Miami at Pittsburgh AFC Wild Card Betting Pick & Spread

Posted by Peter Boysen on January 5, 2017 in

The Miami Dolphins and the Pittsburgh Steelers meet for the fourth time in the postseason. Miami has won two of the first three meetings, beginning with the 1972 AFC Championship, as the Dolphins beat Pittsburgh before heading to Super Bowl VII and completing what remains the only perfect season in league history. The Steelers won a divisional playoff game in 1979, and then Miami won the 1985 AFC Championship behind Dan Marino. This year, the Dolphins (10-6) earned one of the wild cards in the AFC despite taking a beating in Week 17 from New England, while the Steelers (11-5) enter the postseason on a seven-game winning streak. These two teams last me tin Week 6 of this season, as Miami beat Pittsburgh, 30-15, down in South Florida, as Dolphins tailback Jay Ajayi rumbled for 204 yards, 15 yard more than Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could muster. Let’s take a look at this matchup, but don’t forget to check out the NFL Wild Card betting odds for all four of the wild card games.

Miami at Pittsburgh AFC Wild Card Betting Pick & Spread

When: Sunday, January 8, 2017, 1:05pm ET
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
RadioMiami / Pittsburgh
Stream Option: NFL Live
NFL Odds: Pittsburgh (-10), O/U 47

Why should you bet on the Dolphins?

One reason for this gargantuan line is the fact that the Miami Dolphins will feature backup quarterback Matt Moore with Ryan Tannehill still out with injury. However, despite the final 35-14 score against New England, Moore went 24 for 34 for 205 yards and a touchdown — it was the two picks that set him back. However, Moore led the Dolphins to a rout of the New York Jets in his first start and a dramatic overtime win in Buffalo. He has 8 touchdowns and three picks in his action this season. However, the Dolphins will also need to see a big day from Ajayi, who went for 1,272 yards in the regular season. He had three games in which he ran for more than 200 yards — and 11 games in which he didn’t crack 90. The Dolphins need the dominant Ajayi to show up. On defense, Miami will see a resurgent Le’Veon Bell carrying the ball and a more confident Ben Roethlisberger throwing the ball to Antonio Brown. They will need to wake up defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and the rest of the front seven if they want to cover this spread, let alone get to the divisional round.

Why should you put your money on the Steelers?

The Steelers beat the Browns last week in overtime — and that was with starters Roethlisberger, Bell and Brown all on the bench. Roethlisberger did throw six interceptions combined from Week 13 to Week 16, so he has had some ball security yips, but Bell has had a stellar year, rumbling for 1,268 yards in just 12 games (thanks to that four-game suspension to start the season). He only had 50 yards on 10 attempts in that Week 6 loss down in Miami, but look to see him get more carries this week against a Miami defense that struggles to start the run. Since the Steelers already saw the Dolphins once this season, they will have some insight onhow to keep Ajayi from having another huge game.

Betting Pick and Final Score Prediction

Both teams are rolling right now, but a cold-weather game does not favor Miami, nor does the fact that Roethlisberger has decades’ more playoff experience than does Matt Moore. I like the Dolphins to put up a fight, but I like the Steelers to win, 27-16.