There is a lot on the line when the Pittsburgh Steelers face the Cincinnati Bengals in the Queen City on Sunday. The Bengals can clinch a playoff spot, as well as the AFC North title with a win, while the Steelers could use the victory to help bolster their resume, and hopes, of claiming one of two Wild Card spots in the AFC Playoff Picture.
This game will feature a lot of high profile talent on both sides of the ball. For Cincinnati, Andy Dalton has his share of weapons between Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard in the backfield, to Tyler Eifert, A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones in the passing attack. Not to be outdone, Geno Atkins and company know how to put pressure on opposing offenses and stifle a running attack.
The Steelers have a few marquee names on their roster too. Within Ben Roethlisberger's arsenal features the likes of Antonio Brown, DeAngelo Williams, Martavis Bryant, Markus Wheaton, Heath Miller and an offensive line which has paved the way for both the ground and aerial attack. On defense, the ageless wonder, James Harrison, continues to dominate alongside Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Lawrence Timmons and Bud Dupree.
The Bengals are 3-point favorites in this game at home, but what do the experts think about this AFC North showdown?
As can be expected, experts are torn on this game. In fact, those at CBSSports.com who place expert picks on a weekly basis see this game right down the middle. 4 think the Bengals will win at home, while 4 think the Steelers steal this game on the road.
Not everyone is evenly split on their predictions for the outcome of this game. Those at ESPN.comand FOXSports.com both give the nod to the Steelers by one expert. However, here at SB Nation, they are heavily favoring the home Bengals in this grudge match.
As always, our friends at NFL Pick Watch, a website designed to tabulate and calculate all expert picks across the internet, have given the Bengals the nod with 54-percent of experts leaning the way of the home team.
For a game featuring a 10-2 team who sits as the top seed in the conference, going against a 7-5 team clinging to their playoff lives, the experts see this game as basically a toss up. Who will come out on top is anyone's guess, and even the experts seem split on the potential outcome of this game.