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Pregame: Take Care of Business and Pray for Baker

4:25pm ET @ Heinz Field; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Projected Score: Steelers: 34   / Bengals: 17

Game Lines: Steelers: (-14) O/U: 45.5

 

TV Broadcast:

Begins on CBS at 4:25, broadcast locally on KDKA-TV-2, with Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon as commentators and Steve Tasker the sideline reporter. Check the national broadcast map to see if the game is on in your area.

Radio Broadcast:

Steelers Radio Network- Game coverage begins at 4 p.m. ET. Calling the game will be Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play), Tunch Ilkin (color analyst) and Craig Wolfley (sideline). All fans in the Pittsburgh area can listen locally on WDVE 102.5 FM & WBGG 970 AM.

Injury Report:

  • RB James Conner (Ankle) – Probable
  • WR Antonio Brown (Knee) – Out
  • S Sean Davis (Quad) – Probable

What to Watch:

1.Ben Roethlisberger: 
  • Big Ben has a chance to surpass 5,000 pass yards on the season for the first time in his career against a Bengals defense  that ranks 30th against the pass. If he can take care of the football we are very likely to see a big game from number 7.
2. James Conner:
  • With Conner likely to play it will mark his first action since Week 13 against the Chargers. He also has a chance to hit a milestone today, with 91 rush yards he will surpass 1,000 on the season for the first time in his career. The Bengals rank 29th against the run which bodes well for Conner.
3. The Scoreboard in Baltimore
  • For the Steelers to make the playoffs we will have to root hard for Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns. If the Browns can win in Baltimore and the Steelers win today, Pittsburgh will clinch the Divison and the 4th seed in the playoffs. There is another scenario for the team to make the playoffs, that would require the Colts and Titans to end in a tie, in this scenario the Steelers would clinch the 6th seed with a win.
4. TE Tyler Eifert vs the Steelers Defense
    • Keith Butler’s defense will likely shut down the Inactive TE who has been on the IR since September 30th. The preparation for him this week has been excellent.

Betting Advice:

Cincy is coming off a 26-18 loss to the Cleveland Browns but the team still covered as 10-point road underdogs. The Bengals are just 2-8 straight up in their last 10 games, but 3-0 against the spread in the last three weeks. The Bengals are 7-19-1 ATS in their last 27 games against the Steelers and 1-4 ATS in their last five trips to Pittsburgh. The Over 8-5-2 in Cincinnati games this season but just 0-2-2 in the club’s last four. Pittsburgh is coming off a 31-28 loss to the New Orleans Saints which dropped the team to 8-6-1 SU. The Steelers did pick up the cover as 6.5-point road underdogs. The Yellow and Black are 6-3-1 against the number in their last 10 games. There’s been no movement on the point spread since Sports Interaction opened with the Steelers set as two-touchdown favourites. The total has moved a bit though. SIA opened with a 48-point total and the line has dropped to 46. About 53 percent of Sports Interaction customers are backing the Steelers to cover as 14-point faves while 59 percent are expecting the game to go Over the 46-point total.

Cincinnati Bengals

Cincy clinched last place in the AFC North with its loss last week against Cleveland. It marks the first time the Bengals will finish in the basement of the division since 2010 when they went 2-14. They’re playing right now without their starting quarterback (Andy Dalton) and their Pro Bowl receiver (A.J. Green). Joe Mixon, the former Oklahoma Sooner, is fifth in the NFL in total rushing yards with 1063 and is averaging 102.6 yards on the ground over the last three games.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers are essentially out of the race for a wild card playoff berth. The Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts would have to tie for Pittsburgh to steal a wild card spot. The team’s best chance of heading to the postseason is to win the AFC North division. They need to beat Cincinnati and see Baltimore loss to Cleveland for that scenario to become a reality. The Ravens are 6-point home favourites this weekend against the Browns.

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