NFL Picks: Dolphins at Steelers Point Spread
Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers
Similar to the Seattle vs Detroit Wild Card matchup, Pittsburgh and Miami are not very familiar with each other as this is just the 26th meeting since 1971. That said, these teams battled in Week 6 this season and the Dolphins beat the Steelers 30-15 down in South Beach. QB Ben Roethlisberger, who played through a knee injury, threw two INT in that contest and Miami RB Jay Ajayi rushed for 204 yards and two scores. The Dolphins posted a 34-28 victory during their last trip to Pittsburgh back in Week 14 of the 2013 NFL season. Prior to that, the Steelers had won five straight in this series.
As mentioned, Pittsburgh has been running hot but it should be noted that just one of their seven season ending wins was against a team that is playing in the 2017 NFL postseason. That was a 24-14 home victory over New York in Week 13 – a loss that snapped a six-game winning streak by the Giants. Apart from that, the Steelers beat Indianapolis, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Baltimore and the lowly 1-15 Cleveland Browns twice. Pittsburgh went 6-2 at home and the losses were to New England (27-16) and Dallas (35-30) and came during a four game losing streak between Week 6 and 10.
Miami has to be considered as the “miracle” team in the 2017 National Football League playoffs as the Dolphins opened their season with a 1-4 record and the lone victory was against the Cleveland Browns. The win over the Steelers seemed to spark the Dolphins as Miami won six in a row before they were bashed 38-6 by the Ravens in Baltimore. The ‘Phins won their next three contests before dropping a 35-14 decision to New England to finish with a 10-6 record. Miami posted a 4-4 mark on the road and they were just 1-3 in their four contests versus teams that made it to the playoffs.
Dolphins at Steelers Prediction
BET PITTSBURGH STEELERS -9.5 (-125) ATS AT BET365 (Pittsburgh 30-12 Final)
Key Miami injuries have to be considered when betting on this contest. QB Ryan Tannehill, C Mike Pouncey, DB Reshad Jones and DB Isa Abdul-Quddus have been out for a while and now DB Byron Maxell is also sidelined. With so many losses in the defensive secondary, one has to wonder how the Dolphins will contain WR Antonio Brown and RB Le’Veon Bell who will be a force as a runner and a receiver. Miami ranked 29th in total defense allowing 382.6 YPG and 30th against the run (140.4 YPG) this season. Though Pittsburgh has a habit of playing down to their opponents level, we can’t see anything but a full out effort by the Steelers here. Looking to avoid a possible push, we are buying by a half point and backing Pittsburgh with the -9.5 (-125) Bet365 spread price.
NFL Wild Card Games 2017
AFC and NFC Wild Card matchups preceded the Steelers vs Dolphins duel as the Oakland Raiders vs Houston Texans AFC contest and the Detroit Lions vs Seattle Seahawks NFC battle play out on Saturday, January 7, 2017. The first round of the 2017 NFL playoffs comes to a close when the Green Bay Packers host the New York Giants at Lambeau Field at 4:40 PM Sunday, January 8, 2017. We have predicted all four Wild Card contests and we will do the same for the six remaining games that lead us to Super Bowl LI on February 5, 2017, at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Follow our free picks and then stay up to date on the scores of every match with our LIVE Score widget below.
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