Betting Preview: Chiefs vs Steelers on Super Wild Card Weekend

Jan 11- 9 min read

How to Bet Chiefs vs Steelers

AFC Super Wild Card Round

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs -12.5 | O/U 46

Sunday January 16th @ 8:15pm EST

Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City, MO

I would really like you to read the entirety of this article but I’ve got to be honest with you. The Kansas City Chiefs are going to completely demolish the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday. I see no path for the Steelers to knock off the Chiefs at Arrowhead. After a crazy final week of the regular season, we traded out Justin Herbert OR Jonathan Taylor for 39-year old Ben Roethlisberger. A real shame.

The Chiefs come into this game looking like the class of the AFC. They’ve won of 9 of their last 10 games, including a 36-10 beat down of the aforementioned Steelers. Their defense has given up just 15.8 points per game over that stretch.

The Chiefs were 10.5 point favorites when the Steelers came to town in week 16. So it makes sense to see them at a slightly higher number with this game having real ramifications and with how soundly Kansas City took care of Pittsburgh in the previous meet up.

Chiefs vs Steelers

Will the Steelers Run the Football?

It’s a matchup of the very stoppable force against the very movable object when it comes the run game. The Chiefs rank 31st in opponent rushing yards per carry at 4.8. Meanwhile the Steelers average just 3.9 yards per carry, which is 29th in the league. The Steelers did manage to average 5.2 yards per carry on 25 rushing attempts in their previous meeting. It’s difficult to rationalize that success when the Chiefs were up 24-0 before halftime.

Najee Harris is an incredibly skilled player but the Steelers offensive line is a major problem. They rank 28th in adjusted line yards and 27th in power success rate. This offensive line just can’t get Harris to the second level as they’re 30th in percentage of carries of 5-10 yards. As a result of their struggles they haven’t run the ball at a high rate, their rush play percentage is 36.9% (30th in NFL).

Running the football does seem like the best approach though, the Steelers aren’t going to check the Chiefs down to death. Pittsburgh’s 30th ranked passing offense isn’t going be able to move the ball enough. They’re 22nd in completion percentage so if they keep stopping the clock and giving Kansas City’s offense more possessions it’s going to get ugly.

Chiefs vs Steelers

Can the Pass Rush Make an Impact?

We’ve got a really intriguing matchup in the trenches here when Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense are on the field. The Chiefs have one of the NFL’s best offensive lines in pass protection, their sack rate is just 4% this season. The Steelers have TJ Watt on the other side though, who just tied the single season sack record with 22.5. Pittsburgh is 2nd in sack rate this season at 8.9%.

The Steelers front 4 getting after Mahomes can be a difference maker for them. Mahomes ranks 27th amongst qualified quarterbacks in completion percentage when under pressure this season. That pressure needs to come without blitzing though as Mahomes is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL against the blitz. The Chiefs offense is great at identifying pressure and making adjustments pre-snap. Mahomes threw for 75 yards and 2 TDs on just 6 blitzes against the Steelers in their last meeting

If the Steelers pass rush can’t get home then the Chiefs will pick on the Steelers defense in the middle of the field. The linebackers and slot corners in the middle of the field are easily the weakest part of the Pittsburgh defense. Devin Bush has really struggled this season since returning from an ACL tear. Travis Kelce didn’t play in the previous meeting, he could breakout in a big way.

Chiefs vs Steelers

How to Bet This Game

Chiefs -12.5

Travis Kelce OVER 69.5 receiving yards

The Pittsburgh Steelers are not going into Arrowhead and keeping up with the Chiefs. Their offense is 28th in drive success rate this season. They just don’t play with anywhere near enough consistency offensively and don’t have the personnel to win the time of possession battle. Mahomes will carve the Steelers up over the middle of the field like the previous meeting and the Steelers terrible run defense won’t be able to keep them in the game.

 

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