PITTSBURGH over New England by 3
Here we go. The defending champion Patriots face off with the team they beat in last year’s AFC Championship game – and currently one of the few teams in the AFC that can challenge the Brady Bunch: the Pittsburgh Steelers. Forget about Miami’s upset of New England last Monday night – the Pats have found nothing but trouble in South Beach for some time now, winning only once in their last five trips to Hard Rock Stadium. This is for the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs, with home field advantage throughout. Bill Belichick’s troops will be expected to bounce back from the Dolphins debacle and they know how to win on the road, going 13-1 SU and 11-3 ATS since last season. However, NONE of those wins came over foes owning a win percentage of greater-than .666, and the fact of the matter is New England is just 4-10 SU and 5-9 ATS away against greater than .666 opposition since 2009, including 2-7 SUATS against avenging foes. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has hit his stride lately, throwing 12 touchdown passes and only 3 INTs over Pittsburgh’s last four games. And Big Ben’s 506-yard performance against Baltimore last Sunday made him the only QB in NFL history with three 500-yard passing games. He’s also a super 6-1 SUATS as a dog of less than 10 points, and the Steelers are 7-2 SU and 8-1 ATS as home dogs after surrendering more than 30 points. With no-nonsense HC Mike Tomlin now 11-3-1 ATS as a dog with Pittsburgh during the second half of the season – and his team riding a 8-game SU win streak – we’ll side with the Steel City crew in this huge payback.