Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. The game will be played at Gillette Stadium and is scheduled to begin at 6:40 PM. ET.
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Steelers vs Patriots Odds
- Pittsburgh Steelers +6
- New England Patriots -6
- Over/Under 51
The Patriots advanced to the championship game by defeating the Houston Texans in the Divisional round of the playoffs 34-16, extending their winning streak to eight games. The Steelers squeaked by the Kansas City Chiefs after a convincing win against the Miami Dolphins to set up one of the most anticipated matchups of the year.
The Patriots, who are in their sixth consecutive AFC Championship game, are hoping to make a second trip to the Super Bowl in three seasons and win the franchise’s fifth Lombardi trophy.
Tom Brady, who is once again a finalist for the MVP award, missed the first four games of the season but still managed to throw for 3,554 yards, 28 touchdowns and two interceptions while going 11-a during the regular season.
However, the knock on New England this season was that they didn’t face an elite quarterback, which is something they will have to contend with against Ben Roethlisberger and the potent Pittsburgh offense.
These two teams have been involved in a lot of battles over the years and aren’t fans of each other. During the week, wide receiver Antonio Brown caused some controversy when he uploaded a video of head coach Mike Tomlin’s post game speech, inadvertently giving the Patriots some bulletin board material.
The Patriots, who had the best defense this season, will have to figure out how to stop the Pittsburgh running attack if they want to give themselves a chance to win the game. However, they will have their work cut out for them against the two-headed monster of LeVeon Bell and Deangelo Williams.
Pittsburgh will also need to stop the LeGarrette Blount, who led the league in rushing touchdowns, if they want to force the Patriots into becoming a one-dimensional team.
The Houston Texans showed last week that getting pressure on Brady will force him into making bad decisions, but Houston’s offense couldn’t capitalize on the turnovers their defense created. If the Steelers can force Brady to make mistakes, their offense should be able to capitalize.
The Patriots also have to figure out how to slow down Antonio Brown, who is one of the best receivers in the league. In their first two playoff games, Brown is averaging 116 receiving yards and a touchdown, and has created matchup problems for opponents. If the Patriots can’t contain him, they will be in for a long night.
The Steelers have a very dangerous offense and will be tough to slow down, but the Patriots don’t lose a lot of home playoff games with Bill Belichick at the helm so I’m picking the Patriots to win the game and cover the spread.
Play: Patriots -6 @ Bovada.lv