Steelers vs. Chiefs: NFL Wild Card betting odds, preview, and pick
The Pittsburgh Steelers will head to Arrowhead Stadium to meet the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night in the Wild Card round. The Steelers needed a minor miracle just to make the playoffs, and now it appears they’ll need a little more magic on their side if they want to advance.
Oddsmakers have pegged Pittsburgh as the biggest underdogs of the weekend, but is it deserved? Let’s dive into the matchup and see if the Chiefs will win in a cakewalk as many expect.
Mon, January 17 2022, 1:15 AM
Steelers should stick to the ground game
The Steelers won three of their last four games to make the postseason, but their offense did not run like a well-oiled machine in that span, averaging 17.8 points per contest. Ben Roethlisberger was held to 159 passing yards or fewer in three of those tilts, producing a 3-3 touchdown-interception ratio.
Running back Najee Harris has been a bright spot at times, including in his team’s most recent matchup with Kansas City. Though Pittsburgh was crushed 36-10 in Week 16, Harris went for 93 yards on 19 carries that day.
Run defense has been an issue for the Chiefs all season, as they rank 21st in yards allowed per game (117.6). This unit has allowed 130 rushing yards or more in four of six contests since the bye. That includes a 191-yard effort against the Denver Broncos in Week 18.
Chiefs keep winning, but don’t look unbeatable
Kansas City rattled off nine wins in their final 10 games, but they alternated impressive efforts with close shaves in that span.
In their final two games, Andy Reid and company took a loss to a determined Cincinnati Bengals squad before nearly losing to the Denver Broncos. A fluke “scoop-and-score” touchdown by rookie linebacker Nick Bolton saved K.C. from an embarrassing loss in the latter tilt.
The Steelers have the pass defense (ninth, 215.7 yards allowed per game) to fluster Patrick Mahomes, as well as the pass rush, as they led the NFL in sacks (55) during the regular season.
Steelers vs. Chiefs injury report
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Kansas City Chiefs|
Najee Harris: Questionable (elbow)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire: Questionable (shoulder)
Trai Turner: Questionable (knee)
Darrel Williams: Questionable (toe)
JuJu Smith-Schuster: Injured Reserve (shoulder)
Tyreek Hill: Questionable (heel)
Steelers and Chiefs betting trends
- The Steelers are 16-6-3 ATS in their last 25 games in January
- The Chiefs are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games overall
- The Over is 19-6-1 in the Steelers’ last 26 playoff games
- The Under is 4-1 in the Chiefs’ last five Wild Card games
Laying double-digit points in cold weather in the playoffs isn’t often advisable. The Steelers should be able to keep it closer the second time around with the Chiefs in a fairly low-scoring contest.
Score prediction: Chiefs 24, Steelers 16
Steelers vs. Chiefs pick powered by The Quant Edge
Our predictive engine is calling for the Chiefs to win and cover the spread, and the game to go Over the projected total.