Cincinnati vs Pittsburgh Pick
NFL Week 17 betting action sees the Cincinnati Bengals taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday December 28th at Heinz Field. Cappers Picks provides free NFL handicapping tips all season long.
Sunday night in the Steel City should feature an AFC North match-up that lives true to form: A slobber-knocker with some passing threats, but plenty of running the football.
NFL Football Wagering
Date/Time: Sunday, Dec. 28 2014, 8:30 pm EST
Bengals vs. Steelers
Venue: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh PA
NFL Odds: Steelers -3.5
***2014 NFL BONUSES***
With 10 wins apiece, both Cincinnati and Pittsburgh have solidified playoff spots, so this game will be about bragging rights and avoiding injuries to any key components of their respective rosters.
While the Steelers have been slightly more explosive than the Bengals, with a few massive statistical weeks from QB Ben Roethlisberger, both teams have brought stingy defense to the table.
That trait – a common thread in AFC North division teams for many years – has primarily led to these teams’ success in 2014.
The Bengals clinched a spot in last week’s Monday nighter, with a victory over Peyton Manning and the Broncos. The Cincy defense picked off Manning four times, never an easy feat.
Cincinnati’s defense uses veterans like LB Rey Maualuga, and DBs Terence Newman and Adam Jones, but they have enough spring in their legs remaining to be a threat and provide ample veteran savvy.
The ‘Burgh represents more of a bend-but-don’t-break mentality, especially when Big Ben is hucking TDs to WR Antonio Brown and RB Le’Veon Bell, and Bell is carting them in on the ground, too.
That trio is every bit as good as Dallas’s Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray and they are directly responsible for the Steelers scoring 409 points on offense this year, tops in the division.
The Steelers yield less than 100 yards per game on the ground (good for sixth in the league) which will present a challenge for the talented Bengals RB duo of Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill.
Those RBs provide an excellent “thunder and lightning” combo we haven’t seen since Chris Johnson and LenDale White in Tennessee some years ago. Bernard’s electric speed is complemented by Hill’s between the tackles ability very well.
Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton is who he is – you won’t confuse him with Joe Montana anytime soon. Still, he can be functional and has an elite WR in A.J. Green, though Green was hampered with an arm injury last week against Denver.
Dalton and Green are both listed as Questionable for this week’s game, so you may not see them much, with a postseason place already sewn up for the Bengals.
With 1,021 yards and nine TDs this season, Hill is providing as much value as you could ask from a second-round pick. The rookie is having an almost Odell Beckham-esque first season in the league.
NFL Betting Trends
* CIN are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games in December.
* PIT are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 vs. AFC North.
* CIN are 8-20-1 ATS in their last 29 meetings.
* Road team is 17-8-1 ATS in their last 26 meetings.
NFL 4* FREE Play On Pittsburgh 28, Cincinnati 14
Cincinnati has been on a roll lately and its offense and defense are playing nicely in concert with each other, but just due to the fact of Dalton and Green’s use being diminished, I like the Steelers’ chances at home, in the swirling wind tunnel that is Heinz Field.
Check out our Updated NFL Week 17 Odds.