The Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) are set to host the Cincinnati Bengals (6-0) in a AFC North showdown on Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 EST at Heinz Field and will be televised locally on CBS. Taking a look at the Week 8 NFL spreads, oddsmakers currently have this game listed as a pick’em with the total set at 48 points.
Pittsburgh comes into this contest off a 13-23 loss at Kansas City as a 3-point underdog. Not a big surprise as the Steelers had to go with 3rd string quarterback Landry Jones. It was the first time this season Pittsburgh failed to cover the spread, as they are now 4-1-2 versus the number.
The Bengals will be returning from their bye week looking to add to their perfect 6-0 start to the season. Last time out Cincinnati won 34-21 at Buffalo as a 3-point favorite, improving to 5-0-1 ATS in 2015.
This will be the first of two meetings between these division rivals, as they will face off in Cincinnati in Week 14. The Steelers swept the season series a year ago with a 42-21 win in Cincinnati and a 27-17 win at home.
Early Lean on Steelers Pick’em
I think we are seeing the books inflate this line in favor of the Bengals due to them being undefeated and having not yet lost against the spread. With Ben Roethlisberger making his return to the lineup after sitting out the last 4 games, the Steelers should be favored in this one. Pittsburgh is a completely different team with him on the field and the fact that they were able to go 2-2 without him, speaks volumes of the talent level on this team.
Offensively the Steelers have been challenged without Roethlisberger, but have been able to lean on an improved defense. Now with their star quarterback back under center, Pittsburgh is poised to go on a big run to close out the season.
I think Pittsburgh is going to have no problem moving the ball here against a Bengals defense that isn’t as good as some might think. Cincinnati comes into this game ranked 22nd in the league in total defense, allowing 370.7 ypg. They haven’t been good against either the run (109.2, 16th) or the pass (261.5 ypg, 21st). This Steelers’ offensive attack will be without a doubt the best unit they have faced this year and let’s not forget they scored 69 combined points in their two games last year against the Bengals and have scored at least 27 points in each of the last 3 meetings.
I think Pittsburgh is going to have no problem moving the ball here against a Bengals defense that isn’t as good as some might think. Cincinnati comes into this game ranked 22nd in the league in total defense, allowing 370.7 ypg. They haven’t been good against either the run (109.2, 16th) or the pass (261.5 ypg, 21st).
You also have to factor in the advantage of playing at home, especially in a big time division game like this. Pittsburgh recently won at home 25-13 over an Arizona team that is one of the elite teams out of the NFC. The Bengals have gone 3-0 on the road, but this is historically a team that doesn’t travel well. Not only do I think the Steelers win this game, but I think there’s a good chance they do so in convincing fashion.
Pittsburgh is 10-2 ATS in their last 12 home games with a total set at 42.5 to 49 points, 10-1 ATS in their last 11 against a team with a winning record, 4-0 in their last 4 following a SU loss and 6-0 ATS in their last 6 home games after scoring the spread in 2 out of their last 3 games.
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