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Keys to Steelers' Wild-Card Victory are Clearly Cut

In a rematch of their Week 6 tilt, the Steelers host the Dolphins on Wild Card Sunday looking for their eighth consecutive victory. A win for Pittsburgh would be just its second in six playoff games and would result in a matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs, whom the Steelers trucked 43-14 in the Sunday nighter back in Week 4.

SHARK BITES
  • The Steelers are 7-0 SU and 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games as favorite.
  • The Dolphins are 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games as an underdog of 10.0 or more.
  • The Dolphins are 1-7 SU in their last 8 games in the playoffs on the road.

For the Dolphins, this playoff game has been a long time in the making. Their last postseason appearance came all the way back in 2008 and their last playoff win came in 2000 when Jay Fiedler was calling the signals under center in Miami. That is a long damn time to go without a playoff win and it’s looking like the ’Phins may have to wait at least one more year before they taste postseason success for the second time in this millennium.

The key for the Steelers in this game is going to be stopping the run. When they played back in October, Miami and Jay Ajayi ran all over Pittsburgh to the tune of 222 total rushing yards. In all but one of the Steelers’ losses this year, they gave up over 100 rushing yards and are coming off back-to-back weeks allowing their opponents to breach the century mark on the ground.Their poor defensive performance against the Browns in Week 17 can largely be attributed to Mike Tomlin sitting most of his starters and prior to their Week 16 matchup with the Ravens, Pittsburgh had gone five consecutive weeks without allowing a team to rush for over 100 yards.

Ajayi is just two weeks removed from a huge game so a breakout performance is definitely possible but without a solid No. 1 quarterback at the helm of the Dolphins offense, the attack may become one-dimensional and predictable. Pittsburgh should be able to move the ball at will against a relatively porous Miami defense and Le’Veon Bell could have an absolute field day in his first-ever playoff game.

Over the course of Bell's last six games, he’s accumulated 835 rushing yards and 256 receiving yards – that’s insane. The Steelers have come up on the winning end more often than not when Bell puts in a quality performance and the Dolphins have one of the worst rushing defenses in the NFL. I expect Bell to touch the ball at least 30 times in this game and if he does, the Steelers should win big.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

Those siding with the visitors in this matchup saw the Miami Dolphins listed as 7.5-point underdogs at shops such as Bovada. Meanwhile, the over under line for the betting matchup was at 47.5 over at 5Dimes.

NFL prediction models run by the computers at Odds Shark picked a 34-15 result in favor of the Steelers earlier in the week. Watch matchup reports and the picks page for any changes, due to injuries or suspensions this week. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NFL matchups here.

Miami Dolphins vs Pittsburgh Steelers Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Pittsburgh Steelers sport a record of 11-5 and 9-6-1 ATS heading into this betting matchup, while the Miami Dolphins sit at 10-6 and 9-6-1 ATS on the season. The over under totals records are 6-10 for the Steelers and 12-4 for the Dolphins. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Pittsburgh vs Miami injuries news.

The Pittsburgh Steelers sit at No. 4 in the current NFL Power Rankings here at Odds Shark, while the Miami Dolphins are at No. 20 on that chart.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Pittsburgh Steelers No. 10-ranked offense (24.94 PPG) against a Miami Dolphins defense that ranks No. 18 at 23.75 PPG. The Steelers passing attack has averaged 262.31 yards per game, more than the Dolphins give up through the air (242.38 YPG on average).

Defensively, the Miami Dolphins feature the league's No. 29-rated road run defense, allowing 127.5 yards per game. The Pittsburgh Steelers, meanwhile, ranks No. 24 in rushing offense at home.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

Miami didn't make much of a game of it last time out, losing to the Patriots as New England blasted them 35-14 in Week 17 action.

In their last game, the Steelers got 3 passing scores out of Landry Jones en route to a 27-24 win over the Browns on Sunday at Heinz Field.

Betting Trends
  • Miami is 8-2-1 ATS in its last 11 games
  • Miami is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Miami's last 5 games
  • Miami is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
  • Pittsburgh is 5-1-1 ATS in its last 7 games
  • Pittsburgh is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 14 of Pittsburgh's last 20 games
  • Pittsburgh is 1-3-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home

Next Betting Matchups

Miami home to , Wednesday, December 31st
Pittsburgh home to , Wednesday, December 31st

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