This is the epitome of playing with house money.
Mountain State online sports bettors observe a bonus week with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who made the NFL playoffs behind several unlikely circumstances.
It hardly matters that the Steelers visit the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night as the largest underdog of the first postseason weekend.
Just the word “playoffs” resonates with fans and bettors who survived the following gauntlet last Sunday:
The Steelers rallied for a 16-13 overtime win and season sweep of the Baltimore Ravens. That included an end-zone pick when the Ravens threatened to put the game away.
They got unlikely help when the Jacksonville Jaguars broke an eight-game losing streak and buried the Indianapolis Colts 26-11.
And then they were nearly burned by a colossal long shot. All the Steelers needed was for the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers to avoid a tie, which held odds of nearly +4000, or 40-1, at DraftKings Sportsbook West Virginia.
Steelers Survive NFL Week 18
Well, it went to overtime.
Las Vegas could not hold a 29-14 lead in the waning moments, and the Chargers caught up. The game could have ended several different times, but a doomsday scenario chased Steelers fans down the stretch. It included a touchdown, a two-point conversion, a slew of long fourth-down conversions and another game-tying touchdown on the final play.
The overtime session looked to be headed for the tie until the Raiders bailed out the Steelers with a last-second field goal.
Steelers fans (and bettors who wagered on them to make the playoffs) finally breathed.
Destiny is often born from these developments.
But bettors hold no such illusions about the Steelers in this game. Fans are, if nothing else, just happy to see quarterback Ben Roethlisberger one more time before he retires.
And the Steelers get one more chance to play well against the Chiefs. They were thumped 36-10 by Kansas City last month.
Pittsburgh Steelers Odds At WV Sportsbooks
There are options for one more betting bang from the Steelers, even if they lose.
Take three or four games of moderate risk, capped by the Chiefs.
A DraftKings trio of the Cincinnati Bengals over the Las Vegas Raiders, the Buffalo Bills beating the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers toppling the Philadelphia Eagles, combined with the Chiefs, is +214.
To mix and match, take the Bucs and Chiefs as anchors and toss in some others based on risk tolerance and feel for the game.
Naturally, Cincinnati’s playoff inexperience and New England’s previous win in Buffalo can be issues of concern, and most games will have at least one.
But Tampa Bay and Kansas City are as good of a starting anchor as any.
The Steelers to score more than 7.5 points in each half is +105. They have succeeded in the second half for the most part in recent games, and Kansas City usually wins shootouts, not defensive struggles.
Pittsburgh to score first is +165.
The Steelers rarely start fast, so this is a leap-of-faith investment in the coin toss and perhaps an early field goal.
Individual Steelers-Chiefs Player Props
Najee Harris is an exceptional yardage target, both as a rusher and receiver, for Pittsburgh. The Chiefs may try to take away his running ability, so a combined rushing and receiving yardage package is one good place to look for him.
Harris did secure 93 yards in the teams’ previous game. He added 17 as a receiver, totaling 110 combined.
Diontae Johnson is a touchdown threat every game. It’s too bad they can’t find a drops prop for him. He’s had butterfingers in recent games.
Pat Freiermuth is the team’s most consistent receiver. Scoring and yardage props are viable for him.
On the Kansas City side, Tyreek Hill often notches the first touchdown of the game. Travis Kelce is a viable threat to score and amass yardage.
The total of 46 is right where the first game landed. The Steelers usually lean under, but Kansas City’s explosiveness can compensate. Steelers bettors often tease the point total down a couple of points and take the over.
Look for a Roethlisberger interception pick of over 0.5. He is often hurried into passes he doesn’t want to make and puts too much air under the ball. He did throw a pick in the first game between the teams.
Additional Steelers Vs. Chiefs Game Props
With Caesars Sportsbook WV, you can get action on the first possession of each team.
Here is the Pittsburgh lineup:
- Punt -210
- Field goal attempt +430
- Turnover +575
- Touchdown +625
- Punt +111
- Touchdown +195
- Field goal attempt +410
- Turnover +600
Should the Steelers do the unthinkable, their next matchup would be against the top-seeded Tennessee Titans, whom they recently beat.
Most people will consider that idea pie in the sky.
But Pittsburgh playing now was just that last week.