The Pittsburgh Steelers have taken over the top spot in the AFC North and will look to stay there when they invade Paul Brown Stadium to brawl with the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday. The Steelers have won their last four games, while the Bengals have won their last two. Steelers favored by a FG. Contest start time is 1:00 pm EST.
Vegas odds have the Steelers listed as 3 point favorites, while the total has been set at 44. This contest will be televised on CBS with a start time of 1:00 pm EST.
Breaking Down The Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers have won their last four games in a row and many are considering this team very dangerous and with a shot at taking down the Patriots and getting to the Super Bowl. They are very healthy, have a strong running game and passing game, plus their defense has been very good of late as well. This is now a very complete team. Last week Le’Veon Bell show just how good he is by rushing for 236 yards in Pittsburgh’s 27-20 road win over Buffalo. He was unstoppable and could have a solid game in this one vs a weak Bengals run defense. Getting the ground game going just really opens up an already potent passing attack and that makes this offense very tough to stop. The Steelers come in ranked 7th in total offense, 8th in passing, 9th in rushing and 12th in scoring, putting up 24.2 ppg. On defense, the Steelers have been solid overall, but even better of late as they have allowed just 12.5 ppg over their last 4 games. The Bengals have been solid offensive team and the Steelers will have to be careful with that. The Steelers come in ranked 11th in total yards allowed, 21st vs the pass, 4th vs the run and 9th in points allowed, giving up just 19.7 ppg so far this year.
Trends: The Steelers have gone 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games in December and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS win, bu7t just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in Week 15 and 6-20 ATS in their last 26 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. The Over is 5-2 in their last 7 games in Week 15, while the Under is 21-7 in their last 28 vs. a team with a losing record.
Breaking Down The Cincinnati Bengals
It has been a long year for the Bengals and one has to wonder how long Marvin Lewis has left as coach of this team. The Bengals have won their last two games, but that was vs Philadelphia and the Browns, who will both be sitting on the sidelines for the playoffs. This steelers team in a much tougher test for them, especially since they already lost by eight in Pittsburgh and have beaten just one team all year that would be in the playoffs if they started this week. That was a 22-7 win over Miami, who may not be in the postseason at when all is said and done. Their five wins have been vs teams with a combined 17-35 record so far. The Bengals have been a solid offensive team this year as far as putting up yards go, but they have had issues putting the ball in the endzone. The Bengals come in ranked 9th in total offense, 11th in passing and 8th in rushing, but they are also just 23rd in scoring, putting up just 20.6 ppg. Poor play in the red zone is what has cost them this year as they are 19th in the league in red zone TD percentage this year. On defense they have given up yards, but not a ton of points. The Bengals come in ranked 20th in total yards, 12th vs the pass, 25th vs the run and 11th in points allowed,giving up just 20.7 ppg.
Trends: The Bengals have gone 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games in December and 7-1 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a winning road record, but just 4-16-2 ATS their last 22 home games in this series and 0-6-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Over is 13-6 in their last 19 games after accumulating less than 150 yards passing in their previous game, while the Under is 10-2 in their last 12 games following an ATS win.
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