Betting football online has to be one of the great joys of life. From the comfort of your couch you get to handicap this fantastic game, and if you do it right, make money at the same time. Ok, so from six to four teams we go and it’s time to get down to business in the American Football Conference (AFC). We have two games this coming week, each with their own unique storylines and factors that’ll have bettors going back and forth on the point spread all the way until kickoff.
Let’s take a look at the two AFC games this week and break it down by looking at the point spreads and utilizing the insights of the RealBet brain trust.
The Kansas City Chiefs (+5) at the New England Patriots – Betting Football Online
The Patriots’ defense of their NFL Super Bowl win starts on Saturday with a home date versus the Kansas City Chiefs. These are the same Chiefs who haven’t lost a game since the Reagan administration it seems and are coming off a beat down of the Houston Texans last week. The Chiefs are coming into Foxborough as winners of 11 straight games and are arguably the hottest team in football.
The last time the Chiefs and Patriots went head to head, the Chiefs dismantled the Pats on Monday Night Football last season which became the turning point of New England’s championship season. The Chiefs come into this game firing on all cylinders, but may be without star WR Jeremy Maclin who left last week’s game with a high ankle sprain. Without Maclin, the Chiefs receiving core appears to have more holes than Swiss cheese. Outside of TE Travis Kelce, no other Chief pass catcher had more than 35 catches. For a team that was 30th in passing yards per game during the regular season, losing Maclin could be a crushing blow.
On the flip side, the Patriots come in off a much needed bye week. The Pats are getting healthier with each passing week, which should help them get back to their early season form. Losers of four of their past six, the Pats have struggled down the stretch and now face one of the league’s most ferocious defenses. While the Chiefs may be without their star WR, the Pats may be getting one back of their own. Much of New England’s offensive problems kick started once WR Julian Edelman went down with an injury. Edelman and his 61 catches will be back in the lineup on Saturday.
The first game to kick off the divisional round should be a tight one with the league’s hottest team going in to face the defending Super Bowl champions. Can’t get much better than that.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (+7) at the Denver Broncos – Free Money
This line is either changing or it isn’t live to bet just yet. Why is this the case? Simple. Nobody has any idea of whether Steelers’ two-time Super Bowl winning QB Ben Roethlisberger is going to play.
If Big Ben is in the lineup, this spread will come all the way back down to right around Steelers +3. If he’s confirmed out, this spread could get even higher to about 7.5. The Broncos are at home, off a bye, and come to the postseason party with the AFC’s best defense. The Steelers conversely are coming off a heated win over the Cincinnati Bengals, but as mentioned, may not have their franchise player on the field when these teams kick off on Sunday. Even if Ben is in the lineup how productive will he be? He’s apparently got a separated shoulder on his throwing arm, and may not have the ability to stretch the ball down the field like he’s used to.
On the flip side, the Broncos offense comes into the game with 4-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning under center. The Broncos QB situation has been one of intrigue all season long and not in a good way. The team finished 18th in points this season and could only muster up 248 passing yards per game. This Broncos team, for the first time in the Manning era, is led by their vaunted defense which ranked 4th in points against this season.
A key matchup to watch this week will be Denver’s Pro Bowl CB Aqib Talib lining up against Steelers All-Pro WR Antonio Brown. Brown is the heartbeat of the Steelers offense and will have his hands full against the AFC’s top cornerback.
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