The first game on Sunday sees the surprise team of the NFL season, the Miami Dolphins, travel to Pittsburgh, but Neil Monnery isn't expecting any big surprises...
"Having had a look at the weather and that also is going against the travelling team. Going from Miami and toasty 24 degrees Celsius to -8 as it is predicted to be at game time doesn't really make me want to roll with the big upset pick."
AFC Wildcard: Miami Dolphins @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Start-time: Sunday 8 January, 18:05 GMT
TV: Live on Sky Sports
This game on paper looks like a bit of a one-way mis-match. The Steelers have such talents as Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell and Eli Rogers to make plays under the direction of two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. You have to like this and that doesn't even account for the very good TE in Jesse James.
Over in Miami then their hopes lie squarely at the feet of British running back Jay Ajayi. The 23 year-old has cleared 200 yards three times this season including going for 204 when the Dolphins beat the Steelers 30-15 earlier in the season. He is the man who has to have a great afternoon in we are to see the upset.
The only other big plus I give to the away team is they have Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake. Two guys who can dictate the line of scrimmage and cause issues in the backfield. If these guys have great days then they could keep this close. However they both would truly need to have great days.
Having had a look at the weather and that also is going against the travelling team. Going from Miami and toasty 24 degrees Celsius to -8 as it is predicted to be at game time doesn't really make me want to roll with the big upset pick.
The last thing I want to say (as I'm clearly going with the Steelers) is that the difference between this game and that 30-15 result from the 16th October is everyone is healthy now for Pittsburgh and Eli Rogers has become a weapon out of the slot receiver position. Miami had a lot of success playing the Cover 2 and leaving Rogers one-on-one and he couldn't get separation or make plays. I suspect if they do this again that he will torch them.
Pittsburgh to win and it won't be awfully close.
I do like Eli Rogers in that slot so at 12/1 to score the first touchdown of the game, I think that represents real value. For Miami you can't look any further than Ajayi. As he goes, the Dolphins go and you can get him at 17/2 on the Sportsbook.
The line has been set at 45.5pts and I think that number is a bit high. It is going to be very cold on Sunday as I've already stated. Pittsburgh tend to score in the high 20s but they rarely go into the 30s. This means that Miami can score 14-17 and still the unders looks like the play. I went unders on Saturday night and I'm going there again. Under 45.5pts at 17/20 on the Sportsbook.
The spread is set at Pittsburgh -10.5pts which I'm comfortable picking Pittsburgh despite the massive handicap. My only fear is they get up big early and allow a garbage time score or two. I don't think Matt Moore is a big drop-off compared to Ryan Tannehill but I just think the home team have superior talent across the board
3pt Back Pittsburgh to win -10.5 points at 17/20 on the Sportsbook
3pt Back under 45.5pts at 17/20 on the Sportsbook
3pt Back over 252.5 passing yards for Matt Moore at 5/6 on the Sportsbook
3pt Back over 44.5 receiving yards for Eli Rogers at 5/6 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Jay Ajayi to score the first TD at 17/2 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Eli Rogers to score the first TD at 12/1 on the Sportsbook