Cincinnati Bengals (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
NFL Week 2
Date/Time:Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 1PM EST
Where: Lincoln Financial Field Philadelphia, PA
by Jason Green, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: CINCY +3 / PITT -3
Over/Under Total: 48.5
Both the Steelers and the Bengals won their season opener and each also covered in both games that were on the road. The Steelers are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games facing the Bengals and they can take control of the division early with a home win this Sunday. Last season these 2 teams split the season series with each winning on the road.
Bengals QB Andy Dalton was pretty solid in the opening win over the Jets going 23/30 for 366 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. His main target in A.J. Green had a huge day going for 180 yards and the Pittsburgh secondary will have their hands full. The Bengals do not have a deep WR corps, but in the New York game WR Brandon LaFell had 91 yards and he and the other WRs will get their chances with the Pittsburgh defense focusing on Green. Dalton got little help from the run game in the win over the Jets and they will face a Steelers D that stuffed the run in the Redskins game.
Will Dalton have to do it all again? Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard have to help out their signal caller in this game with some solid runs. Pittsburgh has to be confident after their performance against the Skins on Monday night, but they did give up over 320 passing yards. Dalton was sacked a whopping 7 times in the win over New York and that cannot happen again if they are going to leave Pittsburgh with a W.
Ben Roethlisberger passed for 300 yards with 3 TD and 1 INT in the win over Washington and WR Antonio Brown had another big game with 126 receiving yards and 2 TD. The Cincy secondary was pretty good in the win over New York and containing Brown will be key. They need to put some hits on Big Ben and not give him time in the pocket, as he will find Brown for big yards.
For Pittsburgh one of the key performers in the win over the Redskins was RB De Angelo Williams, who went for 124 rushing yards with 2 TD and averaged a legit 5.5 yards per carry. The Cincy D will key on Big Ben, but so did the Redskins and we saw how that turned out. If Williams can move the chains with his legs it takes a lot of pressure of Roethlisberger. In the win over the Jets the Bengals allowed 152 rushing yards.
The Bengals covered the spread last week and in a very impressive betting trend they have covered the spread in their last 9 road games. On the other side of the coin the Steelers are only 0-2-2 ATS in their last 4 games following a win.
There may be a lot of bad blood between these teams after the playoffs last season where the Steelers won after the Bengals had a couple of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Antonio Brown was knocked out and even Big Ben was knocked out of the game before coming back and leading Pittsburgh to a win. This game will be chippy, but the Bengals have to had learned their lesson after their conduct cost them moving on in the playoffs last season, right?
Last season the Bengals started 8-0 including beating the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Many of the betting trends point to Cincy covering in this game. Besides covering in their last 9 road games they are 15-5-2 ATS in their last 22 games overall and 5-1-1 ATS facing a team with a winning record. However, Big Ben and the Steelers will come out firing in this game and while Dalton may have a big game as well Pittsburgh will be able to run the ball and that will be the key, as they will win and cover.
Jason’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Steelers -3
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