The Bengals have been a disappointment at most times this season, and that makes Sunday’s meeting with Pittsburgh the biggest game left on their schedule. The Steelers could use a win Sunday to possibly vault Baltimore in the AFC North standings, making Sunday one of the biggest games for determining who wears the division crown. The Steelers have stayed a consistent three-point favorite all week according to OddsShark.com, with the point total being set at 44.5 points.
In their first meeting of the season, a heavy rain washed away any hopes of a high-flying shootout. The teams combined for almost 800 yards of total offense, but also combined for four field goals as Pittsburgh held on for a 24-16 victory.
One player noticeably absent from that game was Le’Veon Bell. DeAngelo Williams rushed for 94 yards on 32 carries in his place, but Bell has been the best rusher in football over the last month. He’s gone over 100 yards in his last four games, and is coming off a 236 yard three-touchdown performance in snowy Buffalo. Bell has been injured in each of the two previous games he’s faced the Bengals, and stated earlier this week that he’s “not going to let it happen a third time”
The case for the Bengals is this: They’ve lost three straight to the Steelers including playoffs, they’ve won two straight after a four-game winless streak, and this is the most important game left on their schedule. A.J. Green was originally listed as doubtful for Sunday, but latest reports indicate he will not play.
I still don’t think it matters. This is the time of year when the Steelers get hot, and they’ve won four straight games without Roethlisberger throwing for 300 yards. That’s a formula for winning football. If Bell stays healthy, this is the team to beat.
Heavy’s Pick: Steelers 32 Bengals 24. Steelers -3. Over on the Point Total. (44.5)