NFL Playoff Preview – AFC Championship: New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (-3)


NFL Playoffs OddsSports Betting Overview:

The New York Jets rode their bravado all the way to the AFC championship game for the second year in a row. The NFL football betting world gets to listen to another week of Jets head coach Rex Ryan and his sound bites. What the Jets did show the Super Bowl betting community is that they have a very potent defense. From the defensive line that puts pressure on the quarterback to the famed Cromartie-Revis secondary, the Jets have a very capable defense.

The Steelers had to come back from a 21-7 halftime deficit to beat the Baltimore Ravens in their divisional playoff game. The Baltimore defense held the Pittsburgh offense to relatively few offensive yards, but the Steelers defense completely shut down the Ravens offense in the second half and took the game away from Baltimore. This sets up an interesting price per head AFC championship game.


Even though he is a two-time Super Bowl champion, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has show signs of problems in the late stages of the season and in the divisional playoff game against the Ravens. Roethlisberger was making bad decisions in the first half of the divisional playoff game, and he was holding the ball too long. But it was Big Ben that pulled the Steelers out of their slide and brought the team a victory. Roethlisberger is the epitome of a gun-slinger, and the team will win or lose based on what he does.

The Jets offense in the wild card game was all about the running game. Many observers were wondering if quarterback Mark Sanchez could rise to the occasion if he was called on in the divisional game. Sanchez did what he needed to do against the Patriots, and the Jets running game worked together with Sanchez to put the Patriots away. The Steelers may be a bit of a different story than the Patriots.


The strongest part of the New England Patriots team is their offense. The Jets defense managed to shut down Tom Brady and the Patriots offense. The Jets are strong all around on defense. New York has strong pass rushers, fast linebackers and a great secondary. But when it comes to a completely unpredictable quarterback like Ben Roethlisberger, the Jets are going to need to learn to adjust on the fly. If any defense can adjust to the antics of Ben Roethlisberger, it is the Jets.

The Steelers play a different kind of game than the Patriots do on defense. The Steelers do not have a young and inexperienced secondary. The Steelers do have a very punishing set of defensive linemen and linebackers. This defense that the Jets will face will be much more dangerous than the Patriots defense. If the Jets are going to win this game, they need to win the line of scrimmage. That will not be easy against this Pittsburgh defense.

The Bottom Line:

Pittsburgh will knock the smile right of Mark Sanchez’s face when it gets the chance. The Jets are extremely strong on offense and defense, but if the Pittsburgh defense can get to Mark Sanchez then the tide of this game could turn quickly.

Sportsbooks Odds Free Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers

Super Bowl Odds – Bears, Packers Meet For 183rd Time


NFL Playoffs BettingSuper Bowl betting players will get a few history lessons this week when studying up on the NFC title game between Chicago and Green Bay. These two will go head-to-head for the 183rd time in regular and postseason play, but they haven’t met in the playoffs since 1941, and we think there will be a different outcome than that game, which ended in a 33-14 win for the Bears.

Packers vs. Bears Odds – Sunday, 3:00 PM ET)

Aaron Rodgers stole the show with a phenomenal performance in a 48-21 thrashing of Atlanta on the road, completing 31 of his 36 attempts for 366 yards and three touchdowns. He would have had more if not for a couple of drops, but that’s just being picky against the Green Bay offense, which put up 442 yards. From short routes to deep throws, Rodgers was on his game as those watching NFL scores figured it would be much closer, especially in Atlanta. The Packers also forced four turnovers, returning one for a touchdown, and if they play that way in Chicago, Green Bay will be almost impossible to beat.

The Bears are coming off a solid 35-24 win over Seattle at home, and Jay Cutler was excellent, going 15-of-28 for 274 yards with a pair of touchdowns, while running for two more scores for the Bears, who had 176 yards on the ground. That means they controlled the clock for over 37 minutes, and it’s rare that you’re going to lose when the other team has the ball for under 23 minutes. One negative is that the Bears allowed the Seahawks to have a slight glimmer of hope with two late touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and if they don’t go hard for 60 minutes against the Packers, they stand a very good chance of losing this game.

Betting services have the Packers as a 3.5-point favorite on the road at Soldier Field, where they are 2-3 SU and 3-2 ATS in their last five visits. These two met twice in the regular season, with the Packers losing 20-17 in Chicago in Week 3, and then bouncing back for a 10-3 win in the final week of the regular season at home. For us, this game boils down to Rodgers against Cutler, and everything points to Rodgers in this situation. He has a 92.6 passer rating in six games against the Bears, while Cutler has a 65.0 rating in five games against the Packers and was outplayed in both games this season by Rodgers, especially in the last game. We don’t think Soldier Field will be that much of an advantage for the Bears, so take the Packers in your sportsbook odds on Sunday.


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