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NFL Wildcard Playoffs: Dolphins v Steelers and Giants v Packers

Sun, Jan 8, 3:32pm by Head Editor

The first week of the playoffs has arrived and as as always at, we’ve got all the matches covered.

We previewed the first two games of the wildcard weekend and below we’ve run our eye over the final two wildcard games, which will take place on Sunday (Monday AEDT).

Miami Dolphins @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Heinz Stadium, Pittsburgh – Monday January 9, 5:05am AEDT

The Dolphins return to the postseason for the first time in eight years but it could be a short-lived appearance in the 2017 NFL playoffs. Miami visit the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday afternoon (Monday AEDT).

Miami might have the toughest task of any team playing in the first round. The AFC’s number six seed is the biggest underdog ($4.80) on the upcoming weekend, getting 10 points in their visit to Heinz Field. The home team are at $1.20.

The Dolphins have a few reasons to be optimistic about their chances. Miami finished the regular season with just one fewer win than Pittsburgh, and they even defeated the Steelers by 15 points earlier this year.

But Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was banged up in the loss at Hard Rock Stadium, and now it’s the Dolphins who will be on the road with an injured quarterback.

It will be much tougher for the Dolphins here with backup quarterback Matt Moore starting his fourth straight game in place of Ryan Tannehill, who has been sidelined with sprained ligaments in his left knee.

The trio of Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell should have a big day against a mediocre Miami defence. The Steelers’ offence is especially good at home, averaging 30.5 points when Roethlisberger is at the helm.

Running back Jay Ajayi could keep the Dolphins in the game for a while, but the Steelers should win a high-scoring affair that surpasses the over/under of 46.

Suggested Bet: Steelers to cover the line (-10.0): $1.95

New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers

Lambeau Field, Green Bay –Monday January 9, 8:40am AEDT

One of the NFC’s hottest teams will be eliminated this Monday AEDT when the Giants meet the Packers. Closing out the regular season by defeating the Washington Redskins, the Giants won nine of their last 11 games. The Packers will host a home playoff game after winning six straight contests to end 2016.
New York are the $2.83 outsiders when they travel to Green Bay, who are $1.45 favourites. The line is at 4.5 points.

The two teams have had a lot of success in the last two months, though they’ve done so in very different ways. New York are winning in the same fashion that brought them championships in 2008 and 2012.

While the offence has stuttered, the Giants’ defence has arguably become the NFL’s best. Giving up just 17.8 points per game, New York are second only to the New England Patriots in points allowed.

Putting up enough points to win a low-scoring affair won’t be an easy task for the Giants. They haven’t even scored 20 points in their last five games, and quarterback Eli Manning hasn’t been near his best this campaign.

Despite Manning’s struggles, Odell Beckham still finished third in the NFL with 1,367 receiving yards and 101 receptions. No other receiver has his big-play ability, and he’s got a good chance to find the end zone against a poor secondary. Green Bay are second-to-last in passing yards allowed, and they’ve given up at least 24 points in each of their past three games.

New York’s defence has led them to two playoff wins at Lambeau Field in the past decade but they will come up just short on Sunday (Monday AEDT).

Suggested Bet: Packers to win by 1-13: $2.12

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