Chiefs To Avenge Playoff Defeat To Steelers

Smith has been outstanding

The Kansas City Chiefs will be aiming to maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Steelers knocked Andy Reid’s men out of the playoffs last season in the Divisional Round at Arrowhead Stadium, ending the Chiefs’ Super Bowl hopes.

Kansas City have responded with an imperious start to the campaign. The AFC West side have won their opening five matches of the term, taking control of the AFC Conference.

Reid’s men were able to benefit from the Houston Texans’ misfortune of losing JJ Watt and Whitney Mercilus to win on the road.

Quarterback Alex Smith continued his outstanding start to the season, helping his side put 42 points on the board. Tyreek Hill came to the fore with a punt return for a touchdown to kill off the game, highlighting the depth of talent Kansas City have at their disposal.

Revenge will be firmly on the minds on the Chiefs in their bid to claim the number one seed in the AFC Conference.

The Steelers are at a crossroads in their campaign. The form of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is cause for concern after his five-interception performance last week. The 34-year-old was off target on his throws downfield, allowing the Jacksonville Jaguars to ease to victory at Heinz Field.

His comments after the game were downbeat, although his old confidence has returned during the week. However, he along with Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown need to produce their best to compete with a talented Chiefs’ outfit on Sunday.

We’ll now break down both sides’ start to the season and look at the contest using the latest betting odds.

Kansas City Chiefs

Smith has been outstanding

The Chiefs have been outstanding to start the season. No player has shown greater improvement in his play than Smith. The pressure of the club selecting Patrick Mahomes 10th overall in the 2017 Draft has brought the best out of the veteran.

One of the major criticisms of the quarterback’s play during his time in the NFL was the ability to throw downfield. However, this season he has taken on the challenge, with only four players in the league throwing for more yards. The 34-year-old has not be renowned for making a great deal of mistakes in his career. This term he has been flawless, failing to turn over the ball once.

Kansas City have only turned the ball once on offense this season, which came on Kareem Hunt’s first NFL carry. Hunt overcame that error with a dazzling display against the New England Patriots.

The 22-year-old has continued that momentum and currently leads the NFL in rushing, running over 100 yards in four of his five matches. The performances of the duo have allowed the Chiefs’ offense to not miss a beat this season, putting them on pace to secure the number one seed in the AFC Conference.

Defensively the Chiefs have had their issues, although their talent has covered up holes. Justin Houston and Chris Jones have been a force on the defensive line, while Derrick Johnson has provided leadership through the middle.

Their secondary has been exposed at times without the presence of Eric Berry. That could be an issue if their offensive production starts to slow, but for now Reid’s men are the most balanced team in the NFL and look on course for a six-straight win.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Roethlisberger needs to respond

The Steelers could be staring down the prospect of a bleak future as Roethlisberger continues to struggle. The 34-year-old has been far from his best this season and had the low point of his career, throwing five interceptions against the Jags. After the Steelers’ playoff defeat to the Patriots last season, he did contemplate retirement. It appears those thoughts may have affected his game, failing to find his form in the opening five games of the campaign.

Roethlisberger was downbeat after his performance against the Jags. He even suggested that he might have not “it” anymore. The quarterback has his full complement of weapons for his passing attack, although Bell has also had his problems at the start of the term.

The running back held out of training camp in the summer in order to get a more lucrative deal after being designated with the franchise tag. No long-term deal was signed and he returned at the start of September, but has failed to find his form. In a contract year, the 27-year-old needs to find his peak sooner or later as he is averaging 3.6 yards per attempt thus far.

Antonio Brown remains outstanding at the wide receiver position, thriving despite Roethlisberger’s problems. However, Mike Tomlin’s men cannot challenge for the Super Bowl with only one part of their trifecta on form.

Defensively, their loss to the Jaguars was shocking as they allowed Leonard Fournette to continue his promising start to his career. Anthony Chickillo and TJ Watt have come to the fore with three sacks apiece, while Javon Hargrave is establishing a reputation as a dominant defensive tackle. They need to carry the load until their offense finds their rhythm.

Betting Options

The two sides are at a crossroads in their season heading into the contest. The Chiefs are on the upward trajectory in their bid to mount a challenge for the number one seed. The Steelers are heading in the opposite direction and could be on the way out of contention for the post-season unless they resolve their issues quickly.

Reid’s men have already had one statement match against the Patriots. Expect them to rise to the occasion once again to knock off another AFC rival at Arrowhead Stadium. Their offense should have too many weapons for the Steelers to handle, while their defensive line should be able to get to Roethlisberger with regularity. Take the Chiefs at -233   with JetBull.

Kansas City should also cover the -4.5 spread at odds of -110   with BetVictor due to their strength in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs have a lot of weapons and one that could come to the fore against the Steelers is Albert Wilson. Travis Kelce, Hill and Hunt will draw the primary coverage. That will open room for Wilson to score a touchdown anytime at odds of +188   with Bet365.

The home side should also be on course for another big day on offense. Take them to score over 25.5 points at -111   with 888Sport.

Tips Summary

Kansas City Chiefs To Beat Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday 15th October 2017 16:25 ET (21:25 BST)
Odds: -233

Kansas City Chiefs To Cover -4.5 Spread
Sunday 15th October 2017 16:25 ET (21:25 BST)
Odds: -110

Albert Wilson To Score Touchdown Anytime
Sunday 15th October 2017 16:25 ET (21:25 BST)
Odds: +188

Kansas City Chiefs To Score Over 25.5 Points
Sunday 15th October 2017 16:25 ET (21:25 BST)
Odds: -111