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Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Week 15 Betting Predictions & Preview

Bengals vs Steelers NFL Betting?

AFC North Takes center Stage – Steelers Host Bengals on Sunday Night

It’s hard to believe that half way through December and the Steelers are out of the playoff race! But there are still three games remaining for Pittsburgh and one of them comes our way Sunday night against heated, hated rivals Cincinnati who are poised to make the playoffs for the third straight year and look like a lock to win the always-competitive AFC North.

Cincinnati (9-4) at Pittsburgh (5-8)
When: 8:30 PM ET, Sunday, December 15, 2013
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Broadcast: NBC
Bengals vs. Steelers Betting Lines
Cincinnati Bengals -3 +100 -155 Ov 41 -110
Pittsburgh Steelers +3 -120 +135 Un 41 -110

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Pittsburgh is a rare home underdog in this one and rightfully so.

The Cincinnati Bengals, on paper have been one of the better all-around teams in the AFC this season – the offense and defense have both had their moments in the sun. Their two game lead over Baltimore is no fluke – this team has playmakers all over the field.

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Offensively, the Bengals have been a tad inconsistent and it all begins and ends with Andy Dalton. If the Bengals are going well, Dalton is on but if the team struggles it is usually because Dalton is off his mark.

Overall Andy’s numbers are good and he hasn’t delivered a dud in some time. He has thrown for 3,419 yards and 25 touchdowns on the year, AJ Green, Dalton’s stud pass catcher has caught 78 passes for 1,175 yards and eight touchdowns while the next closest receiver, Marvin Jones, has just 518 yards and eight scores. Green has been a matchup nightmare for opposing defense but like Dalton has disappeared at times this year.

The Cincinnati running game has been terrific this year – Giovani Bernard is one of the best young running backs in the league, rushing for 620 yards and four touchdowns on 4.7 yards per carry. He and Benjarvus Green-Ellis have combined for 1,282 yards on the ground and 10 touchdowns, while Bernard also has three receiving scores.

Cincinnati is a pretty deep and well-balanced offense – one that will certainly be a stern test for the Steelers aging defense.

Defensively, the Bengals have been one of the best and most consistent teams on the season – top 10 in almost every statistical category. Cincinnati ranks eighth in total yards and passing yards per game while also ranking sixth in points allowed and fifth in rushing yards allowed. Cincinnati has also thrived behind one of the NFL’s top pass rushes. Though no player has more than seven sacks, 12 have recorded at least one and three have six or more quarterback takedowns. The Steelers have given up 39 sacks on the year – expect a ton of pressure!
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The Pittsburgh Steelers can thank a slow start to their early departure from the playoff picture this year – they never really looked like the typical Steelers all season long. Predictably poor offensive line play has hurt them and uncharacteristic lapses on defense have cost them at times too.

Ben Roethlisberger enters Sunday night’s game playing some good ball – 3,724 yards passing and 24 touchdowns. In the last four games, Ben has completed 63.0 percent of his passes, throwing 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Antonio Brown has been a superb – a team-high 90 times for 1,240 yards and seven touchdowns.

Pittsburgh has also found themselves a running game – Le’Veon Bell leads the run game in his first year in the NFL with 589 yards and four touchdowns on the season.

In years past Pittsburgh’s defense was able to minimize the effect of a poor offensive line but this year the D has been somewhat leaky. Pittsburgh has been relatively disappointing on defense, ranking 12th in total yards allowed, seventh in passing yards allowed and 24th in rushing yards allowed per game – not terrible numbers but also not what we expect from this unit.

Sunday Night Football Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider:
• Under is 22-7 in CIN last 29 games in December.
• Under is 11-4-1 in CIN last 16 vs. AFC.
• CIN are 15-6-1 ATS in their last 22 games overall.
• Under is 13-4 in PIT last 17 home games.
• Under is 9-3 in PIT last 12 vs. AFC.
• Over is 10-4 in PIT last 14 games in Week 15.
• CIN are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 meetings.
• Road team is 16-7-1 ATS in their last 24 meetings.

A divisional game in December at Heinz Filed – hard not to love the Steelers in this one. Traditionally Pittsburgh has been money as a home dog – I can’t see much changing on Sunday. Relegated to a spoiler role take the home team to make a statement against a Bengals team that has been difficult to figure out all season long.

Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers +3

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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.


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