Cincinnati Bengals (6-0 SU, 5-0-1 ATS) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3 SU, 4-1-2 ATS)
NFL Week 8
Date/Time: November 1, 2015 1:00PM EST
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA.
by WILSON, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: CIN -1/PITT +1
Over/Under Total: 48
The Pittsburgh Steelers dropped to 4-3 after their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday 23-13. They did not play well and in fact, they did not look well coached either. The Steelers were led by backup third string QB Landry Jones who struggled most of the day. Jones didnt get much help from his teammates either. This weekend may possibly determine the fate of the Steelers for the rest of the season and it will not be easy as the undefeated Bengals come to town as the early favorites. Currently the Bengals are on top of the AFC North at 6-0. Pittsburgh is 2nd place in the AFC North behind the Bengals at 4-3. There are several factors that will effect this contest including the return or not of Big Ben, the defensive play of both the Steelers D-line and the secondary. If Big Ben returns it will be a showdown between QBsRoethlisberger vs. Dalton.
In a game that has been marked on both fans calendars all season, it is one that will certainly drive the sports books to keep a close eye on how the week plays out in order to assign a competitive (favorable in their eyes) line which early on was set in favor of the Bengals -2. The Red Rifle (Dalton) has played some of the best football of his career in the last six weeks. His strength is that he makes good decisions under pressure, he scrambles well, and hes rallied from behind to win games. Most notably, is Daltons effort at home versus the Seahawks when he capped off a 17-point 4th quarter comeback and overtime win to send Seattle back to the gloomy Pacific Northwest. Dalton has also been excellent on the road this season with wins at Buffalo, Oakland, and Baltimore. Another positive for the Bengals this weekend is the fact that they have arguably the best offensive line in the league which works two-fold for Dalton who is great at getting the ball out quickly to receivers on short routes or using the protection to hit targets on the deep ballwhich has worked a lot this year.
Big Ben meanwhile, is expected to return behind center for the first time since missing 4 games. He brings back much needed experience and gives the Steelers the best chance to compete with the Bengals. Big Ben is 240 pounds and he literally can complete passes with defenders hanging on to him. His ability to make plays is unbelievable at times. Roethlisbergers accuracy and control at the line of scrimmage is seasoned and his no-huddle offense use is excellent. Plays breakdown all the time but Big Ben is great at finding ways to make things happen and he has more offensive weapons at his disposal than his counterpart (Dalton) this Sunday. Ben averages 10.2 yards per pass play and has a 75 percent completion percentage which results in a 113.1 passer rating which is one of the very best in the NFL.
Can the Steelers bounce back from a poor outing and loss at KC last week? If the Steelers defense (mainly the secondary) can tighten up and contain Daltons boys they will have a chance to compete with the Bengals and probably hand them their first loss on the season.
The Bengals have a real shot at making a deep run into the post season. Dalton has a 2-6 all-time record lifetime against the Steelers and he hopes to prove to everyone that his level of play is at the highest its been and he is looking to stay undefeated.
This game will be an epic showdown of two QBsone on a hot streak and one on a comeback. Both defenses will be tested as these QBs have experience and poise. Big Ben can fool the entire secondary with his pump fake and create havoc when he rolls out of the pocket on a mission to make a play happen. Dalton can strike quickly and needle the thread. This will be a great game to watch. I like Big Ben coming back at home in a big game. Ill take the Steelers to upset the Bengals at home. Luck to ya.
WILSONs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Pittsburgh straight up.
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