The Bengals are running away with the AFC North through seven weeks, but the Steelers welcome back Ben Roethlisberger this week, which should make for an intriguing betting matchup in Pittsburgh on Sunday.
The Steelers managed to survive without their star quarterback, which probably came as a shock to a number of people. The Steelers entered this season with many concerns on the defensive side of the ball, but the defense has actually held up for the first third of the season.
Stopping the Bengals’ offense will be no easy task, though. Andy Dalton is enjoying his best season as a pro and has a plethora of weapons in the passing game. If there’s one concern with this Steelers defense, it’s the play of the secondary, and they’ll find it difficult to contain A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert for an entire afternoon.
On the other side of things, the Bengals’ defense has also performed admirably, but this will be its stiffest test to date. Aside from a game against the Chargers, Cincinnati has battled a bunch of poor offenses in recent weeks, and this will be a major step up in class.
The Steelers possess arguably the best talent on offense in the entire league, and if Roethlisberger is even close to full strength, Pittsburgh should be able to move the ball rather consistently.
Pittsburgh is notorious for rebounding after poor performances, going 8–1 straight up and 7-1-1 against the spread in its last nine games after a loss. The Steelers have also dominated this rivalry in recent years, as the Bengals are just 2–8 SU and ATS in their last 10 games against the Steelers, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.
Cincinnati is coming into this one on extra rest, but the Bengals are also just 2–8 SU and ATS in their last 10 games after the bye on the road since 1997.
This game is listed a pick’em at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark, and we’d be tempted to side with the home team in a favorable spot.