Bengals vs Steelers Odds & Picks | NFL Week 11 Prediction

Bengals vs Steelers Odds & Picks | NFL Week 11 Prediction article feature image

Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: T.J. Watt

Bengals vs. Steelers Odds

Sunday, Nov. 20
4:25 p.m. ET
Bengals Odds
-110o / -110u
Steelers Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

The classic November AFC North divisional battle is on tap for the afternoon slate this Sunday. This game is a Week 1 rematch wherein the Steelers went on the road and defeated the favored Bengals by disrupting Joe Burrow early and often.

The Bengals gained 32 first downs in that loss, limiting the Steelers to only 13, but five turnovers and seven sacks given up were too much to overcome. Despite a defensive touchdown by the Steelers, the game went under the total, and I don’t expect much of a change in this one.

Bengals vs. Steelers Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Bengals and Steelers match up statistically:

Bengals vs. Steelers DVOA Breakdown
Overall DVOA814
Pass DVOA1218
Rush DVOA57
Overall DVOA2210
Pass DVOA229
Rush DVOA2412

The Steelers offense is averaging 13.2 points per game over their last five contests and have failed to clear 20 points all season. Since rookie Kenny Pickett took over as the starter, the offense has a -10.1% DVOA, which translates to 24th over that time period.

Thus far this season, the Steelers are averaging 9.3 yards per completion (31st). Pickett has only completed 37.7% of his passes that have traveled over 10 air yards, resulting in no touchdowns and seven interceptions (per Sharp Football). There really isn't much to get excited about with this inept offense.

Bet Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh at FanDuel
Bengals -3.5 | Steelers +3.5

Pittsburgh's offense struggled to run the ball in the first matchup with Cincinnati — Chase Claypool led the team in rushing yards with 36. Now, the Bengals get back their elite interior defensive lineman, D.J. Reader.

Reader has only played 97 snaps this season, but he has graded out as the third best interior defender in the league, according to PFF. When Reader is in the lineup, Cincy's rush defense success rate against opposing ball carriers is an astounding 78.9%, which is the best in the NFL. When Reader isn't on the field, the defensive success rate versus the run drops to 57.4%, which is 23rd. Expect the Pittsburgh offense to be virtually one-dimensional.

To no surprise, the Bengals offense undoubtedly changed once Ja'Marr Chase was forced out of the lineup due to injury. While the offense thrived in Week 9, when the Bengals blew out the Panthers, Burrow has yet to clear 235 yards passing without Chase, posting two of his three lowest passing totals of the season.

Considering the Chase injury and the way the Bengals' offensive line was thoroughly dominated back in Week 1, I am expecting a fairly conservative gameplan from head coach Zac Taylor to ensure Burrow is protected.

T.J. Watt returned to the Steelers' lineup last week and made an immediate difference. In the two games Watt has played this season, Pittsburgh's defense boasts a -41.1% DVOA. That number would make the Steelers far and away the best defense in the league.

In the seven games Watt was sidelined, Pittsburgh's defense had a +15 DVOA, (30th). You’ll be hard pressed to find another defender who can elevate his unit from one of the worst to one of the best, but the numbers bear it out for the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.

Betting Picks

Simply put, the Steelers almost always show up for Mike Tomlin in this spot. As the astute Evan Abrams pointed out, Tomlin’s 16-3-3 ATS mark as a home dog is the best of any head coach over the past 20 years. In his seven career games as a home underdog versus an AFC North opponent, Tomlin has yet to suffer a loss ATS.

With that said, he has never had an offense that lacks explosiveness quite to this level. Only four teams in the league have fewer 20-yard passing plays, and only one team has fewer 40-plus-yard completions.

The longest offensive touchdown by the Steelers this season is eight yards. Half of their offensive touchdowns have been of the one-yard variety. No matter how convincing the trends of past successes may be, I cannot back a team that lacks the ability to run the football and create explosive plays.

If Taylor does call a run-heavy script, as I suspect he will, the Steelers defense will be up to task. They are the sixth best rush defense at yards per carry allowed (4.17), as they stuff 20% of all rushing attempts at or behind the line of scrimmage. Neither team is inside the top 15 in situation-neutral pace of play, both averaging over 31 seconds per play when the game is within one score, which I expect for the majority of this contest.

The Steelers can keep this game fairly close, but they have yet to score three offensive touchdowns in any game. Divisional unders are 31-16 (65.9%) in 2022 and this is the perfect spot to back this trend once more.

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