Steelers open as massive favorites over the Bengals in Week 15

Tommy Jaggi
Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The Bengals have been one of the worst teams in football this year. Here’s why the Steelers are heavy favorites, despite their recent struggles.

Pittsburgh’s impressive 11-game win streak was snapped two weeks ago after putting up a dud offensive performance against the Washington Football Team. Despite playing at home, the Steelers were able to collect just 17 points against a team that was 4-7 at the time.

After hoping to see more signs of life last week against the Buffalo Bills, Steelers fans were sadly disappointed once again. Though Pittsburgh’s defense was utterly dominant through the first two quarters of the game, the offense wasn’t able to do much of anything, and it ultimately cost them a win – dropping their second straight game of the season.

Now, the Steelers will look to avoid dropping their third straight game. Fortunately, their next contest comes against a less-than-stellar Cincinnati Bengals team. Though Pittsburgh will be traveling for this contest, oddsmakers don’t believe they will have any problem taking care of this opponent on the road. In fact, Pittsburgh opens Week 15 as 12.5-point favorites, courtesy of The Action Network.

Why the Steelers are two-score favorites

If you have watched the Bengals closely this year, it’s not hard to figure out why Pittsburgh is so heavily favored in this contest. Despite managing just 14.6 offensive points per game over their last three contests, the Steelers are clearly a superior football team than the 2-10-1 Bengals.

In addition, facing one of the league’s worst teams without their promising, young rookie quarterback should be a walk in the park. Cincinnati lost first-overall pick, Joe Burrow, to an ACL tear earlier in the season. With backup quarterback Brandon Allen leading the charge, this team hasn’t been anywhere near as effective on offense. Scoring just 10.3 points per game over their last three contests, the Bengals are one of the only teams in the league who have scored less than the Steeles over that stretch.

Even with Pittsburgh’s offense hitting a new low in recent weeks, the defense has been undeniably impressive. They dominated Josh Allen in the first half of their game against the Bills, and while they slipped up a bit in the third quarter, they allowed just 19 offensive points to Buffalo all game (7 points scored came off a pick-six Ben Roethlisberger thew before the first half). On the other hand, while the Bengals defense hasn’t been as bad as in years past, they are currently 24th in yards allowed per game, and 22nd in points allowed per contest, according to Team Rankings.

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When it’s all said and done, there isn’t a lot of reason to suggest that the Bengals will stand a legitimate shot in this contest. While anything can happen on an NFL stage, the Steelers are pretty good in primetime, and they know what’s on the line for them if they were to drop a game like this down the stretch. Expect the Steelers to be possibly even bigger favorites before kickoff.