Originally Posted by TeamSelig
Hmm... common knowlegde leads me to believe that there is no way we win this game. The whole "rivalry" thing might keep the game close, but I really don't see how we win this game.
I don't either, but I'm still picking the Bengals, based on history alone. Even in the darkest hours of this franchise's history, they've found ways to beat Pittsburgh.
In 1980, the 0-2 Bengals defeated the 2-0 Steelers. Three weeks later, they met again, this time with the Bengals 1-4 and the Steelers 4-1. Cincinnati won again. They were 2-0 vs Pittsburgh and 0-4 against the rest of the league, while the Steelers were 0-2 against the Bengals and 4-0 against the rest of the league. That Bengals team managed only six wins all season, but they were much better than their 6-10 record indicated, and proved it the next year by going to the Super Bowl.
More recently, in 1998, the Bengals went 3-13. Wanna guess who two of those three wins came against? Yep, the division rivals. They were 2-0 against Pittsburgh and 1-13 vs the rest of the teams on their schedule.
What does all of this ancient history have to do with this Sunday's game? Many would say "Absolutely nothing. The games are played, won, and lost on the field, not in some record book."
However, in my 30+ years of watching this league, I've learned that certain historical trends cannot be ignored, and people who give betting advice will agree. That's probably why the Bengals are only a 3-point underdog.
I'll admit that I cherry picked two specific seasons to make my point, but hopefully it illustrates that, no matter how bad the Bengals season goes, it doesn't necessarily carry over to the Pittsburgh game.
On the other hand, the Steelers have a history of winning at PBS, so maybe one cancels out the other.