Bengals-Steelers Betting Preview: Is Pittsburgh’s Playoff Motivation Being Overvalued?

Dec 30, 2018 8:20 AM EST
Credit:

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger

Betting odds: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Spread: Steelers -14.5
  • Over/Under: 45.5
  • Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: CBS

>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets


Betting market: The Steelers are in must-win territory, and for portions of the early week, were nearly 17-point favorites. Now they’re just measly 14.5-point favorites.

Early sharp money came in on the Bengals plus all those points, which drove the line down to Steelers -14. There has since been a bit of buyback that has pushed the line up a wee bit to -14.5 at the time of writing (see live odds here).

The under has seen quite the pounding. With more than 90% of the dough, as well as a steam move, the incessant onslaught has caused the total to fall from 48 to 45.5. Mark Gallant

Trends to know: Since 2003, teams with a winning percentage between .500 and .667 (like the Steelers) have gone 85-103-5 (45%) against the spread when playing at home in Weeks 15-17. John Ewing

Since 2003, no quarterback has been more profitable ATS in Week 17 than Ben Roethlisberger, who is 10-0 straight-up and 8-2 ATS, covering by 7.3 points per game, according to our Bet Labs data.

When Big Ben is at home against a divisional opponent in Week 17, he’s 4-0 SU and ATS, covering by 8.6 points per game. Evan Abrams

Playoff picture: After a disastrous Week 16, the Steelers need lots of help to make the playoffs. The Ravens have to lose at home against Cleveland for Pittsburgh to have a prayer.

If that happens, the Steelers get in with a win or a tie against the Bengals.

Our simulations aren’t bullish Pittsburgh’s odds, giving it just an 18.7% chance to make the postseason. Scott T. Miller