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Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals - Week 12

 
 
 
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PIT CIN
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (6-4)

Pittsburgh's biggest weakness has been their rushing offense, checking in at #29 in the league with a mere 3.60 yards per carry. This has manifest itself in the #6-least rushing yards per game: 85. It can be tough to get the ground game going without a mobile quarterback (after all, quarterbacks get an extra 2 or so yards per carry more than running backs), and that's not a luxury Pittsburgh has had this season, calling just 2.6% of their carries for their QB. In failing to successfully establish the run, Pittsburgh has also had trouble moving the ball through the air, averaging a paltry 6.27 yards per target, which ranks them #28 in football. This represents a particular disadvantage for Pittsburgh given that the Bengals have exclled in stopping the run this year, allowing just 4.23 yards per carry (#9-best in the league).
 
In terms of their defense, the Steelers have ranked #17 in the league in total yards allowed per game. Opposing offenses have passed for 248 yards per game through the air against them (#14 in football). On the ground, opposing ball-carriers have ranked #28 with 4.76 yards per carry. Positionally, perhaps their best defensive asset has been their defensive tackles, which rank #2 in the league in terms of stopping the run. Positionally, perhaps their worst defensive asset has been their safeties, which rank just #32 in the league in locking down route-runners.

Cincinnati's primary disadvantage this season has been their rushing offense, which has ranked #26 in football with a low 3.97 yards per carry. Such limited efficiency has led to just the #23-most total rushing yards: 100 per game. This presents a decided disadvantage for Cincinnati given that the Steelers run defense has thrived this year, allowing a mere 4.76 yards per carry (good for #28-best in the NFL).

When it comes to their defense, the Bengals check in at #13 in football when it comes to total yards allowed per game. Opposing air attacks have notched 268 yards per game against Cincinnati this year (#24 in football). Opposing ball-carriers have ranked #9 against them with 4.23 yards per ground attempt. This Bengals defense hits their peak effectiveness when it comes to defending opposing tight ends, allowing them to complete just 67.8% of their passes (#9-lowest in the league). Cincinnati's defensive effectiveness bottoms out when it comes to defending opposing running backs, who have scorched them for 57 yards per game (#3-worst in the league).
 
Photo by Justin K. Aller - Getty Images
 
 
These two teams are divisional rivals. This rivalry should add extra significance to the game, and both teams are likely to be ultra motivated. The last time these two teams played each other was Week 3 in 2021. That game resulted in a home win for the Bengals with a final score of 27-17.
 
There has been some line movement on the Game Total toward the Under. It opened 46.5 before it was bet down to 43.5. The betting handle for this Game Total is notable, because there is reverse line movement. The Over is receiving the majority of the betting handle, however the Game Total has shifted down 3.0 points. Approximately 62% of the bets and 60% of the Cash has been wagered on the Over. This may indicate some smart money was wagered on the Under as Sportsbooks often move lines based on sharp action and not raw betting handles.
 
PROJECTION:
Cincinnati Bengals - 21.46
Pittsburgh Steelers - 19.51

Win Probability:
CIN 54% / PIT 46%
 
 
 
 
 
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