clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Early Odds show Steelers as double-digit home favorites vs. Dolphins in AFC Wild Card game

New, comments

The Pittsburgh Steelers have opened as big home favorites vs. the Miami Dolphins in the upcoming AFC Wild Card game at Heinz Field.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the hottest teams heading into the postseason. They have won their last seven games following a 4-game losing streak. Ironically, the team they’ll play in the first round of the playoffs, none other than the Miami Dolphins, got them started on their previous losing streak, beating the Steelers 30-15 in Week 6. The Dolphins will be making the trip to Heinz Field this Sunday for a 1 p.m. EDT kickoff in the most intense win-or-go-home playoffs in all of sport.

The Steelers, who finished the regular season 11-5, will host the 10-6 Dolphins but there will be some changes on both sides of the field since their previous meeting. Miami might have to turn to Matt Moore as their starting quarterback, if Ryan Tannehill doesn’t play after suffering a nasty-looking knee injury three weeks ago. The Steelers, meanwhile, have a healthy Ben Roethlisberger under center. He had suffered a knee injury in the second quarter of the teams’ Week 6 matchup.

With that said, it should be noted that Las Vegas typically gives the home team at least 2.5 to 3 points for home field advantage, but the opening line in this contest has the Steelers as 10-point favorites in this rematch.

Here is what BookMaker had to say about the upcoming game and the thinking behind such an aggressive opening line.

“For fear of one-sided public action, we wanted to be high on the Pittsburgh line. It’s unlikely this number rises beyond the opener, but it’s going to be tough to generate any dog money from the square bettors.”

For those those who don’t know, these lines and odds created for every athletic event are not so much intended to predict the winner, but to move money. Vegas wants to attract fans to take the Dolphins and Jay Ajayi, who rushed for more than 200 yards against the Steelers in Week 6, getting 10 points, even on the road.

Nonetheless, when Vegas throws a double-digit spread down for a playoff game, they are rarely wrong. The Steelers are 10-4 this season when favored, and are 5-3 at home when they are the ones giving points to the opponent.

Do you think the Steelers can cover such a spread? A healthy Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown and Maurkice Pouncey certainly will have something to say about that, but then again, so will Jarvis Landry and company.