National Football League: AFC Wild Card MIA vs. PIT
Miami Dolphins (10-6, 4-4 away) at Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5, 6-2 home)
January 8, 2017- 1:05 PM ET (TV CBS) Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
NFL Wild Card weekend continues as the Miami Dolphins will pay a visit into Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon for an AFC clash against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a do-or-die matchup that has the following betting lines;
Best Dolphins Lines: MyBookie Spread (+12.5) ML +375
Best Steelers Lines: 5Dimes Spread (-12) ML -630
Over/Under: BetOnline 46.0
In what will be a rematch from the regular-season, the stakes will be much higher this time around as the Dolphins (10-6) and Steelers (11-5) will square off an in all-important battle where the winner will advance to next week’s divisional showdown and for the loser… a trip to their favorite vacation spot.
But, whereas the Fins took down the Steelers 30-15 the first time around behind running back Jay Ajayi and his 204 yards rushing, Miami will be greatly challenged with having a go with backup QB Matt Moore. With Ryan Tannehill ruled out of action as he is still dealing with a sprained left knee suffered back on Dec. 11, the Dolphins will now put their faith on the shoulders of a journeyman QB making his first career postseason start.
It was initially believed Tannehill could be a go as his knee seemed to be healing ahead of schedule but after not seeing enough progress, the Miami brass ruled against it as they will now turn over the offensive reigns to Moore and of course will rely heavily on the feet of Ajayi.
And for the Steelers, they will be locked on Ajayi knowing all too well that his 200-yard game was no fluke.
Pittsburgh for their part will look to their long-time veteran quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger, who will be making his 18th career postseason start. Big Ben is 11-6 in the playoffs with two Super Bowl victories to his credit.
The Steelers rattled off seven consecutive victories to end the regular-season as they will enter as one of the NFL’s hottest teams.
One big advantage the Steelers will have will be the 1-2 punch of running back Le’Veon Bell and star receiver Antonio Brown. Bell in just 12 games rushed for 1,268 yards along with 616 on the receiving end. However, due to injuries, Bell has missed all three of the Steelers playoff games. Brown for his part totaled 1,284 yards on 106 receptions with 12 touchdowns.
Ranking just 29th in total defense allowing 382.6 yards per game and yielding more than 30 points in three of their final five games, we can see why the Fins will have their hands full? Favored big, 5Dimes is favoring PIT (-12) points over MIA, while MyBookie is giving the underdog Dolphins (+12.5) points. BetOnline delivers the over/under at 46.0 total game points scored.
While, I am leaning on the Steelers to win outright, I will favor the OVER of 46.0 total game points scored as my betting pick for this AFC Wild Card.