Rashard Mendenhall is gone for the year and the cinch of winning the AFC Wild Card in Denver is longer so easy for the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday.
Denver earned the AFC West title despite a lousy start and an 0-3 finish. Pittsburgh now gets the easiest Wild Card odds spot of 2011 and the trend that has seen AFC road teams win on Wild Card weekend will probably continue.
Bronco bettors may still like their team as 8-point home underdogs here as the Steelers are just 2-7 ATS in their past 9 road games and have a hobbling Big Ben as well. The Broncos are just 1-6-1 ATS past 8 home games and have Tim Tebow facing a violent Steeler defense.
Remember that AFC road teams are 5-1 ATS the past 3 Wild Card weekends and 6-2 SU overall.
Oddsmakers opened the Broncos as 8-point underdogs in the AFC Wild Card odds menu, while the betting total was sitting at 35.5 at TopBet.
Power Rankings / Prediction:
The Broncos sit at No. 27 in the current NFL Power Rankings here at OddsShark, while the Steelers are at No. 2 on that chart. Math models have concluded that the Steelers will win this game 26-14.
Steelers vs Broncos Game Props, courtesy of :
DEN vs PIT
Total Passing Yards – Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)
Total Rushing Yards – Isaac Redman (PIT)
Total Receiving Yards – Mike Wallace (PIT)
Total Passing Yards – Tim Tebow (DEN)
Total TD Passes – Tim Tebow (DEN)
Over 1 (+120)
Under 1 (-150)
Total Interceptions – Tim Tebow (DEN)
Over ½ (-115)
Under ½ (-115)
Total Rushing Yards – Tim Tebow (DEN)
Total Rushing Attempts - Tim Tebow (DEN)
Total Completions - Tim Tebow (DEN)
Will Tim Tebow (DEN) score a Rushing TD in the game?
(PIT vs DEN) Total Offensive Yards allowed by the Steelers
How They Match Up:
The game also pits Denver's No. 25-ranked offense, averaging 19.3 PPG, against a Steelers defense that ranks No. 1 this week at 14.2 PPG. The Broncos aerial game is averaging 152.1 yards per game, less than the Steelers secondary allows through the air, 171.9 YPG per game.
Defensively, the Steelers feature the league's No. 13-rated road run defense, allowing 111.4 yards per game. Denver, meanwhile, ranks No. 3 in rushing offense at home.
Last time out for Pittsburgh, they were a 13-9 winner as they battled the Browns on the road. The Steelers failed to cover in the match as a 7.5-point favorite, while 22 combined points moved the game UNDER for totals bettors. In their last game, the Steelers were Week 17 winners, coming out on top of the Browns by a score of 13-9.
The Broncos were a 7-3 loser in their most recent outing at home against the Chiefs. They failed to cover the 2–point spread as favorites, while the total score (10) made winners of UNDER bettors. Willis McGahee tore up the turf for 145 rushing yards in the latest Broncos game, a 7-3 loss to the Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Pittsburgh Steelers Trends:
When playing in January are 9-1
When playing on grass are 8-2
After outgaining opponent are 8-2
When playing outside the division are 8-2
Denver Broncos Trends:
When playing in January are 2-8
When playing on grass are 6-4
After being outgained are 5-5
When playing outside the division are 5-5
A few Steelers at Broncos trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Pittsburgh's last 5 games
Pittsburgh is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
Pittsburgh is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Pittsburgh's last 8 games when playing Denver
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Denver's last 8 games when playing Pittsburgh
The total has gone OVER in 13 of Denver's last 18 games at home
Denver is 6-3 SU in its last 9 games
Denver is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing Pittsburgh