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(NFL) Cincinnati -2 over Pittsburgh (Sunday, December 15, 2013 8:30 PM EST)
The Bengals are pretty much locked into the three hole in the AFC playoffs but if Cincinnati takes care of its business and get a couple of breaks, they can improve their lot to a get a better seed and possible extra home game. The Bengals have won their last three but with that said have struggled on the road at 3-4. Points won’t likely come into play here but while Cinncy has scored 40+ points in their last three home games and just 20-17-17 in their last three road games. The key to our play here is the fact that the the much maligned Andy Dalton has had a breakout second half after getting sacked in the end zone at Miami during overtime. He’ll have to do a lot less and will likely just have to hand off here against a Pittsburgh defense that was shredded for 181 rushing yards by the Dolphins last week. Dalton certainly has the weapons at wid out to make a play when he does have to throw. The Steelers have played somewhat better in the second half but their last two “close but no cigar” losses have put them out of the playoff picture and a couple of quick Bengal scores could have them sending it in early despite being at home. The teams met in Week II with Cincinnati winning 20-17 in the Queen City outrushing Pitt 127-44 and cashing two turnovers. This has been a home field series of last and AFC North divisional home faves are 7-2 this year but the spot creates a virtual “perfect storm” for the Bengals to get the money here. Cincinnati 23-17.
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