Steelers vs. Bengals Game Betting Preview, Prediction

Written by:
Don Shapiro
Published on:

The ranks of the AFC North are headed for a shake-up, when the troubled Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Paul Brown Stadium to do battle with the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon.

Mike Tomlin’s Steelers survived Week 5 by defeating the Atlanta Falcons 41 to 17, but are carrying an embarrassing 2-2-1 record and could definitely use a road win to improve their standings. At the other end, the Bengals have risen throughout the 2018 season with four wins and one single loss to the Carolina Panthers. While some argue that Cincinnati’s recent prominence isn’t fully deserved, others believe that Steelers have been somewhat mistreated and should be able to win the division’s top position soon enough.

The tables have turned, and the 3-year-long streak of Steeler victories over the Bengals may soon come to an end. The Steelers have pocketed wins throughout every encounter with Cincinnati since 2015, but things have changed somewhat and the Bengals no longer appear such an easy target. Bettor intentions have been shifting slightly during the last few days, but are now settled on Bengals as the better pick between the two; odds market currently have Cincinnati on top at -2 spread, with a 51½ over/under.

Steelers Comeback?

Pittsburgh took a step in a positive direction last week; their offense appears to be regaining some of its former strength, while relying heavily on the sharp performances of QB Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown. This dynamic duo turned heads with well-placed collaborations that ended up in some impressive scoring; Roethlisberger threw for three touchdowns and 250 yards against the Falcons, nevertheless, they might want to shore up the defense, where they’re allowing 26.6 points per game.

The Bengals are hoping that they can lay waste to Pittsburgh the same way they did with Colts, Ravens, Falcons, and more recently, the Dolphins. Cincinnati is averaging 26 points per game and, during their last game with Miami, QB Andy Dalton threw for 248 yards and a single touchdown; additionally, Cincinnati has done a pretty decent job defending their home turf: Bengals are 5-1 ATS for their last 6 home matches.

Midseason Surprises

Without a doubt, Pittsburgh is the team that has the most to win from a victory come Sunday. They would gain back some respect and acquire a better position within the AFC North, in which they’re currently trailing at the very bottom. If Brown and Roethlisberger can pull off the same kind of stunt they did against Atlanta, we might just see that happen, however, the Steelers aren’t looking very good on the ATS front: during their last 12 games –going back all the way to last season- they’ve failed to meet the mark by scoring a meagre 3-9 ATS. Similarly, they’ve lost the against-the-spread battle with other AFC teams; the Steelers are only one up from a total 6 most-recent divisional games.

My Prediction: I am inclined to put my eggs on the basket that appears to be the most desperate for them, and this time around, that role falls upon the Steelers. It was truly amazing to witness the sheer perfection of the Roethlisberger-brown co-op motion, and I am truly hoping that we might see a repeat of the feat on Sunday. Take Pittsburgh at +2, though, be warned; they might come to need those extra two near the end.

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