Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:30 AM EST.
4:25 PM EST. The Steelers win the AFC North title with a victory and a Ravens loss. If the Ravens win, the only way the Steelers can make the playoffs is if they win and the Colts and Titans tie. The Bengals are eliminated from the playoffs.
This game is highly correlated to the Ravens/Browns game. The thinking in this market is that Baltimore will beat Cleveland and therefore what Pittsburgh does matters not. We have seen more than one eulogy written on the Steelers season, even by local beat reporters. Thing is, Baltimore/Cleveland goes off at the same time and therefore Pittsburgh will come in highly motivated with all hands on deck. Aside from that, we give the Brownies a massive shot to win outright and while that means jack to the Steelers, the point is that all Cleveland has to do is be hanging around for the scoreboard watching Steelers motivation to remain high. The Steelers are far from dead.
This game has been dubbed the Bengals "Super Bowl" but so what. Have you seen these dregs play? When it matters least, Cincinnati hangs around but when it matters most, they are the last team in the league you want to be holding a ticket on. Yes, Cincinnati did cover last week in Cleveland, but it went right through the backdoor after the Browns took their foot off the gas, which is not a luxury the Bengals are likely to receive here. Cinci was outgained by 284 yards last Sunday, which was not the first time it has been destroyed on the stat sheet, as losses to the Steelers (206), Kansas City (312), New Orleans (225) and Baltimore (148) were all lopsided, as was a fluke win over Tampa Bay after the Bucs outgained them by a whopping 312 yards. The Bengals have been in a freefall since a promising first month of the season, as they've dropped eight of their last 10 after starting the year 4-1. It's one thing to want to play the role of spoiler and quite another to actually have the horses to pull it off. Don't be tempted by the "hook" oddsmakers dangled here on the Bengals in the opening line. That hook has been bet off and now the price on the Steelers is even better. We were salivating at -14½ and now we get them for even less. Pencil us in for that.
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PITTSBURGH -14 +100 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.00)