Sunday NFL Wildcard action and the Miami Dolphins will trek north to rumble with the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. The 10-6 Dolphins are off a 35-14 loss to the Patriots at home, but they have still won nine of their last 11 games, while 11-5 Pittsburgh comes in as the hottest team in the league as they have won their last seven in a row. This contest has a start time of 1:05 pm EST.
Vegas odds have the Steelers listed as 10 point favorites, while the total has been set at 47. This contest will be televised on CBS with a start time of 1:05 pm EST.
Breaking Down The Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins really came out of nowhere this year to grab a playoffs spot. They did it despite the fact that they lost four of their last five games. The Dolphins have won nine of their last 11 games and that includes going 4-1 on the road over that stretch and it also includes a 15 point home win over Pittsburgh. That was much earlier in the year and now the Steelers are the hottest team in the league heading into the playoffs. Miami also had ryan Tannehill for that game, but he is out and Matt Moore has taken over at the QB spot for Miami and he has thrown for 721 yards with eight TDs and three INTs this year so far. The Dolphins will really need to rely on the running of Jay Ajayi, who ran for 1272 yards, which is 4th in the league. He has three 200 yard rushing games this year and the Steelers have struggled against t6he run of late. The Dolphins are 24th in total offense, 26th in passing 9th in rushing and 17th in scoring, putting up 22.7 ppg. On defense, the Dolphins have not been great as they come in ranked 29th in total yards allowed, 15th vs the pass, 30th vs the run and 18th in points allowed, giving up 23.8 ppg. That defense will have to be much better than that, especially vs a Pittsburgh offense that is clicking on all cylinders.
Trends: The Dolphins have gone 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game and 33-16 ATS in their last 49 road games vs. a team with a winning home record, but just 6-21 ATS in their last 27 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game. The Over is 5-0 in their last 5 games following a straight up loss of more than 14 points, while the Under is 7-1 in their last 8 playoff games.
Breaking Down The Pittsburgh Steelers
At the beginning of the year the Pittsburgh Steelers were thought to be the only team in the AFC that had a chance to knock off the Patriots and after a rather slow start, the Steelers have put it all together as they have won their last seven games in a row. The offense was always there for this team, but it is now a more complete offense as their running game has been cranking it up and that have also gotten their defense in order of late as well. That defense allowed just 17.3 ppg over their last seven games and will now take on a Miami team that is using a backup QB. The Dolphins may have to rely on their run game and the Steelers have allowed 134 ypg on the ground over their last three games. That could be a problem for them. The Steelers come in ranked 12th in total yards allowed, 16th vs the pass, 13th vs the run and 10th in points allowed, giving up just 20.4 ppg. On offense, Pittsburgh has been on fire as they have averaged 26.9 ppg in their last eight games. Their run game has been solid with Le’Veon Bell getting hot of late and he could have a strong game vs a weak Miami run defense. He ran for 1268 yards and seven TDs, while also having 616 yards receiving and two more TDs. Big Ben had a strong season again as he threw for 3819 yards with 29 TDs and 13 INTs. This offense is very tough to stop right now. Pittsburgh comes in ranked 7th in total offense, 6th in passing, 14th in rushing and 11th in scoring, putting up 24.0 ppg.
Trends: The Steelers have gone 6-1 ATS in their last 7 playoff home games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game, but just 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 home games and 1-4 ATS the last five games in this series. The Over is 21-5-1 in their last 27 games in January, while the Under is 20-8-1 in their last 29 vs. the AFC.
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