The second AFC Wildcard Game on January 9 has the rival Pittsburgh Steelers traveling to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals. The game kicks-off at 8:15 pm ET. It takes place at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Bengals are heading into the AFC wild-card round with a backup quarterback hoping to end one of the longest postseason droughts in NFL history. The Steelers are going to try to stop him with an explosive offense and defense that might be best described as, well, odd.
A Closer Look At How To Bet The Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cincinnati Bengals AFC Wild Card Odds
The NFL AFC Wild Card betting odds favor Pittsburgh by 2.5-points to beat Cincinnati on January 9. If you are betting the money line straight up, the Steelers pay 100 on 135 while the Bengals pay 155 on 100. The game total is 47 points.
What: AFC Wild Card Game
Who: What: Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)
When: Saturday, January 9, 2016
Kickoff: 8:15 PM ET
Where: Cincinnati, OH
Stadium: Paul Brown Stadium
Spread: Steelers -2.5
Moneyline: Pittsburgh -135 vs Cincinnati +155
Game Total: 47
Stream: CBS Sports
Listen: Pittsburgh vs Cincinnati
Bet The Pittsburgh Steelers -2.5 Because…
Pittsburgh has the best offense in the AFC. The Steelers average 395.4 yards per game. 287.7 of those yards on average come via the passing game. Pitt scores 26.4 points per game. The Steelers scored over 30 points in 6 straight games during the regular season. They finished off Cleveland 28 to 12 in Week 17 to secure the 6th seed in the AFC Playoffs. The last time that Pittsburgh faced Cincinnati, they beat the Bengals 33 to 20. That game was in Cincinnati.
"A lot of people talk about the yards we give up in the secondary, but usually when that happens we’re getting great red zone stops, we’re getting turnovers, we’re causing havoc up front with the defensive line, making teams one dimensional," safety Will Allen said.
Bet The Cincinnati Bengals +2.5 Because…
Backup QB A.J. McCarron knows how to run the offense. McCarron wasn’t too bad in his first game spelling Andy Dalton. Even though the Bengals lost 20 to 33 to the Steelers, McCarron played well. He completed 22 of 32 for 280 yards and 2 touchdowns. The big mistakes were throwing 2 interceptions. McCarron hasn’t thrown a pick since while tossing 4 touchdowns in 3 games as the starter. Believe it or not, McCarron’s most impressive game was when he led the Bengals into overtime against the AFC #1 seed Broncos in Denver in Week 16. McCarron showed leadership skills in that game.
“This team’s built for this kind of stuff,” Dalton said. “AJ’s going to do a good job when things happen.”
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
A.J. McCarron has 2 QB ratings of 103.9 or better in 2 of the 3 games where he started. His QB rating of 87.8 against the Broncos in Week 16 wasn’t bad considering that he played against the best defense in the NFL in passing yards allowed. The only knock against this Cincinnati team going into the playoffs is A.J. McCarron. If he plays well, or even if he doesn’t make any mistakes, Cincinnati should win this game. The Bengals have a better defense than Pittsburgh has. The Bengals rushing attack has also been on fire towards the end of the season. I’m backing Cincinnati.
My final score prediction is Cincinnati 24, Pittsburgh 20.