Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
Date and Time: Sunday, December 28th at 8:25pm (EST) on FOX
Game Line: Pittsburgh -3.5 (from WagerWeb)
Sunday NFL Football Analysis: The Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Cincinnati Bengals in an AFC North battle from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh with the winner capturing the AFC North division title and the #3 seed in the playoffs.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are on of the AFC’s hottest teams, winners of 3 in a row and 4 out of their last 5 games. They are coming off a 20-12 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, a win that clinched a playoff berth after a 3 year absence from the postseason. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is having his best NFL season, with 4,635 yards and 30 touchdowns. The Steeler offense is loaded, with Le’Veon Bell out of the backfield with 1341 yards rushing and 774 yards receiving, Bell is a threat anytime he touches the ball. The receiving corps is one of the better groups in the league, led by Antonio Brown with 1570 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Steeler defense isn’t the dominant defense as it was in the past, but they are getting the job done ranking 16th in the league in total defense. James Harrison is once again playing at a high level in his 2nd stint in the Steel City, with 5.5 sacks on the season.
The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off their biggest win of the season. Andy Dalton got the proverbial monkey off his back as he finally won a primetime game in a 37-28 win over the Denver Broncos. A pick 6 by cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick sealed the win for the Bengals, who outscored the Broncos 10-0 in the final quarter for the win. It was a solid team victory for the Bengals, who got contributions in all 3 phases of the game. The Bengals have also been red hot down the stretch, winning 5 of their last 6 games with 4 of those wins coming on the road.
The Bengals have only lost one game since November 7th, and that was a 42-21 loss at home to Pittsburgh back in week 14. Normally I would like to back the dog in this one, getting revenge for their 21 point loss at home, but this is a bad spot for Cincinnati. The Bengals are coming off two huge wins. The first one was a 30-0 blowout win at Cleveland, which was somewhat of a revenge spot, as Cleveland had embarrassed them back in week 10 on national TV on Thursday night. The next week they get a huge win over Denver, in primetime, and not only was it a big win for the Bengals, but they answered a lot of critics after putting up a poor effort in their last 2 primetime games this season. It’s hard to bring the same intensity week in and week out in the NFL and doing it 3 weeks in a row is really hard to do. I like the Steelers in this one, and I think the Steelers are just a bad matchup for them. I expect the Steelers to get the win here, and maybe it will be a blessing in disguise for the Bengals. They’ve been pretty good on the road this season, and going into the playoffs having to play on the road might be a good thing for this team. I’ll back the Steelers on Sunday night.
Sunday NFL Week 17 Free Pick: Pittsburgh -3.5 , Under 48
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers Score Prediction: Pittsburgh 23 – Cincinnati 17