Welcome to the rubber match between two hated AFC North rivals. Round three of the heavyweight tilt between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals is set.
Pittsburgh-Cincinnati 3.0 promises to the best football game for this season’s Wild Card Weekend football slate. Did you see these two teams on Dec. 13, when officials ran out of flags inside their black slacks, and the NFL later fined Steelers and Bengals players nearly $140,000 combined for after-the-play issues?
Maybe the players will tone down the dirty hits but I am counting on the intensity of this game to be at an all time high. Let WWIII begin!
A Closer Look At How To Bet The Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals AFC Wild Card Spread & My Free ATS Pick
The NFL AFC Wild Card betting spread favors the visiting Steelers by 2.5-points to beat the Bengals. If you are betting the money line straight up then the Pitt pays 100 on 135 while Cinci pays 155 on 100. The game total is at 47 points.
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
Why Bet The Pittsburgh Steelers Spread at -2.5 Over The Bengals
No one wants to face the Pittsburgh Steelers this post-season, especially the Bengals who are without QB Andy Dalton. Dalton has been out since December 13th with a broken thumb. That game was against the Steelers who won 33-20. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport broke the story last week that Dalton is unlikely to play in the wild-card round.
What more could Steeler Nation ask for? The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since 1990 and have been ousted in the wild-card round in four straight years.
Now back to the Steelers. This team’s path to the playoffs has been anything but easy. The team has overcome suspensions and injuries to star players all season. Big Ben, Le’veon Bell, Martavis Bryant and Maurkice Pouncey are to name a few.
“We’ve never really made the playoffs where we’ve had to do what we’ve done before,” Roethlisberger said. “Guys just stepped up and did everything they could to not miss a beat.”
The latest possible season-derailing injury involves DeAngelo Williams, who could miss the Bengals game with an ankle injury. He is day-to-day.
Picking up the slack will be the Steelers awe inspiring passing offense quarterbacked by Big Ben. His trio of pass catchers, Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant, are the envy of the league.
Pittsburgh scores a fourth-ranked season average of 26.4 points per game, but they pushed the pedal to the medal over the last half of the season by averaging 31.5 PPG.
Why Bet The Cincinnati Bengals Spread at +2.5 Over The Steelers
Without the Red Rifle, the Bengals need a miracle. Coach Marvin Lewis declined to provide an update on Andy Dalton’s injured thumb, but he does admit Bengals are going through the early part of the week as if AJ McCarron is the starter.
McCarron finished the game for Dalton in the Bengals previous matchup with the Steelers. He threw for 280 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in relief, but Pittsburgh walked away from Paul Brown Stadium with the 33-20 victory. That evened up the season series, as the Bengals won earlier in the year, 16-10
“I feel like I am finally getting some reps, know the offense a little bit more and am more used to it,” McCarron said. “I’ve been trying to take care of the football and being thrown in that game, I didn’t.”
The Bengals were 10-2 and averaging 27.8 points per game when Dalton was the quarterback. They have gone 2-2 with a 21.3-point scoring average in games when McCarron was in. He has not thrown an interception in any of his three starts.
“If the other quarterback turns the ball over and you don’t, it puts your team in a situation to win the ballgame,” he said Sunday. “That’s the biggest thing for us, taking care of the football.”
Betting Trends & Stats Related To This Matchup:
- 11/1/2015: Cincinnati won 16 to 10, Cincinnati covered PK, Game came under 49.
- 12/13/2015: Pittsburgh won 33 to 20, Pittsburgh covered +1, Game went over 49.
- The Steelers are averaging 26.4 over 16 games.
- The Cincinnati Bengals are averaging 26.2 in that same time period.
- The Cincinnati Bengals have been better against the spread going 12-3.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers are 8-6 against the spread.
- The Bengals are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Saturday games.
- The Bengals are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 playoff games.
- The Bengals are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 Wildcard games.
- The Steelers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games.
- The Steelers are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 playoff games.
- The Steelers are 12-2 during the regular season in Cincinnati since 2002
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction:
The last time these two teams met in the playoffs was in wild-card round of 2005. The Steelers won that one and went on to be crowned Super Bowl champs. Could this be a repeat?
My final score prediction is Pittsburgh 24, Cincinnati 17.