Cincinnati Bengals (2-3; 3-2 ATS; 1-4 O/U) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2; 3-3 ATS: 0-6 O/U)
NFL Week Seven: Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 1:00pm EST
Line: Pittsburgh -5.5
The Pittsburgh Steelers will collide with the Cincinnati Bengals in an AFC North showdown Sunday afternoon from Heinz Field. The Bengals defeated the Bills 20-16 in their previous contest two weeks ago, and the Steelers notched a much-needed 19-13 road win over the Chiefs in their latest action. The Steelers defeated the Bengals by a 24-16 score in the first meeting last season, and followed up with a 24-20 win in the second meeting.
Bengals Target Third Straight Win after Enjoying Bye Week
The Cincinnati Bengals are hunting for their third straight win coming off their bye week in this contest. They came through with another dazzling defense performance in their 20-16 victory over the Bills two weeks ago. Andy Dalton did toss two picks in the win, however, he accumulated 328 passing yards with one touchdown. The 29-year old quarterback has been inconsistent this season, collecting 1220 passing yards with a 7:6 TD to INT ratio. Dalton only threw one TD in two games against the Steelers last season. A.J. Green had another big game in the win, bringing in seven grabs for 189 yards and one touchdown. The 29-year old star receiver is having a tremendous season, racking up 504 receiving yards, ranking him second in the NFL. Rookie running back Joe Mixon was able to tally 51 rushing yards in the win over the Bengals. Mixon has amassed 187 rushing yards and is only averaging 2.8 yards per carry. Tight end Tyler Eifert was injured in the win and is out for the season. The Bengals offense has been much better the last three weeks after they failed to score a touchdown in their first two games of the season.
The Cincinnati defense completely stifled the Bills offense in their latest action, allowing only 221 total yards and 139 passing yards. Their defense has been tremendous this season, and have been very efficient defending the pass. The Bengals have answered their 0-3 start with two nice wins.
Steelers Defense Dazzles in Win Over Chiefs
The Pittsburgh Steelers played dazzling defense in their solid 19-13 road win over a Chiefs team that owned a 5-0 record. Ben Roethlisberger was much better than his week five effort, throwing for 252 yards with one touchdown against one interception. The 35-year old quarterback was under criticism after his five picks in week five and has now registered 1521 passing yards with a 7:8 TD to INT ratio. Roethlisberger tossed 4 TD’s against two INT’s against the Bengals last year. Antonio Brown was at his best in the win, bringing down eight catches for 155 yards and one TD. The 29-year old wide receiver is having another tremendous season, racking up an NFL leading 700 passing yards on the season. Le’Veon Bell was an unstoppable force in the win, slicing through the Chiefs defense for 179 yards and one TD. The star running back has now tallied 550 rushing yards in six games. While the Steelers did not score big points last week, Bell and Brown both had their best games of the season which is a great sign going forward.
The Steelers defense was outstanding last week, holding the powerful Chiefs offense to only 251 yards and only 28 rushing yards. Vince Williams was able to make two sacks and has collected a total of four on the season. The Steelers performance last week will be a great confidence booster and the win catapulted them into first place in the AFC North.
The Cincinnati Bengals are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games.
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing fewer than 90 rushing yards in their previous game.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are:
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following an ATS win.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
I am taking the points with the Bengals in this matchup. The Steelers received great performances from Brown and Bell last week but still only managed 19 points, and they are facing another strong defense this week. The Bengals are only allowing an average of 16.6 points per game, and their pass defense has been outstanding, conceding only 159 passing yards per game. Furthermore, the Bengals offense has been much more productive after a slow start to the season, and they managed to score 20 points against the Bills number one ranked offense in their latest action, and they should keep this one very close.
Pick: Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals offense is heating up after a slow start and Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell are coming off their best performances of the season. The Bengals are averaging 25 points over their last three games, and I am confident they can move the ball with success in this contest, plus the over is 21-8-1 in their last 30 games in October. While I expect the Bengals defense to contain the Steelers production, they should still generate a decent amount of offense, plus this is a low total considering the offensive stars on both clubs.