meet in the playoffs.
The Patriots, who are averaging 29 points per game, have had a lot of success in Pittsburgh over the years, and will be confident going into this meeting.
The team will also have tight end Rob Gronkowski back from his one-game suspension, which should create matchup problems for the Steelers.
Defensively, the Patriots had a lot of issues at the start of the season, thanks to some injuries, but they have since sorted them out and are holding opponents to 18.6 points per game, which is fourth in the league.
However, the fact that they gave up 27 points to a Dolphins team that has struggled to score for most of the season is a cause for concern.
Against the Steelers offense, the Patriots will have to figure out how to contain Antonio Brown, who had over 200 receiving yards against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night, and LeVeon Bell, who is the leading rusher in the league.
Pittsburgh Steelers Analysis…
The Steelers are tied for the best record in the league, but they are still one of the most unpredictable teams in the NFL.
All year long, the team has struggled with teams they were expected to beat easily, and dominated teams that were expected to give them some competition.
Even if they defeat the Patriots, there are no guarantees they don’t lose home field by losing to either the Houston Texans or Cleveland Browns, who almost defeated them in the season opener.
Against the Ravens, Ben Roethlisberger threw for over 500 yards for the third time in his career, making him the first player to throw for over 500 yards three times.
On Sunday, the Steelers will need another big game from Roethlisberger, and they will be hoping he takes care of the ball like he did against the Ravens.
After being held to 48 yards in their last game, expect a big game from Bell, who should be able to exploit New England’s run defense.
Despite New England’s past success in Pittsburgh, this is a big game for the Steelers who want to prove to themselves that they can beat the Patriots, so take the Steelers +3.
Play: Steelers +3