Cincinnati faces a couple of ugly trends as it faces AFC North rival Pittsburgh. Against the Steelers and within the division, Cincinnati's odds have been very bad lately.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are 5-0 SU and ATS in their last five games against the Cincinnati Bengals and will try to extend those streaks at home this Sunday at Heinz Field.
Pittsburgh was a 4-point favorite at shops tracked by OddsShark.com as of midweek. The fact Cincy continues to struggle against divisional foes (0-7-2 ATS) is not giving much comfort to Bengals backers.
Everything was supposed to fall back into place for the Steelers with the return of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and safety, but that hasn't been the case. Pittsburgh lost at home to San Diego two weeks ago and then on the road in overtime last week to Dallas.
The Steelers fell to 1-4 SU and 1-3-1 ATS over their last five games with the loss and are now just 7-7 SU and 5-8-1 ATS on the season. Still, they control their own destiny for a playoff spot in the AFC. [ Matchup stats, trends and live odds - click here for the latest Steelers-Bengals handicapping info ]
The Cincinnati Bengals have heat up just in time to make a late playoff push. After starting the season off 3-5 SU and 2-5-1 ATS, the Bengals have put things together on both sides of the ball and are 5-1 SU and ATS over their last six games.
Cincinnati is averaging 27.7 points and allowing just 12.5 points per game over that stretch.
Pittsburgh has simply owned this series in recent years. The Steelers are 8-2 SU and ATS over their last 10 games against the Bengals with all eight wins coming by at least six points and four of the last five home games resulting in wins by at least two touchdowns.
The Bengals can clinch a playoff spot with a win this Sunday, but Pittsburgh would own the tiebreaker with both teams at 8-7 SU if the Steelers win. Pittsburgh is 14-3 SU in its last 17 games at home.
This one really comes down to which you value more, history or current form. As the two teams look right now, Cincinnati is more than capable of winning this game outright; but will they go into Heinz Field in December and come out on top against the Steelers?
We just don't think Big Ben and the gang are going to let that happen. Pittsburgh, as it often does, will find a way in this one.
PICK: Pittsburgh -4 (courtesy of PickShark.com)