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Brady and Belichick Look to Exterminate the Killer B’s

With a trip to Super Bowl LI on the line, two surging teams will hook up in Foxborough as the New England Patriots will look to add to a trend that’s seen them go 25-8-3 ATS in their last 36 home games. Awaiting them is their stiffest test of the season in the Pittsburgh Steelers, who will look to add another W to their nine-game win streak. The Patriots are favorites in the 5.5-point range, making this just the fifth time since 2011 that they’ve been a favorite of fewer than six points in a home game started by Tom Brady.

Shark Bites
  • Tom Brady in 10 conference finals games — 12 TDs/12 INTs.
  • Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell have combined for 876 total yards in their last three games.
  • The visiting team is 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS in the last three years in conference championship games.

The Steelers earned a trip to the AFC title game in large part due to Le’Veon Bell and their offensive line manhandling the Chiefs in the divisional round. Bell racked up 170 yards on the ground, but the Steelers might be forced to alter their game plan as the Patriots have one of the best run defenses in the league. Not only did the Patriots allow a league-low six rushing TDs, but they didn’t allow a player to rush for more than 90 yards against them all season.

One potential area to exploit the Patriots D might be through the air. Much has been made about the lack of quality QBs the Patriots faced over the last two months — a murderers' row of Kaepernick, Fitzpatrick, Goff, Flacco, Siemian, Fitzpatrick again, Moore and Osweiler. The last time they faced off with a Pro Bowl-level QB was in Week 10 vs the Seahawks and they were torched by Russell Wilson for 348 yards and three TDs. The 31 points they allowed in that Seahawks loss was the most they allowed all season.

If the Steelers are forced to rely on the pass, look for Antonio Brown to continue a trend that’s seen him record 100+ receiving yards in four consecutive playoff games. Browns has been especially effective in recent meetings with New England as he’s compiled 310 receiving yards and 2 TDs in the last three games between the teams. The Steelers did, however, go 0-3 SU and 0-2-1 ATS in those games.

Head-to-head results point clearly in the direction of the Patriots as they’ve won nine of 12 games over Pittsburgh since Bill Belichick took over as head coach in 2000. They covered the spread in eight of those games and Tom Brady has put up some of the best numbers of his career vs the Steelers — 24 TDs, just three INTs and a 114.2 QB rating.

Looking at the total, which is sitting in the 50.5-point range, the Steelers have been a consistent UNDER bet going back to last season as it’s hit in 16 of their last 22 games. A few other trends align with the UNDER as the Steelers have gone UNDER the number in nine of their last 11 games as an underdog, while the Patriots have gone UNDER in six consecutive conference championship games. Of those 12 head-to-head matchups during the Belichick era, the teams have topped 50.5 points just four times.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

Betting fans looking to side with the New England Patriots in this one found them as -4.5-point favorites earlier in the week at Bovada, while the total was sitting at 51.5.

Handicapping models based on recent betting stats and prediction formulas picked a 28-16 win for the Patriots. Injuries during the week may cause the formula to be re-run, so check the NFL picks page before game time. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NFL matchups here.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs New England Patriots Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The New England Patriots sport a record of 15-2 and 14-3 ATS heading into this betting matchup, while the Pittsburgh Steelers sit at 13-5 and 11-6-1 ATS on the season. The over under totals records are 7-9-1 for the Patriots and 6-12 for the Steelers. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and New England vs Pittsburgh injuries news.

It's a betting matchup between the No. 1-rated New England Patriots and the No. 4-ranked Pittsburgh Steelers, according to the NFL Power Rankings here at Odds Shark.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the New England Patriots No. 4-ranked offense (27.94 PPG) against a Pittsburgh Steelers defense that ranks No. 8 at 19.72 PPG. The Patriots passing attack has averaged 269.94 yards per game, more than the Steelers give up through the air (238.94 YPG on average).

Defensively, the Pittsburgh Steelers feature the league's No. 2-rated road run defense, allowing 86.67 yards per game. The New England Patriots, meanwhile, ranks No. 13 in rushing offense at home.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

In their last game, Pittsburgh got a 170-yard performance from Le'Veon Bell as a key part of its 18-16 win over Kansas City.

Julian Edelman was good for 137 receiving yards in the Patriots's most recent action, helping his team to a 34-16 victory over the Texans.

Betting Trends
  • Pittsburgh is 7-1-1 ATS in its last 9 games
  • Pittsburgh is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 16 of Pittsburgh's last 22 games
  • Pittsburgh is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
  • New England is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
  • New England is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
  • New England is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games at home
  • New England is 17-3 SU in its last 20 games at home

Next Betting Matchups

Pittsburgh home to , Wednesday, December 31st
New England home to , Wednesday, December 31st

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