Cincinnati Bengals (2-10 SU, 4-8 ATS) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS), Week 14 NFL Football, 1:00 p.m. EST, Sunday, December 12, 2010, Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pa. TV: CBS
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Cinci +9.5/Pit -9.5
Over/Under Total: 39.5
When we saw a matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers on the schedule in Week 14 before the season, most of us thought it would be a key game that might decide the AFC North division title. It certainly was supposed to have playoff implications. The Bengals maybe even could have been the better team between these two teams. But that’s not the case at all. The Steelers are certainly holding up to their end of the bargain at 9-3 in first place in the division. But the Bengals are vastly underperforming. And they can’t blame injuries or anything else. They just aren’t playing well. And they haven’t been all season long. The Bengals are a miserable 2-10 this season and have nothing to play for.
At Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, the Steelers are expected to win this game and remain in first place in the AFC North. When they played earlier in the season, the Steelers won 27-21 in Cincinnati.
The Steelers are on a three-game winning streak. After a 35-3 road win at Oakland, they won two games in a row on the road over the Bills and Ravens. Both road wins were by a field goal, 19-16 over the Bills and 13-10 over the Ravens.
In their 13-10 win at Baltimore on Sunday night, the Steelers trailed 10-6 in the fourth quarter. Ben Roethlisberger threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Redman with 2:51 left to give the Steelers the victory. Roethlisberger was 22-for-38 passing for 253 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall had 19 carries for 45 yards. Wide receiver Mike Wallace had five receptions for 76 yards. The Steelers held Ravens running back Ray Rice to just 32 rushing yards. As a team, the Ravens had just 43 rushing yards. Ravens QB Joe Flacco was 17-for-33 passing for 266 yards and a touchdown. Anquan Boldin was Flacco’s big target with five receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown.
The Bengals have lost nine games in a row, including an 0-7 mark since their bye week. They nearly got a win on Sunday against the Saints, but they lost 34-30. With the Bengals trailing 27-19 in the fourth quarter, Cedric Benson ran in a 4-yard touchdown and the Bengals added the two-point conversion to tie the game up at 27. After a 47-yard field goal by Clint Stitser gave Cincy the lead, Drew Brees threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston with 31 seconds left in the game to give the Saints the win. Brees was 24-for-29 for 313 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Carson Palmer was 23-for-33 for 249 yards and a touchdown. Benson had 19 carries for 49 yards and two touchdowns. Chad Ochocinco had five catches for 96 yards. Terrell Owens had six catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. The Bengals have up three plays of at least 43 yards. Chris Ivory, who had 15 rushes for 117 yards and two touchdowns for the Saints, had a 55-yard run, Robert Meachem had a 52-yard catch, Jimmy Graham had a 52-yard catch, and Colston had a 43-yard catch.
The Steelers throw a lot of deep balls, so the Bengals will be vulnerable to some big passing plays by Roethlisberger. Mike Wallace is especially a dangerous deep threat for the Steelers. And Mendenhall is one of the better running backs in the NFL this season, so the Bengals will have their work cut out for them going against him.
The over is 4-1 in the last five meetings between these teams and 6-2 in the last eight meetings in Pittsburgh. The favorite is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings between these teams. The Bengals are 2-6 ATS in their last eight meetings against the Steelers. The road team is 13-4-1 ATS in the last 18 meetings between these teams.
Ryno’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Cinci has pretty much sucked but you better believe they’ll bring it vs. the Steelers who they consider a rival. Take the Bengals plus the points.