Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers kicks off this Saturday (12/23/23) at 4:30pm EST in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania as a home game for the Steelers. Get Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers predictions and best bets below as our best bet is on the over 37 as points will come at a faster rate than the total implies.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Prediction & Best Bet
With only three games remaining, winning is more vital than ever as both the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers find themselves in a cluster for the last two wild card spots in the AFC. The Steelers were bounced out of the playoffs after a loss to the Colts, now sitting a game back from the four-way tie of the Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, and Buffalo Bills. While the loss certainly hurts their playoff chances, the Steelers can salvage their hopes with a massive win against the Bengals.
The issue for the Steelers is that they are regressing at the worst possible time, coming fresh off a 13-30 loss to the Colts. Injuries continue to be a problem, especially with Kenny Pickett getting hurt. Backups Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph have failed to generate any sort of production. Luckily for the Steelers this time around, they are due for a bounce back as the Bengals defense have been rough as of late.
While this doesn’t necessarily signal optimism for the over, it’s also hard to ignore the opportunity they get against a Bengals defense who is struggling. Coming into this contest, the Bengals defense ranks 25th in Def DVOA while failing to stop either facet of opposing offenses. Especially against the pass, ranking 31st in Def Pass Success Rate and 24th in Def Pass EPA. When they are not generating Havoc, the Bengals secondary has been shredded due to their struggles in coverage.
As for the Bengals, they should continue to keep moving the ball down the field under backup quarterback Jake Browning who has shown to be a productive quarterback during this stint as their starter. The Steelers defense has been mightily regressing due to fatigue, now having to try and stop one of the most talented group of pass catchers as well as Joe Mixon in the backfield. Mixon should continue to put them in favorable positions to convert on later downs, ranking eighth in Rush Success Rate against a Steelers front four who ranks 20th in Adjusted Line Yards.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Prediction & Best Bet: Over 37
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Odds
Even with both teams moving in different directions, oddsmakers still have this pegged as a tight one as they opened the Bengals as a -2 favorite. Bettors have yet to take a firm stand on either side of the number, keeping the spread the same as of writing. This is normally a Mike Tomlin underdog spot, yet the talent void makes the spread a pass.
As for the total, oddsmakers believed points would be scored at a sluggish pace as they opened the number at 39.5. Bettors believe points will come at a slower rate, backing the under down to as low as 37. With the Bengals defense regressing to near league worse marks, the Steelers offense is in a good position as ever to bounce back and put up a fight in favor of the over.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Key Injuries
While the Bengals monitor the status of Ja’Marr Chase, the Steelers injury report features a larger list as Kenny Pickett, Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, and Broderick Jones are all listed as questionable.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Key Matchups
Can Jaylen Warren find rush success against the Bengals front seven?
Jaylen Warren Vs. Bengals Front Seven
It’s more vital than ever for Jaylen Warren to find rush success as that helps stack the opposing defense in favor of their own pass attack, especially if Najee Harris is out due to injury. Mason Rudolph needs as much help as he can get, greatly benefiting from wider passing lanes against a stacked box.
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) December 19, 2023
Luckily for their ground game, they are in as good a position as any to succeed against a very poor Bengals front seven. As of writing, the Bengals rush defense ranks 25th or worse in Def Rush DVOA, Def Rush EPA, Def Rush Success Rate, and Def Adjusted Line Yards. Expect the Steelers rushing duo to run wild, carrying them into scoring position for our over.