Bengals Would Improve Playoff Chances To 62% With A Win Over Steelers On Saturday

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The Cincinnati Bengals have had a roller coaster of a season thus far, but have come on in recent weeks to cement themselves as contenders in the AFC wild card race. Hope looked lost when it was announced that quarterback Joe Burrow would miss the remainder of the season after Week 11, as the team was already 5-5 and well behind in the early division standings. But Cincy has won each of their last three games to improve their record to 8-6, and they can further solidify their chances at making the playoffs on Saturday.

Bengals Have The Most At Stake This Weekend In The NFL

According to PFF analysis, the Bengals currently have a 39% chance to make the playoffs. They are jumbled in with the four other 8–6 teams in the conference, but currently hold the tiebreaker over the rest of the wild card teams. They will be the first of those teams to take the field this weekend, meaning that they can set the tone for Week 16 if they are able to come out with a victory.

The oddsmakers believe that they will, as the Bengals are currently listed as 3-point road favorites. And while the Steelers have had their struggles this season, they have played .500 football thus far and are still a threat that shouldn’t be overlooked, especially for a divisional opponent.

Not only would Cincinnati see their playoff odds increase to 62% with a victory, but they would essentially end any slim hopes that Pittsburgh has of making a late-season push. They would still be a week away from being officially eliminated, but the Steelers’ current 5% odds would drop to less than 1%.

A Loss Would Open The Door For Bills And Others

If the Bengals happen to lose, however, then it would blow the AFC playoff picture even more wide open than it already is. We could see some serious shifts on Saturday alone, as the surging Buffalo Bills are double-digit favorites to increase their record to 9-6 and potentially play some catch up when it comes to tie-breakers between certain teams.

According to PFF’s analysis, the Bengals actually have more to lose/gain than any other team for the rest of the weekend. The Saints and Rams entered the week with the most to play for, and New Orleans saw their odds take a serious hit with the loss to LA, but Cincy has the next-largest “leverage” play when it comes to playoff chances for Week 16.

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