Red-Hot Chiefs vs. Steelers' Underdog Success: What Should Bettors Trust?

Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid and Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tommlin match up for the first time in the regular season since Week 2 from 2018
Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid and Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tommlin match up for the first time in the regular season since Week 2 from 2018 / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It may not appear like much of a competitive matchup this Sunday, but two of the more unique betting trends match up against each other when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 16.

The Chiefs are the hottest team in the NFL following the New England Patriots' loss on Saturday on the road to the Indianapolis Colts. K.C. has won seven straight games since beginning 3-4 to start the year after opening as the favorite to win the Super Bowl. The Chiefs held off the Los Angeles Chargers 34-28 in overtime when Travis Kelce called game on his 10th reception of the night.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh comes off perhaps its biggest victory of the season, coming back at home against the Tennessee Titans from a 13-3 deficit to improve to 7-6-1 on the season, keeping them still in the conversation for a playoff spot in the AFC, perhaps even the AFC North division.

At first glance, this AFC late afternoon showdown doesn't appear to have the gravitas the executives at CBS may have expected. WynnBET Sportsbook hung the Chiefs as monster 10.5-point favorites at home vs. the visiting Steelers.

But a closer look at both these teams in this particular scenario show two notable betting trends going right up against each other. So which one, if any, is worth trusting?

The Chiefs Are the Hottest and Streakiest Team ATS in the NFL

Since holding down a 2-7-0 against the spread (ATS) record just five games ago, K.C. is back at .500 covering handedly in its last five games.

Before this run, the Chiefs were 3-14 in their last 17 games ATS. Their 42-30 win in Week 4 at Philadelphia was the first time Kansas City covered the spread since Week 8 of the 2020 season when they covered a 20-point spread vs. the New York Jets.

They can also get lava-hot covering the number. In 2019, Mahomes' MVP season, the Chiefs went 13-5-1 ATS, by far and away the top record in the NFL that season.

Mike Tomlin's Coached Steelers Are Dominant as an Underdog

The Steelers, however, have been one of the best covering teams against the number in this very position since Mike Tomlin arrived in Pittsburgh.

Since 2007, via TeamRankings, the Steelers are 45-24-3 ATS, covering 65.2% of their games as an underdog. Only the Patriots come close, going 22-12-1 in that stretch. Pittsburgh's sample, however, holds 37 more games played compared to that of New England. While not as successful as when he's a home underdog, Tomlin has gone 31-20-1 vs. the spread on the road.

Also, while oddsmakers may factor in the Chiefs' rest advantage, Pittsburgh has still gone 24-21-2 ATS with a disadvantage under Tomlin. Andy Reid with extra rest is 21-11-0 straight up (SU), but ATS, he's only covered 50% of the games.

Which Chiefs vs. Steelers Trend Should Bettors Trust Most?

While I backed the Mike Tomlin trend last week with the Steelers at home vs. the Titans, I also found the matchup to be more favorable towards Pittsburgh as well.

This week, I'll again be backing the Steelers with a big number to at least keep it within 10 points.

Pittsburgh has had a few bad losses this year, but both came against the Cincinnati Bengals, failing to cover in both games and losing each by double digits. Every other loss the Steelers have had this year have been within 10 points or less:

The Chiefs have the No. 1 seed already locked up in the AFC if they just win out, especially with the Steelers and Indianapolis Colts helping them out over Week 15 defeating the Titans and Patriots respectively.

Before the line shifts back to 10 or even single digits, I'll support the Steelers with the hook.