NFL Football: Sunday, January 22,2017 6:40pm (Gillette Stadium) TV:CBS

New England Patriots (15-2) host Pittsburgh Steelers (13-5)

Line: New England -4.5 O/U 51.5 Check Odds

Coming up right after the end of the Packers vs Falcons game is the AFC Championship where it always seems like the New England Patriots are there. However, they do not have an easy matchup in this AFC Championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is great way to cap off an amazing NFL Championship week for the AFC and NFC!

It certainly seems like the Steelers waltzed their way into the AFC Championship game as they easily dismantled the Miami Dolphins before the 1st quarter even ended. The final score in that contest was not even close with the Steelers winning by a whopping score of 30-12. With the Steelers chances with any game comes down to their big 3 on offense of Big Ben, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown. So far during the postseason Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t been amazing, but has certainly got the job done by throwing well over 400 yards. Their running back monster Bell has certainly carried the load and has excelled with 337 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the postseason so far. While Antonio Brown hasn’t been shy catching 232 and recording his own pair of touchdowns as well. Trying to stop just one of these Steelers potent offense powers is a tall order and so is just trying to contain even one!

On to New England it seems like the same story every year since they always seem to be here every year! Tom Brady has been Tom all year even if his season was cut short with his suspension. The crazy aspect is Tom Brady can easily be considered MVP while missing those four football games due to his suspension. It doesn’t matter who steps in with Tom Brady it seems like coach Bill just finds ways to make it work. The Patriots have relied on LeGarrette Blount and Julian Edelman as their top running backs and wide receivers this year. Blount has recorded an impressive 18 touchdowns this year while Edelman has hauled in just three himself.

When it comes to the trend game we always love to attach a couple for your viewing pleasure:

Steelers are 7-1-1 ATS in the last 9 games

Steelers have been 2-0-2 ATS in previous 4 playoff matchups

New England is 4-0 vs teams with winning record

New England is 5-0 vs last 5 games against AFC

New England is 6-0 ATS following a victory

I’m considering this to be an even better game than the Packers vs Falcons, I consider that the appetizer! At the end of the day when you have two great teams and one of those teams is at home and has Tom Brady, well, it makes it easier. Their are few lessons I’ve learned in life and one of those is that you don’t bet against Tom Brady in a playoff game at home. You can ask Peyton Manning and even big Ben as well previously in past years. This game will easily come down to ball control and turnovers and with Blount on Brady’s side and the home field advantage makes it quite simple on who I’m siding with.  I don’t expect a blowout, but I do see a second half pull away by the Patriots to make this cover happen EASILY!

Will’s Pick: New England -4.5