Week 15 MNF Trends & Picks

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Week 15 MNF Trends & Picks

Examining trends for each team can help you make better-informed gambling and fantasy decisions. It’s never wise to bet a game based on a single trend and it’s also never wise to back off a wager based on a single trend, either. With that said, trends can point you in the right direction by corroborating stats and information you’ve gathered or they can make you reconsider making a bad wager based on flimsy data. I’ve gone game-by-game and compiled the most relevant trends for each team heading into this week’s contests. I’ve included any bets or leans I have for each game at the end of each writeup. Good luck with your wagers!

Monday Night Football

Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2, 8-5 ATS) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-10-1, 7-6), 8:15 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Steelers 27.25, Bengals 12.75

  • Spread/Total Movements: 11.5 to 14.5, 40.5 to 40

  • Weather: 40 degrees, clear, 10 mph

  • Steelers Injuries to Watch: RB James Conner (quad), OT Kevin Dotson (shoulder)

  • Bengals Injuries to Watch: DT Geno Atkins (shoulder, IR), QB Brandon Allen (knee), LB Logan Wilson (ankle)

Steelers Trends

  • Pittsburgh has failed to cover in three straight games with consecutive outright losses after an 11-0 start.

  • Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati 38-7 back in Week 10 as 6.5-point home favorites back when Joe Burrow was still playing.

  • The Steelers haven’t covered a spread in their last six December games.

  • Pittsburgh is 11-3 ATS in the 14 meetings in this series.

  • The Steelers’ offense is completely broken heading into the final weeks of the season as they have no rushing attack and no downfield passing game. Pittsburgh has failed to reach 70 rushing yards in seven of their last eight games after averaging 136.8 rushing yards per game in their first five games. James Conner could only scratch out 10/18 rushing in his return to the lineup with the Steelers’ O-line getting dominated once again — he didn’t see a target in the passing game. Conner and the Steelers running game theoretically have a decent spot against the Bengals this week. Dallas’ broken run game managed 23/87 rushing between Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard.

  • Ben Roethlisberger is averaging 46.8 passes per game over his last four games, but he hasn’t averaged more than 5.8 YPA in any of those games. He’s averaging 5.5 YPA and he hasn’t reached 20+ FP in that span. The Bengals are allowing 7.2 YPA (6th-most) but Roethlisberger was the last QB to reach 20+ FP since Cincy’s offense isn’t pushing opposing passing games.

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster has caught 6+ passes in seven of his last eight games, but he’s still fallen below 40 receiving yards in three of his last four games. He’s at least scored in four of his last six games and James Washington hasn’t taken away playing time from him. CeeDee Lamb managed just 2/46 receiving in this matchup last week.

  • HC Mike Tomlin kept to his word when he threatened to bench players who dropped the ball before Week 14 as the NFL’s drop leader was at it again in Week 14. Diontae Johnson dropped two early passes, which earned him a spot next to Tomlin on the sidelines for the rest of the first half. He finished with just 4/40 receiving on seven targets (19% share) while playing 49% of the snaps against the Bills. Diontae is one of the best WRs after the catch with his 5.4 YAC average, but his aggressiveness after the catch has led to a league-leading 12 drops. Amari Cooper posted 4/51/1 receiving in this matchup last week.

  • Chase Claypool ranks fourth in routes run (45) for the Steelers over the last two weeks with James Washington getting more action recently (59). Washington has also posted more production with 5/109/2 receiving on 10 targets compared to Claypool (5/53 on nine targets). Claypool did post 4/56/2 receiving on 10 targets against the Bengals in Week 10 when the offense was still working. Michael Gallup posted 2/23 receiving in this matchup last week.

  • Eric Ebron failed to reach double-digit FP last week for the first time since Week 10 when he posted 2/38 receiving against the Bengals. He’s still seen 5+ targets in eight straight games while the Bengals are giving up a league-high 66.7 receiving yards per game to TEs.

Bengals Trends

  • Cincy has failed to cover in four of their last five games after starting the season 6-2 ATS.

  • The Bengals are 4-0-1 toward unders in their last five games.

  • These teams are 4-0-1 toward unders in their last five meetings.

  • Cincinnati spotted the Cowboys 17 points with fumbles on three consecutive drives to open last week, which was a deficit they would never overcome in their 23-point loss.

  • Brandon Allen completed 27 passes last week after completing 28 attempts in his first two games, but he averaged just 6.0 YPA and he’s yet to reach 220+ passing yards. Allen won’t be able to play this week after sustaining a knee injury late last week, which will leave this offense in Ryan Finley’s hands, who has completed 10/19 passes (52.5%) for 75 yards and two INTs in three mop-up appearances this season. The Steelers still haven’t allowed a QB to reach 20+ FP this season.

  • Tee Higgins has managed five catches in each of his first three games without Joe Burrow, but he’s finished with between 44-56 yards. He posted 7/115/1 receiving in this matchup in Week 10 with Burrow.

  • Tyler Boyd has just nine catches since Burrow left the lineup, but he did see nine targets last week. He posted 6/41 receiving in this matchup in Week 10 with Burrow.

  • Giovani Bernard lost a fumble last week for the first time since his rookie season in 2013, which opened the door for an ugly three-way backfield with Trayveon Williams and Samaje Perine. Williams led the backfield with 15/53 scrimmage followed by Perine (14/41) and Bernard (6/23). Gio posted 8/30 rushing and 4/17 receiving in this matchup in Week 10 while Perine added 8/55 scrimmage.

Brolley’s Bets

Pittsburgh Steelers -12.5 (Staff Pick Lean)

Giovani Bernard (Cin) under 29.5 rushing yards (Best Bet)

JuJu Smith-Schuster (Pit) over 5.5 receptions (Best Bet)

Tom is a Senior Writer at Fantasy Points who specializes in fantasy and betting analysis. He’ll be helping you to navigate the waiver wire and manage your fantasy teams while also keeping our betting content robust all year long, especially during the season. Tom's Best Bets against the spread won at 61.5% clip in 2019 and he was a perfect 8-0 on his Best Bets for season win totals in 2020.