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Steelers vs. Bengals Moneyline and O/U Predictions

Pittsburgh Steelers(8-5-0) @ Cincinnati Bengals(5-7-1)

  • Where: Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati, Ohio
  • When: December 18, 2016 1:00 pm EST
  • Spread: Steelers -3.5 (-110) vs. Bengals +3.5 (-115)
  • Moneyline: Steelers (-170) vs. Bengals (+150)
  • Over / Under: Over 44 points (-110) vs. Under 44 points (-110)

In control of their playoff destiny, the Pittsburgh Steelers look to extend their winning streak to five games and deal the Cincinnati Bengals a fatal blow to their postseason hopes Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

Pittsburgh (8-5-0) has surged to the top of the AFC North and owns a one-game lead over Baltimore with three remaining. The Steelers close their schedule with clashes against each of their division rivals, and a win in this contest plus a victory at home over the Ravens on Christmas Day would seal the North. That would probably result in Pittsburgh being the No. 3 seed in the conference.

Running back Le’Veon Bell has been at the heart of Pittsburgh’s charge, topping 100 yards in each of those victories, and is coming off the best game of his career. He had 236 rushing yards and 298 overall — outgaining the Bills — to go with three touchdowns as the Steelers held off Buffalo 27-20 last Sunday. Bell, who  missed the first three games due to suspension, topped 1,000 rushing yards for the second time in three seasons.

Cincinnati (5-7-1), meanwhile, must win out and get plenty of help since claiming the AFC North is likely its only way into the playoffs. The Bengals have won back-to-back games and completed a sweep of the hapless Cleveland Browns with a 23-10 road win last week. Andy Dalton had a pair of first-half touchdown passes to Tyler Eifert, and Jeremy Hill added 111 rushing yards and a score as Cincinnati faces long odds in trying to reach the postseason for a sixth straight year.

Big Ben and Le’Veon toll for the Steelers

PIT vs. CIN Wk 15 BettingBen Rothleisberger has turned beating the Bengals into a cottage industry, and the best bet in the money line market is the Pittsburgh Steelers (-170) at the Bovada Sportsbook (Get $250 Free). He is 20-7 lifetime versus Cincinnati, including a pair of playoff wins, and owns an impressive 12-2 record in the Queen City while completing 66.6 percent of his passes for 3,239 yards and 20 TDs in those games. More impressively, the Steelers have scored 20 or more points in 11 of those 14 games.

Bell missed the first game between the teams this season, a 24-16 win by Pittsburgh, as part of his suspension. Cincinnati’s run defense makes for a tailor-made matchup given his recent form — the Steelers are tied for eighth in the league with 40 runs of at least 10 yards and facing a Bengals team tied for 26th in allowing 43 such plays. Bell has had only one breakout game in four versus Cincinnati, but that 185-yard effort came at Paul Brown Stadium in a 42-21 victory in 2014.

Can Dalton generate enough points for the Bengals?

All those wins for Rothlisberger over the Bengals means Dalton has been on the losing end often. He is 3-8 lifetime against the Steelers, including a 1-4 mark at home. The big issue has been offense — Cincinnati has never scored more than 21 points in any of those 11 games Dalton has been under center. While Dalton is on pace for his second 4,000-yard season, his 16 TD passes are well off last year’s mark of 25 and only seven have come in Cincinnati’s six home games.

It has been a season of fits and starts for the Bengals, who have claimed four of their five wins against teams — Cleveland, the New York Jets and Philadelphia — that have nine victories among them. The only team they’ve beaten with a current winning record is Miami in Week 4, and their two best rushing performances came against the Browns.

Steelers at Bengals week 15 NFL best bets

The teams have hit the under in four of their last five head-to-head matchups, and for the Steelers, that has been the case in seven of their last nine games.

That’s why the recommendation here is to bet the UNDER of 44 points with Bovada at -110 odds. The Steelers will control the line of scrimmage while Bell rings up his fifth straight 100-yard effort. That in turn will keep Dalton and the Bengals offense off the field and lead to a comfortable Steelers win.

Chris AltrudaThis article was written by Chris Altruda

Chris Altruda has spent more than two decades as a sportswriter, first for ESPN SportsTicker in Jersey City, New Jersey, where he rose to the level of college sports coordinator and was NCAA Men's Basketball Columnist. From there, he moved onto The Associated Press, where Chris started as an editorial assistant in their MegaSports division in the AP's headquarters in New York City before taking on the role of Scores Manager. He most recently served as an editor for nearly 11 years for STATS' editorial department based in Northbrook, Illinois, writing game previews for all US professional and major college sports as well as the English Premier League and international soccer. Currently a freelancer, Chris is still working the international soccer beat and other assorted projects. A native New Yorker and graduate of Marquette University who still refers to them as the Warriors, Chris is now holding out hope the Jets will reach a Super Bowl in his lifetime since the Cubs proved miracles are possible by winning the 2016 World Series. Chris can be found on Twitter at @AlTruda73

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