The stakes are enormous when the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field. At 8-3, the Steelers are tied for first place with the Baltimore Ravens for the top spot in the AFC North, as well as with Houston and New England for the top overall seed in the AFC. Due to head-to-head tiebreakers though, the Steelers would be the No. 5 seed in the playoffs were the postseason to start today.
The Bengals, meanwhile, are 7-4 and the No. 6 overall seed in the conference. With the Denver Broncos, New York Jets and Tennesseee Titans all at 6-5, this weekend’s game against the Steelers is critical if the Bengals are to remain ahead of the pack for the sixth and final playoff spot heading into the final quarter of the season.
The two teams met three weekends ago in Cincinnati, with the Steelers emerging victorious, 24-17. According to the lines provided by SB Nation’s odds partner, Odds Shark, the Steelers opened as 7 point favorites over Cincinnati, with the juice being +100, or even money, for the Steelers to cover.
The line is also 7 at Bodog, but the payout is not quite as good at -105. At 5Dimes.com, the line is 7.5, and if you think the Steelers will roll by more than a touchdown, it’s a good position to take as the pay out is +120. The best value though might be at BetOnline, where the line is just 6.5. I’d expect that to be bet up to at least 7 by gametime however, particularly if it is confirmed later this week that Troy Polamalu will be available to play after suffering what appeared to be a mild head injury in last Sunday night’s win over the Chiefs