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Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Pick

Time: 8:30 PM EST Sunday December 28, 2014, NBC

With post seasons clinched for both teams, the Steelers and Bengals meet on Sunday night and this game should be a show down of epic proportions. The winner of this game will secure the No. 3 seed or possibly No.2 seed in the case of a Bengals win and assure themselves home field advantage. The loser will have to navigate the wild card run in the playoffs which will make it more difficult for an AFC Title.

Some pundits may suggest that this game will come down to how QB Andy Dalton plays this weekend. That’s too easy, although it will be important the Bengals have proven time and time again they can win in spite of him. They proved this just recently in a game against Cleveland. Although Andy only had a 27.3 quarterback rating passing for only 117 yards they won 30-0. The Bengals swarming defense didn’t give starting QB Johnny Manziel a chance for anything much. Again just last week against the high octane Broncos, Dalton wasn’t very impressive with just a 29.0 QBR and one interception but they managed to take the Bronco’s to task and came out victorious when it counted.
The last time these two teams met was 3 weeks ago in it looked like a clear win for Cincy with Dalton playing a near flawless game throwing for 302 yards and a 93.8 QBR. Until a fourth quarter fumble on a hand off to Dalton which started the steam roll of 25 unanswered points and an unstoppable defense by the Steelers for the win. Running back LeVeon Bell ran a wild game against the Bengals but has been held to just 110 yards in their last two games. The Bengals will have to figure out how to contain him, will they load the box like Atlanta and Kansas City did and open up the throwing lanes or will they stick to a game plan similar to what they did against the Broncos and try to confuse Roethlisberger and keep the Steelers offense from getting into a rhythm this time.

In their last games the Steelers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 20-12 and the Bengals beat the Denver Broncos 37-28.

This season the Steelers are 5-2 at home and the Bengals are 5-2 on the road.

Betting Odds

Point Spread: Steelers -3.5
Over/Under Total Line: 47.5
Moneyline: Bengals +165 / Steelers -190

Straight up and Against the Point Spread Records
Cincinnati Bengals: 10-4-1 SU 8-6-1 ATS
Pittsburgh Steelers: 10-5 SU 8-7 ATS

Key Betting Trends
• CINCY is 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win.
• CINCY is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after scoring more than 30 points in their previous game.
• CINCY has an Under record of 5-0 in their last 5 road games.
• PITT is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
• PITT is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games against the Bengals.
• PITT has an Over record of 6-1 in their last 7 home games.

Sagarin Power Rankings
Cincinnati Bengals: 22.86
Pittsburgh Steelers: 21.89

Key Player Injuries

BENGALS
[WR] 12/22/2014 – James Wright “?” Sunday vs. Pittsburgh ( Knee )
(!)[WR] 12/22/2014 – A.J. Green injured last game, “?” Sunday vs. Pittsburgh ( Arm )
[LB] 12/09/2014 – Vontaze Burfict IR ( Knee )
[LB] 12/04/2014 – Jayson DiManche IR ( Forearm )
[T] 11/25/2014 – Andre Smith IR ( Tricep )
[LB] 10/08/2014 – Sean Porter IR ( Knee )
[WR] 10/14/2014 – Marvin Jones IR ( Foot )
[TE] 09/23/2014 – Alex Smith IR ( Bicep )
[TE] 09/10/2014 – Tyler Eifert IR – designated return ( Elbow )

STEELERS
[TE] 12/21/2014 – Matt Spaeth expected to miss Sunday vs. Kansas City ( Elbow )
[T] 12/19/2014 – Marcus Gilbert probable Sunday vs. Kansas City ( Ankle )
[S] 12/19/2014 – Mike Mitchell probable Sunday vs. Kansas City ( Groin )
[S] 12/19/2014 – Troy Polamalu expected to miss Sunday vs. Kansas City ( Knee )
[CB] 12/19/2014 – Ike Taylor doubtful Sunday vs. Kansas City ( Knee )
[LB] 12/19/2014 – James Harrison probable Sunday vs. Kansas City ( Knee )
[DE] 12/02/2014 – Brett Keisel IR ( Tricep )
[CB] 12/06/2014 – Cortez Allen IR ( Thumb )
[LB] 09/04/2014 – Jordan Zumwalt IR ( Groin )

Next Game
Bengals – in playoffs opponent to be determined
Steelers – in playoffs opponent to be determined

Week 17 Cincinnati at Pittsburgh Free Pick

The big deciding point for us on this game is the hook. The last time these two met back on Week 14 the Bengals had outgained the Steelers 313 -299 and held a 21-17 point lead after the 3rd quarter before collapsing in the 4th. We don’t believe that will happen again this time around. This season Cincinnati has been strong on the road winning 5 of 7 as a visitor including 4 straight which suggests a strong performance on Sunday. Look for this game to be tight throughout with a field goal being the deciding margin.

Take the Cincinnati Bengals +3.5‏

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