The Pittsburgh Steelers aren't lined as home dogs very often, and as of late, they've been dangerous in that spot, going 9-2-1 against the spread the last 12 times they've gotten points at home.
But thanks to a 5-8 record, Pittsburgh is a home dog for Sunday night's game against the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals.
Point spread: The Bengals opened as 1.5-point favorites; the total was 40. (Line updates and matchup report)
Odds Shark computer prediction: 27.4-19.5 Bengals
Why the Bengals can cover the spread
Cincy ranks 10th in the league in total offense, eighth in defense, fifth in time of possession, ninth in scoring and sixth in scoring defense. That's how you get to be 9-4 straight up and 8-4-1 ATS. The Bengals are one of the most balanced teams in the league and have played through some injuries on defense to win and cover their last three games in a row.
Cincy has also beaten Pittsburgh twice in a row, holding them to 20 total points in the two games.
Why the Steelers can cover the spread
Pittsburgh has lost its last two games even though it outgained both Baltimore and Miami. The Steelers were a two-point conversion away from forcing overtime against the Ravens and nearly pulled off a miracle on the last play of the game to beat the Dolphins.
After struggling through the first part of the season, the Pittsburgh offense has improved, scoring at least 27 points in four of its last six games.
They bite very hard as home underdogs in the rare instances when oddsmakers make that decision.
Odds Shark's computer is predicting a Cincy victory and cover in a game that plays OVER its total, which would buck several UNDER trends. The Bengals are simply the better team here. They run the ball better, they own the better defense, and they're playing with some purpose.
If it can pick up a game on New England, Cincy would own the No. 2 seed in the AFC. The Steelers have been tough as home dogs, but for this one, give the short points and go with the Bengals.
- Past four meetings played UNDER the total
- Steelers are 9-2-1 ATS past 12 home games as home underdogs
- Bengals played six UNDERs in past seven divisional games
- UNDER is 10-3 past 13 Steelers divisional games