The final match of the latest week in the NFL is another divisional clash as the Cincinnati Bengals host the Pittsburgh Steelers in what is more than just a match within the AFC North.
The Steelers currently hold the number one seed in the AFC and if they win out they will secure home advantage in the play-offs but the Bengals still harbour hopes of making it in as a wildcard but they have to keep winning to keep that aim realistic.
Much of this season has been a write off for the Bengals but all of a sudden they have put together back-to-back wins and there is some hope that they could be launching a late season charge. If they can do that and make it to the play-offs when even with their poor record in them they shouldn’t be written off completely.
Often in the NFL it is not how you start the regular season it is how you finish it and what has gone before will mean nothing if they can win a third match in a row. If they can do that then you never know. For that to happen AJ Green will be a big player but their defence in particular is going to need to stand up and be counted.
The Steelers have been the exact opposite to the Cincinnati Bengals. They have been brilliant throughout the season but now they must maintain their form which can be harder than launching a run at this time of year. They need to be ruthless in every match to make sure they see it right through until the end.
The big improvement in the Steelers this season has been in their defence. They have the third best defence in the entire league and that is taking the pressure off their offence although when they have the leading man in receiving yards as well as the leader of the rushing yards that side of the ball is not exactly failing. They could be without Antonio Brown here though.
I fancy the Steelers will win this match but they have made hard work of a few away games recently so I’m not sure I want to back them to cover a handicap of any kind here but I don’t trust the Bengals to see off the Steelers.
With that in mind I’ll head to the player markets for a bet where the rushing yards line of Le’Veon Bell looks a little on the low side at 98.5. The Bengals defence is the fourth worst in the league against the rush statistically and Bell has already burned them for 134 yards in the reverse meeting this season.
If Antonio Brown doesn’t lace up then you would think Big Ben would go to his running back more than he usually might and with those extra carries Bell should safely make it into three figures for his rushing yards.
Back L.Bell – Over 98.5 rushing yards for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with Bwin
Back him here: