The Steelers won the first matchup between these two teams 16-10. That was the first start of Jake Browning’s career. He has won each game since and is now an impressive 3-1 as a starter, having taken down the Jags, Colts, and Vikings.
The Steelers are in the midst of an identity crisis. Their defensive line is still among the best in the NBA, but they are struggled immensely offensively. Couple that with the absence of DJ Reader, and the Pittsburgh offense could come alive.
Let’s dive into three Bengals-centric props to consider.
Tee Higgins over 57.5 receiving yards (-115)
Jake Browning is going to need to go somewhere, and after Tee Higgins’ amazing Week 15 touchdown grab against the Vikings, Browning may be looking his way more often. Without Ja’Marr Chase, Higgins will be the clear No. 1 option, and his targets should reflect that.
Higgins has struggled for most of this season, and if couple that with injury, this year has been disappointing. However, has has notched 61, 72, 36, 110, and 69 over his last five games. He’s starting to heat up, and Browning will likely throw his way early and often. Expect him to go over with ease in this game.
Jaylen Warren over 42.5 rushing yards (-110)
While it is easy to see that former first-round pick Najee Harris is still a main presence in the backfield, Warren has been getting a chunk of touches over the last few months. He has seen nine or more carries in six of his last seven games and has topped this total in five of his last seven.
Without Reader, arguably the best run-stuffing nose tackle in the NFL, Warren and Harris may be able to succeed running the ball, especially with Rudolph behind center. The Steelers should want to make their run game a priority, and it would be shocking if Warren doesn’t get double-digit carries in this one. He has gone over this total in three of four games in which he has had 10 or more carries.
Chase Brown under 27.5 rushing yards (-110)
Chase Brown has some pop in his step, but he hasn’t proven to be an overly dynamic rusher. Most of Brown’s damage has come as a receiver and when catching passes out of the backfield. He has seen seven or more carries in three straight games but has only gone over this total once.
Brown has rushed for 23 and 25 yards in his last two games respectively. Behind TJ Watt and Cameron Heyward, the Steelers have a solid defensive line and should want to take the run away from Cincinnati. The Bengals offense may not stay as hot as it has been as well, putting just 10 on Pittsburgh in the first battle.