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Jets Steelers Spread Line and Predictions AFC Championship

The Jets franchise hasn’t won this game in a while. The Steelers have twice in the last six years. History doesn’t matter, though. Current events are a far stronger indicator of the near future. The Jets got the better of the Steelers in a hard-fought Week 15 victory. Excuses are useless too, but the Steelers are a more dynamic team when SS Troy Polamalu and TE Heath Miller are playing. The Jets didn’t get the Steelers defense or offense at 100 percent. And ultimately, it was a special teams touchdown that brought them to victory. This Sunday will be the grudge match of grudge matches and we will see if Rex Ryan’s bold preseason prediction will come even closer to fruition, kickoff slated for 6:30 PM EST.

Spread and Betting Line Comparison Chart:

Betting Site
Spread
Over/Under Line
Visit Site
BetED.com
Steelers -4 (-115)
38
Sportsbook.com
Steelers -4 (-110)
38
Bodog.com
Steelers -4 (-110)
38.5

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The Jets are no strangers to Heinz Field, having won there in Week 15 when it looked like their season was unraveling. That outcome though should have no impact on this week’s game. The biggest reason is that the Steelers will have Troy Polamalu floating around in the secondary. Polamalu didn’t play in the regular season matchup. The Steelers defense is a different unit with him in the lineup. The Jets defense is playing as well as any particular unit still in the NFL Playoffs. The Green Bay Packers offense is a close second. In back to back weeks, Rex Ryan’s unit solved Peyton Manning and made Tom Brady look like a rookie. That alone is a feat in itself. Success for the Jets comes down to two things- game planning and execution. Ryan will have something up his sleeve for Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense. Offensively for the Jets, quarterback Mark Sanchez is playing very well and is capable of going into Pittsburgh and leaving with a win. If the Jets give him the ball and ask him to win it by himself, they could be in trouble. My only knock on Sanchez coming into this season was that I wanted to see him bring the Jets from behind and win games. He’s done that this season. I also needed to see Sanchez play well when nothing else was working for the Jets. He’s done that as well. While the Steelers have the huge edge when it comes down to the signal callers, Sanchez isn’t a slouch. His numbers likely will never jump off the page, but he’s a winner. The Jets will look to control this game on the ground. It won’t be easy, but they will stick to the ground game. The New York offensive line is very good and they will have to be on Sunday. When Sanchez does need to put the ball up, he’s got a wealth of weapons to throw to. Tight end Dustin Keller is a mismatch for the Steelers defense and could play a big role. Then there is Santonio Holmes. Holmes has quietly become the best big play receiver in the game. If you need a big play at a big time in a game, no receiver in the NFL has had the impact that Holmes has had the past three seasons (especially 2010-11).

Looking at the Steelers offense, as long as Roethlisberger has the ball in his hands, Pittsburgh has a chance to come out on top. The big play might not be there because of the Jets talented secondary, but look for Roethlisberger to take his shots anyway. Hines Ward is still the glue that keeps the offense together. Whether it’s a big third down reception, or a tough, physically earned touchdown reception in the red zone, or just being the guy who takes the initiative to fire the team up with a post-whistle skirmish, Ward is the heart and soul of an offense that will be physical if they’re inspired to do so. It will start early, expect Ward to block his assignment intensely on the first run, followed by some grappling, some jawing and shoving. After that, watch him do it again. Steelers defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau will have something special dialed up for Sanchez. The Pittsburgh game plan will be the same as always. They will focus on shutting down the Jets ground game, force third and long situations and then come after Sanchez. The Steelers played one bad game on special teams this season. It was Week 15 against the Jets. Brad Smith (who likely will play after missing last week) returned the opening kickoff for a score and it had an impact on the final result. If you watched the Steelers’ divisional round game against the Ravens, you know what I mean. Roethlisberger was sacked a whopping six times by the ferocious Ravens defense thanks to some hideous play by the Steelers linemen, and Rashard Mendenhall only rushed for a total of 46 yards—on 20 plays no less. When a quarterback is sacked six times and a running back who averaged nearly four yards per carry in the season only averages 2.9 in the game, that’s an issue. Will the Jets be able to take advantage like the Ravens? They’re more about their secondary opposed to the Ravens who are about their play up front. But, the Jets weren’t to shabby getting to Brady, sacking him five times and pressuring him a bunch. Despite all the talent on the Pittsburgh offense, they have a questionable coordinator who really isn’t very good, and as a result, the Pittsburgh offense doesn’t score a lot of points. Games often come down to the kicker, so pay attention to Shaun Suisham.

Jets vs Steelers Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:

New York Jets +4
@ Pittsburgh Steelers -4

Game Total:

Over (-110)
38
Under (-110)

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Jets vs Steelers Prediction for Championship Weekend:

Spread Prediction (TOP PLAY) – The Jets have been an extremely difficult team to gauge all season long. At times they have looked offensively challenged and porous defensively, other times they have looked like world-beaters. Last week we witnessed a Jets squad knock off Tom Brady and the Pats and they did so by sticking to their guns and rushing the football. The key to victory in Pittsburgh will be the same remedy, rush the ball and keep the ball possession in their favor. New York was able to knock off the Steelers in December of last year at Heinz Field and there is no reason they cannot repeat that performance. The New York Jets are 13-3 SU in their last 16 games on the road and have a mini two game winning streak over this Steelers club. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games when playing the Jets. The Steelers have shown at times this season that they are susceptible to the triple threat offense and I expect the Jets to rely on the services of Brad Smith all game long. If the Jets beat the Steelers in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, Sanchez will have more road playoff wins than any quarterback in league history . The 24-year-old Jets quarterback is currently tied with Roger Staubach, Len Dawson, Joe Flacco and Jake Delhomme with four postseason victories away from home. And the last laugh belongs to Jets once again. Consider the Jets keeping this one close.

Top Play Prediction = Jets +4

Game Total Prediction – The last time these clubs met there were 39 points produced, there is no reason to believe that performance cannot be met. The total has gone OVER in 4 of the NY Jets last 5 games and has gone OVER in 10 of the NY Jets last 11 games on the road. The Steelers, after a dismal first half, came out and scored at will against a tough Baltimore defense last week. Jets defensive back Antonio Cromartie has a tough assignment in covering Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace. Roethlisberger has plenty of other options in Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Brown and Hines Ward, so the possibility for points from the Steelers is great. I expect Santonio Holmes to perform quite admirably against his old club, he should have his fair share of chances to score some points. Sure, Santonio Holmes already faced his former Steelers team in Week 15, but now it’s in a huge game for the first time. After making a Super Bowl XLIII-like catch against the Patriots to extend the Jets lead to 21-11 on Sunday, Holmes now returns to Pittsburgh trying to beat his former team for the right to go to Super Bowl XLV. Take a look at the OVER in the AFC Championship tilt. Cheers!

Total Prediction = OVER 38 Total Points

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