Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals – NFL Week 15
After winning their first 11 games, the Steelers are going through a tough spot, having lost their last two. They have now fallen behind the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Chiefs, in the race for the AFC championship.
The Bengals are on a bad run, having lost their last five in a row, and a visit of the Steelers is not what they wanted, especially when you look at the head to head record and see that they have lost the last 11 games in a row against Pittsburgh.
Steelers vs. Bengals Odds
The Steelers are overwhelming favorites, and rightfully so. This isn’t a case of if they win but more about how much they will win by.
The bookmakers are predicting a very low scoring game; will they be right?
The Steelers are going through their first blip of the season, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time; heading into playoff season. However, coach Mike Tomlin’s eyes must have lit up when he checked the schedule and saw that they had the Bengals next, given they haven’t lost to them since 2015. They face the Colts and the Browns after this one, so they will definitely want to win this easier game and hope that they can gain some confidence going into those two difficult games.
On the road, the Steelers have won five of their six games, with their only loss coming against the Bills last time out.
They have won their last seven visits to Paul Brown Stadium, so it will almost feel like home for them when they step onto the field Monday night.
Despite their recent losses, the Steelers still have been very good, averaging 26 points scored per game and conceding an average of 18. Coincidentally the Bengals are averaging 18 points per game and conceding 26. Could the score end up 26-18?
One thing the Steelers will want to improve on is their running game, which started off well this season but has petered out as the weeks have gone by. They are averaging just 89 yards gained per game. In fact, they have run over 50 yards with the ball in hand just twice in their last seven games.
Defensively, T. J. Watt has been the standout linebacker having racked up the second-most sacks in the league so far. That stat is somewhat surprising given that as a team, the Steelers have the least amount of sacks of any other team in the NFL.
As a team, they also have the most interceptions in the league, just ahead of the Dolphins at present. The high amount of interceptions has helped them achieve by far the lowest passing completion rate against them and the second least amount of passing yards this year.
The Bengals are on a very poor streak at the moment, having won only one of their last nine games and two all season long. Their main issue recently has been scoring points as they have posted totals of 7, 7, 17, 9, and 10 in their last five defeats. This hasn’t been helped by losing quarterback Joe Burrow for the last three matchups, and worryingly his replacement Brandon Allen suffered a knee injury against the Cowboys last time out and is in doubt for this one.
At home, however, they have won two of their last five games, which isn’t too bad.
Like the Steelers, the Bengals have found it difficult to run the ball this season, averaging less than 100 yards per game. However, with issues at quarterback, they may be forced to run the ball more often this week. They currently have the fourth lowest amount of rushing yards gained in the league.
One positive this season has been the number of sacks made by the team as a whole, which is only bettered by the Eagles. However, having had such good pressure on the opposing quarterbacks, they haven’t managed many forced fumbles this year.
Steelers vs. Bengals Pick
Considering the Bengal’s poor form, poor season, injury troubles, and head to head record with the Steelers, you can’t go against Pittsburgh here. The big question is whether they will cover the large spread or not?
I’m going to say yes, just as they did back in November of this year when they beat the Bengals 36-10.