Steelers-Bengals Betting Preview: Will Pittsburgh Continue to Dominate Cincinnati?
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton.
Betting odds: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
- Spread: Bengals -2
- Over/Under: 52.5
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- Channel: CBS
>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: The Steelers are unsurprisingly a trendy road dog in Cincinnati vs. the AFC North-leading Bengals. At the time of writing, this line dropped to 2.
The total, which opened at 54.5, has gradually been on the decline. Over/under bets are nearly split, but the under was getting around 80% of the dollars at the time of writing (see live betting data here). — Mark Gallant
Trends to know: Pittsburgh defeated Atlanta, 41-17, in Week 5. Teams that won their previous game by 21 or more points have gone 312-348-20 (47%) against the spread in their next game. If they are listed as underdogs that record drops to 84-111-8 (43%) ATS, per our Bet Labs data. — John Ewing
The Bengals enter the game hot — like really hot. They are 4-1 straight up and ATS so far this season.
Since 2012, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has faced a team better than .500 as an underdog 15 times, Big Ben is 10-5 SU and 10-4-1 ATS. Three of Roethlisberger’s four ATS losses have come against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. — Evan Abrams
Since 2010, the Steelers are 7-1 at Paul Brown Stadium and have won four straight regular-season games in the Queen City. In fact, the Bengals are just 2-15 at home in the Marvin Lewis era (since 2003) against Pittsburgh, which includes two home playoff losses.
If you include the playoffs, Lewis is just 8-24 SU against the Steelers since he took over in Cincy.
This will mark only the eighth time the Bengals have been favored over the Steelers under Lewis: They are 1-6 SU in previous seven games and 9-21 ATS (30%) since 2003. — Evan Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Steelers in the trenches
Pittsburgh leads the NFL with 19 sacks. Its defensive front is clearly the strength of a struggling unit, and that should pay off against a Bengals team that once again has issues along the offensive line — partly due to injuries and primarily due to performance.
Just take a look at Cincinnati’s projected starting five:
- LT Cordy Glenn (rated 55.6 by Pro Football Focus)
- LG Clint Boling (rated 68.0 by PFF and has been Bengals’ best OL by far, but is a little banged up)
- Center Billy Price: Out with an injury
- RG Alex Redmond (53.1 PFF rating and allowed second-most pressures among guards)
- RT Bobby Hart (56.3 PFF rating)
Let’s just say that’s not ideal.
On the other side of the ball, Cincy has an elite defensive line led by star Geno Atkins, but the Steelers have a veteran offensive line (ranked fifth in adjusted sack rate) that can handle the pressure and a savvy QB who can take hits and deal with pressure.
In a battle of two solid defensive fronts, the Steelers have the advantage as a result of their superior offensive line play. — Stuckey
Which team is healthier? Steelers
Both teams are fairly healthy, but the Bengals could be without key contributors such as Price (ankle), wide receiver John Ross (groin), running back Giovani Bernard (knee), tight end Tyler Kroft (foot) and cornerback William Jackson (knee).
The only Steelers who haven’t practiced in full this week are linebacker L.J. Fort (ankle), wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (ankle) and safety Morgan Burnett (groin). Oh, and of course Le’Veon Bell (holdout).
DFS edge: There are an abundance of good DFS plays in this game, but if you’re looking for a low-owned tournament play, C.J. Uzomah is enticing. He saw just two targets in Week 5, but he ran 28 pass routes to Tyler Kroft’s nine.
Additionally, the Steelers have struggled to defend tight ends this season, ranking 25th in pass DVOA against the position, allowing 10.7 targets and 83 receiving yards per game this season.
Bet to watch: Steelers +2
Don’t try to go against history here. This is simply a team the Steelers own — and the same quarterback/coach combo has been in place for an extended period.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is at his best when he can fire up his team with emotion. Well, the last time the Steelers played the Bengals, they were in Cincinnati when Ryan Shazier went down.
Expect a spirited effort from a struggling Steelers defense that should be able to get to Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton quickly and force him into quick mistakes with their zone scheme.
The Steelers should get their seventh straight win (including playoffs) in this bitter rivalry — and should do so in the trenches. — Stuckey
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.