NFL Wildcard: Dolphins at Steelers

Written by Rohit Ghosh

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NFL Wild Card 2017: Steelers vs Dolphins Preview & Pick

The Pittsburgh Steelers host the Miami Dolphins Sunday in an AFC Wild Card matchup at Heinz Field. The Steelers sealed their fate with last week's 31-27 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, setting up a contest with the same team QB Ben Roethlesberger injured his knee against back in October.

With a healthy roster now, though, all signs point to a fairly easy win for Pittsburgh. The Steelers are 10-point favorites, listed at -500 on the money line with the total set at 47.

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AccuScore Sim Data vs Vegas Odds

There's absolutely no value provided by the data on the total - both Vegas odds and AccuScore sim data have the total set at 47.

The data does indicate, however, that the game should be a lot more competitive than Vegas odds suggest - offering some value on the road 'dog.

While most books in Vegas have Pittsburgh as a 10-point favorite, the sims say it should be closer to a 7-point spread.

• Miami covers a 10-point spread in about 56 percent of simulations, a four-star (out of four) hot trend.
The Dolphins are 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games as an underdog of 10.0 or more. [Supports simulation data for MIA covering the spread.]
• The Dolphins are 1-7 SU in their last 8 games in the playoffs on the road. [Supports simulation data for a Steelers victory.]

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What to Watch For

This matchup is a whole lot different than when these two sides last met in October. Pittsburgh, for one, has their stars healthy and ready to go. Miami, on the other hand, is without starting QB Ryan Tannehill.

Surprisingly, this will be the first playoff game in which Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown will all play in. The only way they lose this game is if their defense lets Miami RB Jay Ajayi run for a historic performance.

The Dolphins enter the postseason ranked No. 29 in the league in total yards on defense and No. 18 in scoring.

If Miami's defense was something to write home about, this matchup might even have some money line value given Ajayi’s track record this season. But with Matt Moore starting at QB, Pittsburgh's defense should be able to hone in on Ajayi and prevent a repeat of October's performance.

AccuScore’s 2016 NFL Season Pick record: Full Review of AccuScore’s NFL 2016 Picks