Playoff football returns to Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday night. The Chiefs host the Pittsburgh Steelers in an AFC Wild Card game on NBC starting at 7:15 p.m.
The winner advances to the AFC Divisional Round next weekend. If the Steelers win, they will travel to top seed Tennessee to take on the Titans. Meanwhile, the Chiefs opponent will depend on the outcome of the other two wild card showdowns. If the seeds hold, they could host the Bills.
The Steelers and Chiefs met the day after Christmas at Arrowhead. The Chiefs dominated from the start getting three touchdown passes from quarterback Patrick Mahomes and winning 36-10.
The two franchises have played twice in the playoffs. The Steelers winning in 2017 and the Chiefs winning in 1993 in overtime. Bonus points if you remember who kicked the game-winner for the Chiefs.
The Steelers are a sentimental favorite as veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has indicated that this is his final season but needed a lot of help to make the playoffs last week.
Fans of sports betting in Missouri are looking forward to this weekend’s match up.
The oddsmakers love the Chiefs to make the Super Bowl. Caesars gives them +180 odds (best in the conference) to win the AFC. The Steelers are the biggest underdog in the AFC, with their odds set at +3000 to win it. The Packers, by the way, are the favorite in the NFC.
The second-seeded Chiefs have played in three straight AFC Championship games and enter as the biggest favorite of the weekend. Getting 12.5-points from Caesars with the over/under set at 46.5.
The Steelers are the seventh seed.
Although sports betting and online gambling in MO is not legal yet, there is legislation in the works. Residents have high hopes for forward movement on them this year.
A look back at Chiefs x Steelers rematches
Since this is a rematch from the regular season, let’s look at how the Steelers and Chiefs did in rematches this season in their divisional games in 2021.
Advantage goes to the Chiefs, who swept Denver by 13 and four points, respectively. Then clobbered Las Vegas by 27 and then 39 in the rematch. And finally, exacted revenge on the Chargers, losing to them in the first meeting, then coming back to win the second time.
The Steelers were consistent in their rematches this season, losing twice to the Bengals, but sweeping both the Browns and Ravens.
Four out of the six games in the 2020-2021 Wild Card round were rematches from the regular season. The Titans beat the Ravens in the regular season in 2020 but lost to them in the playoffs.
The Saints beat the Bears in the 2020 regular season and vanquished the Bears again in the playoffs. The Browns and Steelers split in the regular season in 2020, with the Browns stomping the Steelers in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Rams won the rubber match over the Seahawks in their third meeting in 2020.
Admittedly, it’s a small sample size, but the NFL expanded its playoff brackets last year to include a seventh team from each conference. Each of the seven seeds lost, but both almost covered the spread.
The second-seeded Bills were favored by 6.5 and did not cover the spread last year against the Colts, winning by three. The Saints were favored by 11 or 11.5 points last year, and covered on one of the most ridiculous bad beats of the year.
As the Bears scored a touchdown on the very last play but did not attempt at extra points since NFL rules state that no extra point attempt is needed when it has no bearing on the outcome.
Concerning the over/under total
It’s interesting to note that when the two teams met in Dec., they finished right at 46 points. The Steelers have allowed 23.4 points a game this year, the Chiefs 21.4. Offensively, Mahomes and Company have scored 28.2 points, while the Steelers have put up 20.2
Of the Chiefs 17 regular-season games, nine have gone over 46.5 points, with one game right at 46 (the Steelers game). Steeler games in 2021 have only gone over 46.5 total points four times.
While the forecast in Kansas City is crummy for Saturday, by Sunday night, Weather.com lists temperatures in the upper 20s, with a good wind, but nothing that should impact playing conditions.
The Chiefs and Steelers are each 8-9 against the spread this season. This one looks like a Chiefs win by a comfortable margin.
It was Nick Lowery who made the game-winning field goal for the Chiefs back in 1993.