One word springs to mind when previewing this contest... Ouch!
That's because it's a true heavyweight clash between two fully committed, no-nonsense outfits.
The 'Grapple in the Big Apple' features two monster running backs: In Pittsburgh it's 229lb Jonathan Dwyer; the key to his recent success is to hide the key... to the fridge. It's the management of his penchant for potato chips that has coincided with an explosion of form. Back-to-back 100-yard games mean he's a factor the Giants will not be taking lightly. The champs will fancy their chances, however, after limiting the Cowboys to 19, yes one-nine yards of total rushing last week. An intriguing match-up to say the least.
The Giants have their own big-boy-battering-ram in the shape of 214lb Ahmad Bradshaw. He's already locked up 570 yards under his considerable belt this season, but what will he do against the league's best defence? If he can do anything at all and keep the pressure off Eli Manning, a Giants' win is probable. If he's bottled up at the line of scrimmage, a win is only a mild possibility.
Both teams can chuck the ball effectively, there's not much doubt about that. On the one hand you've got two-time Superbowl winning QB Manning with 29,880 career yards , and on the other side you've got, two-time Superbowl winning QB Ben Roethlisberger with 28,566 career yards.
Both are gutsy players and masters of their craft, but I've got a feeling that it'll be defence rather than offence that determines this one, and it'll be Big Ben with the bragging rights come Monday morning.
Both teams are well capable of victory; in fact I make this game a heads or tails job, so at the current prices the value play is to side with Pittsburgh at 2.6213/8 for outright victory and 2.111/10 with a three point head start. I'll be carving a slice of those tasty prices and throwing in a saver of the First Scoring Play being a Pittsburgh Field Goal @ 4.3100/30.
After all the favours the Giants have done for me this season it hurts to desert them, but proficient as they are, they're still beatable.
Back Pittsburgh Steelers to win @ 2.6213/8
Back Pittsburgh Steelers to win on handicap (+3pts) @ 2.111/10
Back First Scoring Play Pittsburgh Field Goal @ 4.3100/30