Ben Roethlisberger will get another shot to chase a Super Bowl, as he and the Pittsburgh Steelers secured a spot in the playoffs after a dramatic Week 18. However, they have to face one of the best teams in the NFL right off the bat on Super Wild Card Weekend, as they travel to Kansas City to take on Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
The two teams met in Arrowhead Stadium not long ago in Week 16, as the Chiefs coasted to a 36-10 victory. The Steelers had three turnovers and didn’t score any points in the first half, but this team will be motivated to send Roethlisberger out with an impressive performance. After starting 10-2, Roethlisberger has lost seven out of his last 10 playoff games. However, he has a career-high seven game-winning drives this season. If Pittsburgh can find a way to keep it close, anything can happen.
Below, we will examine the different betting angles for this matchup. We will provide picks from both CBS Sports and SportsLine experts on this AFC showdown, as well as a few player props that we view as enticing.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
Date: Sunday, Jan. 16 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City, Missouri)
TV: NBC | Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Odds: Chiefs -12.5, O/U 46
Steelers at Chiefs spread picks
Kansas City Chiefs
“It was in Week 16 when the Steelers were blown out, 36-10, by the Chiefs. They barely competed in that game, but they are back as the last wild card team in the AFC. Don’t expect another blowout like that one. The Steelers are healthier now and have a coach in Mike Tomlin who knows how to win in the playoffs. The Chiefs have had defensive issues the past two weeks, which could be a problem. The Steelers can’t stop the run, but the Chiefs don’t run it that much, and if they do that takes away the strength of their team. That’s why I think this one will be close. The Steelers will hang around, but the Chiefs will win it.” — CBS Sports Senior NFL writer Pete Prisco likes the Steelers to cover the big spread. To read the rest of his wild card picks, click here.
“To pull off the upset, the Steelers are going to need to put some serious pressure on Patrick Mahomes and force him into making multiple mistakes. Of Kansas City’s five losses this year, four of them came in games where Mahomes threw at least one interception. If the Steelers defense is good at one thing, it’s getting to the quarterback. Thanks in large part to T.J. Watt’s NFL record-tying 22.5 sacks, the Steelers racked up a total of 55 sacks this year, which led the NFL. Of the 15 games Watt played in this year, the Steelers went 8-2-1 when he recorded at least one sack and 0-3 when he didn’t. If Watt can get to Mahomes once or twice, that could give the Steelers an outside chance to pull off the upset.
“On the other hand, the biggest problem for the Steelers is that if this turns into a shootout, they simply don’t have the firepower to keep up.” — CBS Sports’ John Breech is picking the Steelers to lose by double digits, but cover the spread. To read the rest of his wild card picks, click here.
“The Steelers snuck their way into the postseason thanks to the perfect sequence of dominos falling in their favor. While their defense is playoff worthy, the offense is a different story as they were barely able to average 20 points a game throughout the year with Ben Roethlisberger looking like a quarterback very much on his last leg. If Pittsburgh plays as it did throughout the year, it’s hard to envision a scenario where Kansas City doesn’t run away with this game. I think this is going to be very similar to the previous matchup between these two teams in Week 16 where the Chiefs hung 30 before the Steelers could even get on the board. It’s also worth noting that the Steelers haven’t been able to string positive games together as they are 1-4 ATS following their last five wins.” — Tyler Sullivan isn’t fazed by the big spread. He’s on the Chiefs. To read his Wild Card column, click here.
A former lead writer for Covers and The Linemakers, SportsLine’s Larry Hartstein combines a vast network of Vegas sources with an analytical approach he honed while working for Pro Football Focus. This season he has been on fire. Hartstein is 67-45 with his last 112 sides, for a profit of more than $1,600. In addition, Hartstein has gone an astounding 22-8 on his last 30 picks involving Kansas City, returning $1300 to $100 bettors. We can tell you he’s leaning Over, but you need to check out his against the spread pick over at SportsLine.
Steelers at Chiefs total picks
“These two teams scored 46 total points in their first matchup this season, which is exactly where Vegas drew the line for their playoff rematch. The Steelers average 20.2 points per game, which ranks No. 21 in the league, while the Chiefs average 28.2 points per game, which ranks fourth. While the Chiefs are 10-7 to the Over this year, they are 4-5 to the Over at home, and 1-2 when the line is 45 to 48 points. The Steelers won’t light up the scoreboard, so the lean is to the Under.” — CBS Sports’ Jordan Dajani
Before you make any Steelers vs. Chiefs picks and predictions, you’ll want to see what the SportsLine Projection Model is saying. The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up over $7,400 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception six-plus years ago. The model enters the 2021 NFL playoffs on an incredible 136-97 run on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season. To see what the model is saying about the spread and the total in this AFC postseason showdown, head on over to SportsLine.
Darrel Williams receiving yards: Over 22.5 (-115). Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has already been ruled out with a shoulder injury, so Williams should be the leading rusher for Kansas City. He also has a chance to make an impact as a receiver. A couple times this year he’s exploded in the passing game. Against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 10, he caught nine passes for 101 yards. Williams has recorded at least 27 receiving yards in a game eight times this season despite seven “starts.”
Ben Roethlisberger passing yards: Over 225.5 (-115). Roethlisberger is averaging 233.8 passing yards per game. That’s not incredibly high, but against the Chiefs, there’s always a chance your quarterback could spend the majority of the matchup passing the ball. It’s likely Big Ben’s last game. Let him throw the ball around.
Harrison Butker made field goals: Over 1.5 (-160). A bit juicy, but throw it into a same-game parlay. I opened up my Caesars Sportsbook app and parlayed Chiefs -2.5 and Butker Over 1.5 made field goals made for -106 odds. He’s made at least two field goals in 10 out of 16 games played this year.