2016 Season NFL Football Past Picks
January 22, 2017
Pittsburgh at New England
Sunday 01/22 06:40 PM Eastern
1.5 units on Game Total OVER 49.5 -115 (risk 1.5 to return 2.8) RESULT: WIN
The Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots have dominated the conference for many years and here again we see them in the AFC Championship game. One or both of these teams have been in the AFC Championship game in 13 of the last 14 years! New England averages 27.9 points per game, but that is a bit misleading. Since Tom Brady cane back from suspension in Week 5, they have averaged 30.3 ppg. Over their last three games, that bumps up to 36.7 ppg including a game vs. the leagues' stingiest defense (yards) in Houston last week. Pittsburgh's six field goals last week were not a sign of lack of offense, as they lived in the red-zone. In addition to the six trips in which they scored, they had a ball intercepted in the end-zone, as well as another turnover in the red-zone. Ben Roethlisburger was injured from Week 6 through Week 9, and the Steelers offense struggled to average just 15 ppg during that span. They have since averaged 26.3 points per game, and in the process have rattled off nine straight wins. The past three seasons, the Pats are 18-8 to the OVER when facing a winning team. Under Bill Belichick, they are 41-26 OVER at home to a high total (over 45) including 17-7 OVER if the total is 50+ and 26-16 OVER vs. good offensive teams like Pittsburgh (teams averaging over 5.6 yards per play). There is some hidden offensive value on both sides for this one, so my pick is on the OVER.