Steelers vs. Bengals Spread Prediction
Listed as double-digit favorites, the Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Cincinnati Bengals at 4:25 p.m. ET hoping to win and get some help to win the AFC North. Will the Steelers cover or is the line inflated?
323 Cincinnati Bengals at 324 Pittsburgh Steelers
4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday, December 30
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Steelers are 14-point favorites to beat the Bengals. The total, meanwhile, sits at 45 points. As of this writing, 58% of the public betting tickets are on the Bengals to cover the point spread.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis will meet with owner Mike Brown to determine his future on Tuesday. Lewis' contract includes an option for 2019, though there's been speculation he could retire or move to a front office role this offseason. If Lewis steps down, Hue Jackson and Vance Joseph, who is expected to be let go by Denver after Week 17, could be candidates to replace him as the team's next head coach. Lewis is the league's second-longest tenured coach behind Bill Belichick.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports Antonio Brown (questionable, knee) has a chance to play Week 17 against the Bengals. Brown is "doing everything he can to play." ESPN's Adam Schefter adds Brown's knee "felt better this morning," giving the Steelers hope he'll be active in a must-win game. Brown isn't close to 100 percent, so he'll be at risk of decoy status if he suits up.
NFL Betting Trends
The Bengals are 4-1 against the spread in their last five road games and are 6-2 ATS in their last eight divisional games.
The Steelers are 4-1 against the number in their last five home games and are 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
With Brown banged-up but James Conner expected to return this week, I see the Steelers keeping the ball on the ground, chewing clock and winning with a conservative game plan. That should limit their possessions as well as their scoring and keep the final score under the 14-point spread. The Bengals are one of the most banged-up teams in the NFL but they’ve remained relatively competitive with Jeff Driskel under center. This is simply too many points for a divisional game.
NFL Week 17 Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals +14