The Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs are slated to face off in Wild Card Rounds of the 2021-2022 AFC Playoffs, and there are a lot of narratives between these two teams. For the Chiefs, they are trying to reach the AFC Championship Game for the third straight season, while the Steelers are a team trying to find a way to recreate some of the magic they had in 2005 when they were the first six seed to ever win the Super Bowl.
For those who follow the current betting lines, the Steelers opened as 12.5-point road underdogs, and, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, and shockingly that line hasn’t moved since it was set following Week 18.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
At this point, it is time to check in and see who the pundits who call themselves experts like in this showdown in Kansas City Sunday night.
For those new to this article, there are two types of experts when it comes to NFL picks. There are those who just pick the overall winner, and those who expound on their picks and give a reason for their prediction.
As for the former of the above types of experts, there are many sites who have their experts just plug in a winner and move on with their day. Of those sites, the majority of experts at Yahoo!, ESPN and FOX like the Chiefs to win, and this should surprise no one. You would be hard pressed to find an expert who believes the Steelers can pull off the victory on the road, but the majority are certainly on the Chiefs’ side.
As for the experts who actually put some thoughts, and explanation behind their picks, like Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, he likes the Steelers to fall short in the postseason.
It was in Week 16 when the Steelers were blown out, 36-10, by the Chiefs. They barely competed in that game, but they are back as the last wild-card team in the AFC. Don’t expect another blowout like that one. The Steelers are healthier now and have a coach in Mike Tomlin who knows how to win in the playoffs. The Chiefs have had defensive issues the past two weeks, which could be a problem. The Steelers can’t stop the run, but the Chiefs don’t run it that much, and if they do that takes away the strength of their team. That’s why I think this one will be close. The Steelers will hang around, but the Chiefs will win it.
Pick: Chiefs 28, Steelers 23
As for NFL.com, they recognize the Steelers have just a .3% chance in the playoff dance.
Odds to win Super Bowl: +6000
Odds to win conference: +3000
The Steelers have the second-highest sack rate (7.5%) and fourth-best completion percentage over expected (-3.3%) in the NFL when sending four or fewer rushers this season, per NGS. T.J. Watt’s historic season has been the catalyst for Pittsburgh’s pass rush, with his 6.1 sack percentage the highest in the NGS era (min. 120 pass-rush snaps). Will Watt’s individual brilliance be enough to carry this team past Round 1?
If you are looking for a less black-and-gold view of the game, look no further than Vinnie Iyer of The Sporting News, who thinks the Chiefs are too much for the Steelers this Sunday.
The Steelers were no match for the Chiefs in Week 16, losing 36-10 at Kansas City. Although it’s nice Ben Roethlisberger gets one more playoff game to cap his career, he also needs to exorcise the demons of last year’s disastrous home loss to the Browns in the same round. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have found their ideal methodical approach with an adjusted offense. They will keep pivoting to strong running setting up downfield passing.
The Steelers will try to stay grounded with Najee Harris and put T.J. Watt and the defense in more favorable spots to get after Mahomes. But they need a lot more from Roethlisberger and the passing game, which underwhelms despite the weapons. Big Ben walks off to the sunset, while Mahomes keeps shining bright.
Pick: Chiefs 33-19
These are just a few sites who make weekly NFL picks. When you think about all those sites not listed above, this is when we turn to our friends at NFL Pick Watch, a site dedicated to tracking NFL expert picks by the week. They take all expert picks and put them into an easy-to-read graph for fans to enjoy. When it comes to the Steelers vs. Chiefs game, a whopping 98% of NFL experts like the Chiefs to hold serve at Arrowhead Stadium and win on Sunday.
What do you think about the upcoming game? Will the experts have it right? Or are they way off? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the Chiefs in the AFC Wild Card game.