Bengals vs. Steelers Pick – Cincinnati Bengals (+138)
The Week 3 NFL schedule is shaping up to be a fun one. We’ve got a number of intriguing divisional matchups on tap, including a showdown between the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.
As you may expect, this rivalry has been rather one-sided over the years. The Steelers have a 67-36 record all-time against the Bengals, in addition to a 2-0 edge in their few playoff meetings. However, the teams split their two games a season ago. The Steelers crushed Cincy 36-10 almost exactly a year ago at home, while the Bengals bounced back with a 27-17 victory in the return leg at Cincinnati in late November.
Both teams are off to 1-1 starts so far this year. The Steelers were upset at home by the Raiders last week, while the Bengals dropped a close one on the road against the Bears. Pittsburgh is favored by a field goal on Sunday, while you can get the Bengals at +138 on the moneyline at BetOnline.
The Steelers hold a predictable all-time edge over the Bengals, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot entering this season. Bettors have been bearish on the Steelers all summer long after their disappointing finish following an 11-0 start last year. Cincinnati, meanwhile, has one of the most talented young offenses in the league, led by former Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow.
The Steelers’ loss to the Bengals last November snapped a lengthy 11-game winning streak against their AFC North rivals. Cincinnati’s last win in the series prior to their aforementioned triumph came way back in 2015 when the Bengals squeaked out a 15-10 win at Heinz Field. The Bengals have just five wins at Pittsburgh since 2005.
Cincy should come into this game feeling confident, however. Burrow has looked good since recovering from the devastating knee injury he sustained during his rookie campaign. The LSU product has completed better than 68 percent of his throws for 468 yards with four touchdowns through the season’s first two games. Burrow has connected with former LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase on two of those four TD strikes, as well.
Ben Roethlisberger, who already faced plenty of questions over the offseason about his future, hasn’t gotten off to a good start. Big Ben is averaging just 6.7 yards per attempt through the first two weeks, and he’s been iffy for Week 3 after suffering a pectoral injury in Sunday’s loss to Las Vegas. Roethlisberger is expected to suit up in this one, but we’ll see how effective he’ll be as he attempts to play through the injury.
Opening Odds and Line Movement for Game
Head to Head Betting Trends
The under is 5-1-1 in the last 7 games between these two teams in Pittsburgh
Bengals have not scored more than 20 points in a game in Pittsburgh since 2006
Steelers have failed to crack 20 pointe just once in their last five home games vs. Cincinnati
Cincinnati Bengals Betting Trends
Bengals are 4-10 straight-up in their last 14 games overall
Bengals are just 1-19-1 straight-up in their last 21 road games
Bengals are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games after a loss
Bengals are 5-2 ATS after failing to cover in their last seven games
Bengals have hit the under in six of their last nine games
Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Trends
Steelers are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six games following a loss
Steelers are just 1-4 O/U after going under the total in their last five games
Steelers are 3-6 ATS in their last nine games overall
Steelers are 2-6 straight-up in their last eight games
Steelers are just 1-4 ATS in their last five home games
Free Bet and Game Prediction
Both teams are limping into this game after losses in Week 2, but the Bengals should be feeling better about themselves than the Steelers should. Pittsburgh blew a golden chance to get off to a 2-0 start with a home loss to the Raiders last week, while the Bengals have been competitive in back-to-back games. Cincinnati has nothing to lose as a young team with low expectations, while the Steelers are looking to reassert themselves as legitimate contenders out of the AFC.
Big Ben’s Struggles
Roethlisberger looked awful at the end of last season, though. At 39, it’s fair to say his best days are in the rearview mirror. Since leading the NFL in passing with over 5,100 yards back in 2018, he has looked like a shell of himself. Roethlisberger’s declining yards per attempt is a major red flag. If he’s not willing to take shots down the field, the Steelers’ offense loses some of its luster.
Roethlisberger has legitimately good weapons at his disposal in Chase Claypool, Juju Smith-Schuster, and Diontae Johnson. The team also has high hopes for first-round rookie running back Najee Harris. Of course, none of that really matters if Pittsburgh isn’t going to get competent play out of their veteran QB.
Tough Spot for Burrow
Burrow unquestionably has a bright future as the face of the Bengals’ franchise, but a matchup with the Steelers isn’t an easy one. The former No. 1 overall pick was held to a completion percentage of just 52.5 percent and he was sacked four times in his first trip to Pittsburgh last November. The Bengals’ offense stood very little chance that day as they put just 10 points on the board.
That said, there is reason for optimism this time around. Pittsburgh’s offense may be short-handed with TJ Watt potentially set to sit out due to a groin issue, which should give Burrow more time to get comfortable in the pocket. Cincinnati has a talented group of pass-catchers, too. Chase has wasted no time in shaking off the demons that plagued him during the preseason, while Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins add quality depth to the receiving corps. Watt’s absence will be important, as Burrow has already been sacked 10 times through two games.
If the Bengals can find a way to keep their starting QB upright, I like the Bengals’ chances of putting some points on the board. That’s a big “if” given Cincy’s issues in pass protection, but I’m not at all sold on the Steelers as a legit upper-echelon team in the AFC.
Can Pittsburgh Run?
The Steelers used a premium pick on Harris in order to replace James Conner, who left for Arizona as a free agent. Harris put up gargantuan numbers during his college career at Alabama, but his transition to the NFL hasn’t been an easy one early on. Harris has totaled just 83 yards on 26 rushing attempts through two games, which comes out to a paltry average of just 3.2 yards per attempt. He does have six catches for 47 yards and a touchdown, however.
We’ll see whether the rookie can find his footing this week against Cincinnati. The Bengals have only yielded 95 rushing yards per game through two weeks, which is a remarkable improvement after they ranked 29th in the league in rushing yards allowed in 2020. That said, the Steelers failed to crack 100 rushing yards as a team in either meeting against the Bengals last year.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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