Steelers favoured to break AFC Wild Card logjam in NFL
Daniel Coyle, American Sports Correspondent | December 17, 2015
Denver Broncos @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.0)
Pittsburgh Steelers can reclaim a coveted AFC Wild Card spot with a win this weekend, when they take on the Denver Broncos in their final home game of the regular season, pegged as strong 6-point favourites in NFL betting at Coral’s online sportsbook.
The Steelers have posted four straight up victories in their past five to join Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets at 8-5 on the season, but enter Week 15 outside the NFL playoff picture, trailing Chiefs and Jets on tiebreakers in the tight AFC Wild Card race.
Winners of seven straight, Chiefs lead the Wild Card hunt on the strength of their 7-2 SU record against AFC conference opponents, ahead of the Jets at 6-4, and Pittsburgh, who sits two games back at 5-4.
New York Jets (-3.5) @ Dallas Cowboys
In a rare Saturday night match-up, the Jets visit Dallas Cowboys as 3.5-point favourites. Currently riding a three-game SU win streak, Jets are a solid 8/5 moneyline bet to claim victory in their inter-conference match-up with the 4-9 Cowboys, but that may not be enough for them to maintain their grasp on a Wild Card spot.
A Steelers win over the 10-3 Broncos would lift Pittsburgh to 6-4 against AFC opponents, swinging the tiebreaker in their favour based on “strength of victory” calculations, and knocking New York from the playoff picture.
Pittsburgh also enjoys an easier schedule in the final two weeks of the regular season, with visits to Baltimore and Cleveland, while Jets face a pair of tough divisional rivals, hosting the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots next week, before closing out their campaign in Buffalo.
Kansas City Chiefs (-7.0) @ Baltimore Ravens
The Chiefs, meanwhile, will be gunning for an eighth straight SU win when they visit Ravens on Sunday as 7-point chalk in American football betting at Coral.
Kansas City have also dominated at the sportsbooks during their current tear, posting six straight against the spread victories before failing to cover in last week’s narrow 10-3 win over the San Diego Chargers.
Conversely, it has been a disappointing campaign for Baltimore, who have lost two straight and stumbled to a 4-9 record overall.
The Chiefs wrap up their campaign with a pair of home dates against non-playoff clubs, hosting Browns next week before closing out against Raiders.
Super Bowl odds shake-up
The Steelers, meanwhile, have seen their NFL futures odds soar to an impressive 12/1, surpassing their AFC Wild Card rivals and the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals, who hold a two-game lead over Pittsburgh in the divisional standings.
Cincinnati’s Super Bowl odds have tumbled to 14/1 following the loss of quarterback Andy Dalton, who last weekend suffered a broken thumb that will sideline him for at least three weeks.
However, the 10-3 Bengals can clinch a playoff berth for a fifth straight year with a win over the 4-9 San Francisco 49ers, whom they visit this weekend as 4.5-point favourites.
In other NFL Week 15 betting action at Coral, Titans visit New England as 13.5-point underdogs, Packers host Raiders as 3-point chalk, and Browns visit Seattle Seahawks as 14-point underdogs, while the Buffalo Bills travel to Washington to battle the Redskins as slender 0.5-point favourites.
Check out our more NFL and American sports articles in our awesome US Sports section.