AFC North rivals clash once again when the Pittsburgh Steelers visit the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday. Though anything can happen in an interdivisional contest, the Steelers have been fantastic in their trips to Cincinnati, as Pittsburgh is 13-2 SU in their last 15 games and 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Steelers offense has been heaving the ball this season with the passing game accounting for 73.7 percent of the team’s total offense. As dependent as the offense has been on Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, the team is more of a move the chains team than a big play threat. The Steelers rank in the bottom half in the league in plays of 20+ and 40+ yards.
The defense of the Steelers has been employing a bend-not-break strategy this season as they are 21st in yards allowed, but ninth in points allowed. Notably the Steelers secondary has been leaking like a sieve this season, as they are the third-worst team in the NFL (and the worst among playoff teams) at stopping the pass.
The offense of the Bengals rests on the injured wrist of A.J. McCarron for another week, as Andy Dalton is not expected to make a return for the team before a potential Divisional round playoff match. The Steelers were the team that injured Dalton in Week 14, thrusting McCarron into the starting spot. Since taking over under center, McCarron has led the Bengals to a 2-2 record (including that Steelers game), while throwing six touchdowns and two interceptions.
Cincy’s defense has allowed the second-fewest points per game this season and have held their opponents to under the 20 point plateau in seven of their last eight contests. The Bengals secondary has feasted on Ben Roethlisberger this season as they have intercepted the quarterback four times while notching five sacks in two games.
These rivals split their season series with an average scoring margin of +9.5 points for the winner. The Steelers opened as 2.5 point favorites despite the Bengals going 6-2 SU at home this season. The total for the game opened at 47 with the two matchups between the teams this season seeing combined scores of 26 and 53 points respectively.