The Steelers and Bengals are both very familiar with each other. These AFC North rivals split the regular season series, with the road team winning in both meetings. Cincinnati won at Pittsburgh 16-10, on Nov.1 and Pittsburgh won at Cincinnati 33-20, on Dec. 13. In the Pittsburgh victory, Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton was knocked out of the game with a broken thumb, an injury that caused him to miss the final three regular season games.
Without Dalton as a starter, the Bengals still won two of their last three games.
Cincinnati vs Pittsburgh Recent Match-ups
Pittsburgh 33 (A) Cincinnati (H) 20
Cincinnati 16 (A) Pittsburgh (H) 10
Pittsburgh 42 (A) Cincinnati (H) 21
Pittsburgh 27 (H) Cincinnati (A) 17
Cincinnati (H) 20 Pittsburgh (A) 10
Pittsburgh (H) 30 Cincinnati (A) 20
For Bengals fans, hopefully the seventh time will be a charm for head coach Marvin Lewis who is 0-6 all-time in the playoffs. The Bengals franchise has not won a playoff game since 1990.
Cincinnati back-up quarterback, AJ McCarron had some good moments while filling in for Andy Dalton, however winning the first playoff game for the Bengals in 26 years will be tough mountain for the young quarterback to climb if Andy Dalton can’t go on Saturday.
We all know Pittsburgh’s success. Head coach Mike Tomlin is 5-4 in the playoffs, with one super bowl ring and two appearances in the big game. However, Pittsburgh is now down to starting its third string running back, Fitzgerald Toussaint. Toussaint comes into the game with only 24 career carries. With the running game handicapped, the Pittsburgh offense will have to rely heavily on Ben Roethlisberger, but Ben is one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL and capable of putting the Steelers on his back.
Cincinnati is 12-3-1 against the spread this season, but only 4-3-1 at home.
Currently 68% of the public is betting on the Steelers. I can’t blame anyone for going with the Steelers in this match-up. One day the Bengals will win a playoff game again, unfortunately for them, I see this season ending in disappointment once again. Right now it sounds like Andy Dalton will not play, but keep an eye on his status. Bet on Big Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Mike Tomlin and the STEELERS -3.
Pittsburgh 27 Cincinnati 17
****Bet Sports Strong Rating A ****
A-Bet with confidence
B-Strong lean, but bet with caution
C-Slight lean, enjoy the game but be careful with your money
D-Prediction but not a good feel either way