Two teams that came into the season with high expectations will face each other in an AFC North battle when the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The game is scheduled to start at 1 PM. ET.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have had an up and down season, but they still find themselves in the thick of the AFC playoff race. With only four games left on their schedule, the Steelers can’t afford to drop another game if they plan to make the playoffs.
The Cincinnati Bengals are currently the top seeded team in the AFC due to the Patriots losing two games in a row. They have a great chance of clinching home field advantage in the playoffs if they win the rest of their games so they also have a lot riding on this game.
Last week, the Steelers defeated the Indianapolis Colts in a blowout, which moved them to seventh place in the AFC, behind the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, who are also 7-5.
Against the Colts, Ben Roethlisberger threw for 364 yards and 4 touchdowns, and the Steelers will be hoping for a similar performance against the Bengals.
Cincinnati won the first meeting between the two teams 16-10. Ben Roethlisberger had his worst performance of the season in that game, and threw three interceptions. This time around, expect Roethlisberger to take better care of the ball because the team can’t afford to have too many turnovers playing in a hostile environment.
The Bengals followed up their first two losses of the season with two straight wins, but both wins came against two of the worst teams in the league this season. Andy Dalton played very well in those games and will be expected to do the same against their hated rivals on Sunday.
Going into this game, the Bengals are the best defensive team in the NFL, holding opponents to a league best 16.3 points per game. Offensively, they have also been one of the best in the league, and are currently averaging 27.8 points per game, which is the fourth most in the league this season.
Despite the injuries they have suffered on offense, the Steelers have been one of the best offensive teams in the league this season. They are currently averaging 25.9 points per game which is the sixth best mark in the league.
Defensively, Pittsburgh has improved as the season progressed, and are currently holding opponents to 20 points per game, which is seventh in the league and a big improvement over last season when they were one of the worst teams in the NFL.
Betting Lines and Odds
The Bengals seem like the smart pick in this game, but the Steelers are a very dangerous team with their backs against the wall so I’m picking them to win this game and improve their odds of making the playoffs.
Play: Steelers +2.5 @ BetOnline.ag