The Bengals can wrap up the AFC North with a win over the Steelers this week. Let's analyze the NFL odds and decide on which are the best NFL picks for us here.
NFL Pick: Bengals -3
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle
Can Bengals Avoid Big Choke?
Here we go, Bengals fans. It may not be a great way to look at handicapping this game, but one big distinction with the Bengals over the year has been their play in the regular season versus the post season. I still think it remains to be seen whether this year will be any different, but the Bengals have lost in the first round of the playoffs for four straight years. While this team is probably by far the best one the city of Cincinnati has seen in the last five years, maybe the solution will be for them to get a first round bye and avoid the wildcard round, or a road game at least to start the playoffs.
If that’s the case, the Bengals will have to win these games where they can at least wrap up the division. The Steelers are going to be a tough test for this team, but at home and against a Pittsburgh defense that leaves a lot to be desired, the Bengals are in position to make it happen this week.
Cincinnati has won their last two games in blowout fashion after losing two straight games to the Texans and Cardinals, and while the wins came against bad teams, it was good to see this team easily get to the win. The last time the Bengals hooked up with the Steelers, they won 16-10, thanks in large part to a late Andy Dalton touchdown pass. Later in the season with both defenses dealing with some issues, the Bengals will have to put up more than 16 points to beat this Steelers team. Ben Roethlisberger will likely not throw three picks again like he did back in Week 8.
The Sharp Pick
The Bengals have yet to lose a divisional game this season, and while the Steelers have been impressive at times on offense, I’m not sure they can keep the Bengals under 27 or more points this week. Outside of their win against the Rams, who are the worst offensive team of all time, the Steelers have given up nearly 28 points per game on the road, and after giving up 39 points to the Seahawks a few weeks ago on the road, the Bengals have a very good chance of scoring at least three or four touchdowns this week. While divisional games are usually lower scoring, I still think the game script is going to lead to the Bengals winning both SU and ATS.
With the Steelers dealing with injuries to their offensive line, the Bengals pass rush should have no problem getting to Roethlisberger in this one. Big Ben has been beat up already this season, and if the Bengals can get hits on him early, it is only going to help their cause. Pittsburgh has traditionally owned the Bengals in this matchup, even at Paul Brown Stadium. However, after winning SU and ATS in their first meeting, I see the Bengals locking in another win this week at home and I will keep that in mind for my NFL picks. Times have changed in this matchup, at least for this season and the NFL odds show as much.