Thursday December 10th, 2015

The top two teams in the AFC North square off in Cincinnati on Sunday as the Bengals host the visiting Steelers as 3-point home betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Cincinnati has been amongst the top AFC teams for the duration of the season and carry a stellar a 10-2 record into this contest, but Pittsburgh could easily boast a similar mark if it weren’t for multiple injuries to their quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger was on the field when the Steelers fell 16-10 to the Bengals in early November. That was Big Ben’s first game back from injury and he looked extremely rusty, tossing three ugly interceptions in that contest. However, Roethlisberger’s last two contests have seen him throw for 820 total yards and five touchdowns, so it’s safe to say that the Bengals will have their work cut out for them this time around.

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Pittsburgh should be aided by a decent running game as well. DeAngelo Williams has stepped up admirably in the absence of Le’Veon Bell, and he should find some holes against a leaky Bengals run defense which has allowed 4.5 yards per carry this season.

On the other side of things, Andy Dalton has also enjoyed a successful campaign, and had no issues carving up a porous Browns secondary a week ago. Dalton was without his favorite red zone target in tight end Tyler Eifert, but that didn’t prove to be an issue at all.

The Bengals would really benefit from Eifert’s presence on the field if he can find his way back from injury this week, as the Steelers have struggled to defend opposing tight ends all year. Pittsburgh has put the clamps down on opposing running backs for three straight weeks, so Dalton will need his full complement of weapons on offense to move the ball consistently.

Despite their 7-5 record the Steelers are as dangerous as anyone in the league right now. They proved that a couple of weeks ago when they nearly walked into Seattle and pulled out a victory.

Pittsburgh is 8-0 straight up and against the spread in their last eight games in December according to the OddsShark NFL Database and they’ve dominated road matchups with the Bengals, going 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games in Cincinnati.

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