For the second-straight year, the Bengals will have a chance to end a division rival’s playoff hopes if they can win on the road. Last year, it was the Ravens who Cincinnati stunned to knock out of the playoffs.
This year, the Bengals will look to do the same to Pittsburgh, who actually opened as a 16.5-point favorite in some sportsbooks. As of Wednesday afternoon, the line is at 14.5 in most sportsbooks, which is still a huge point spread for an NFL game.
It also doesn’t bode well for the Bengals’ chances of winning in Pittsburgh, but they have been surprisingly good at covering the spread as double-digit underdogs.
13th time in team history #Bengals have been underdogs of at least 14 points. They've covered in 8 of the previous 12 while going 0-12 straight up.— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) December 24, 2018
It’s hard for even the best NFL teams to cover a two-touchdown spread against the worst teams, so even though the Bengals are depleted and have nothing but pride to play for, it won’t be a surprise if they manage to keep the game closer than most expect and avoid getting blown out.