Gary | Wed 18/01/2017 - 12:46 EST

AFC Championship Game predictions

AFC Championship Game predictions
An appearance in Super Bowl XL is on the line when the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Foxsborough to play the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship. Will the Patriots win, earning yet another Super Bowl bid, as most expect? Or can the Steelers pull off the upset? Keep it here as we, using TopBet's odds, decide which way this game goes.

AFC Championship Betting Tips

New England Patriots (-6) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (+6)

Over/Under: 51


As Tom Brady and Bill Belichick try to reach their seventh Super Bowl together—that is not a typo—people are asking a weird question entering the AFC Championship: Are the New England Patriots as good as they’re supposed to be?

This inquiry is borne from a mostly cupcake regular-season schedule that didn’t even look harrowing during the four games in which Brady was suspended by the NFL. The ease of the schedule extended into the playoffs as well, against a Houston Texans squad that, if not for playing in a shoddy division, wouldn’t belong in the postseason. The Patriots throttled them 34-16, and while most try to make it seem like they were a heartbeat away from letting the Texans have a chance, the outcome of the game was never truly in doubt.

Facing the Pittsburgh Steelers, of course, is a different animal.

The Steelers enter Sunday ranking 10th in both points scored and allowed per game. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hit his stride toward the end of the regular season, and the defense proved once again in the Divisional Round victory over the Kansas City Chiefs that it’s built to win absolute slug fests.


But let’s not pretend the Steelers offense has proved it can torch elite defenses. They struggled to hang points on the board against the Chiefs, tallying an unimpressive 18. New England’s defense is statistically better than Kansas City’s; it ranks first in points allowed per game and has been the understated fulcrum of the team’s success to this point.

My Team's Next MatchPittsburgh Steelers

In the end, this is what makes the Patriots so damn dangerous: The offense doesn’t need to be its usual self.

We can talk about Brady being 39 years old, about him being past his prime and about him being inconsistent at different stages over the course of the year. The fact is, though, the offense is still third in points per game, and he has still helped the Patriots notch 30 or more points in four of their last five games—including last week against an oft-celebrated Texans defense.

And yet, Brady, along with the rest of the Patriots’ offense needn’t be perfect to pick up wins. They have the NFL’s best defense on which to fall back, a luxury no other top-seven offense enjoyed this season.


Now add in home-field advantage. In the six games Brady has been under center on the Patriots’ turf, including last week’s bout with Kansas City, New England has outscored opponents by 90 total points. That’s an average of 15 points per contest, even when factoring in their home loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

So let’s not be tricked into thinking that things have changed in New England—especially when the Patriots thoroughly picked apart the Steelers in the only game these two played on October 23. Pittsburgh, of course, didn’t have Big Ben for that contest, but he alone won’t make up the 11-point difference.

Not when the New England Patriots are, in fact, as good as they are supposed to be.

The Pick: New England Patriots (-6), over

Leave a comment
More articles...
Sports - 16/09/19
2019-20 NHL Betting Preview: Best Teams, Odds, Stanley Cup Predictions 
Last year the St. Louis Blues stole the NHL's show, winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Though they certainly factor into the title race this season, other contenders loom, most notably the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vegas Golden Knights and Boston Bruins. Which team is your smartest bet? Let's figure that out.
Read this article 
Sports - 09/09/19
2019-20 Champions League Preview: Betting Odds, Best Sportsbook Values, Predictions 
Welcome back, Champions League! The 2019-20 season is finally here, and everyone who's anyone is asking the same question: Which team will be crowned above all at year's end? Many believe that Liverpool is primed to repeat as the ultimate champion, but other powerhouses like Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid loom. Let's find the clubs laying the best betting value, shall we?
Read this article 
Sports - 06/09/19
UFC 242 Betting Odds: Khabib vs. Poirier Headlines a Stacked Fight Card 
The lightweight title will be on the line at UFC 242 when Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov and Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier take to the Octagon. They're not the only big names squaring off, though. UFC 242 has mission-critical fights galore. Let's parse them all for the best possible bets.
Read this article 
Sports Betting News - 22/08/19
US Open 2019 Betting Odds: Can Naomi Osaka, Novak Djokovic Defend Their Crowns? 
The world's best tennis players are once again headed to New York! That's right: The 2019 US Open is upon us, and it remains littered with rock-solid betting opportunities. Last year's champions, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka, enter as No. 1 seeds in their field. Will they repeat as champs? Let's parse the betting field!
Read this article