The 2nd AFC Wild Card playoff game for Saturday the 9th of January 2016 is with the 2 rival AFC-North teams in the 10-6 Pittsburgh Steelers playing at the 12-4 Cincinnati Bengals with the game being played at the Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio with the kick-off scheduled for 8:15 PM ET and seen on CBS TV.
Those that Bet on NFL football at a sportsbook should know that the early odds on this Saturday game have the Pittsburgh Steelers favored at -2 ½ with the Over/under at 46 ½ and -140 on the Money Line, while the underdog Bengals are at +2 ½ and +120 on the ML.
The Steelers in Week 17 go their needed win and made the playoffs while the Bengals won they still lost the 1st round bye, and now they face their AFC North division rival the Steelers who have always liked playing in Cincinnati, Ohio.
For the fans of the 10-6 Pittsburgh Steelers your team's playoff berth came because the Jets of New York lost and the team beat the Browns 28-12 and they got the 2nd AFC Wild Card berth. Your team did struggle in previous Week 16 games losing to the Ravens then beat the Browns on Sunday. They seek to be more impressive in this game against the Bengals at their home in Cincinnati on Saturday.
In Cincinnati the Steelers have a great record in their 20 visits with 16 wins and 4 losses in those games. In this game the Steelers will be without their star RB D. Williams who had an ankle injury and did not return, and is questionable for this playoff game, and the team only has 2nd year RB F. Toussaint for replacement.
The team is ranked 4th in the NFL this season for scoring points at 26.3 points per game, and that is attributed to QB B. Roethlisberger who has the talent and weapons in their powerful passing game to put points on the scoreboard in any game. He has the NFL's second leading WR in A. Brown who had his 2nd game with 13 plus receptions and over 180 yards on receptions.
The teams concern is on their running game since top RB A. Dalton not being in the lineup will mean the Steelers defense a more favorable match since Pittsburgh has managed to halt the run as they held the Bengals to in their 2 games in 2015 to averaging a mere 3.4 yards on each carry.
The fans of the 12-4 Cincinnati Bengals are confused as to why the team lost out on a 1st round bye since they beat the Ravens of Baltimore, yet the Steelers made it to the Wild Card round. Not getting a bye will not give QB Dalton sufficient time to recover from his broken thumb injury, and that would mean the Bengals will have to start the QB A. McCarron who lacks playing experience even though he has played well in his 3 starts t his season.
QB McCarron in those three starts has average 185 yards in those games and with a completion rate of 65 % and not have an interception. The difference at QB is that McCarron in his 3 starts has only average scoring 20.2 points each game, while with Dalton at the helm he averaged some 27.7 points each game. QB McCarron in his 1st start against the Steelers to which they lost the game 33-20, he threw 2 interceptions, 1 of which was returned for a TD, but he did have some success as he passed for 2 touchdowns and 282 yards.
The Bengals can succeed in this game without their QB McCarron having big numbers in this game, since the Bengals have the 2nd best defense against scoring in the league at 17.3 points per game, and if they continue that pattern of play they can keep the game with the Steelers in reach of winning. That also takes into consideration to the fact that the Steelers offense has struggled in their last 2 games with AFC North and inferior rivals. In NFL Week 8 the Bengals only allowed the Steelers to score 10 points, and intercepted QB Roethlisberger some 3 times in that game.
The online wagering prediction for this AFC Wild Card game is that the Pittsburgh Steelers continue their winning ways at the home of the Cincinnati Bengals and the Steelers leave victorious with a 31-17 win over the Bengals.