Monday Night Football NFL Picks and Predictions: Steelers at Bengals Betting Odds
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 11/8/2010
The Steelers continue their primetime tour with their second of three consecutive games under the lights as they travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals in an AFC North clash on Monday Night Football tonight at 8:30 p.m. EST.
Regardless of when the Steelers have been playing, the lights have been shining on the team. Media attention has been heavy on Pittsburgh this season for a number of reasons not related to their two Super Bowls since 2006.
There was the Ben Roethlisberger offseason situation and the subsequent four-game suspension. There was Santonio Holmes being jettisoned to New York in a move that weakened the team but proved a point. And now lately, Steelers linebacker James Harrison has been at the center of a league-wide crackdown on illegal hits. Pittsburgh has managed to deal well with the adversity thus far. They are sitting at 5-2 overall and remain a Super Bowl favorite.
Cincinnati, on the other hand, has not handled the attention they have received well. Marvin Lewis is on the hot seat and the T.O./Ochocinco duo has yet to produce in the win column and the whole locker room remains a powder keg with those two if things do not get turned around quickly.
Pittsburgh is coming off a 20-10 Halloween night loss at New Orleans where the rambunctious atmosphere was at least partly to blame for some offensive miscues. The Steelers can expect another loud crowd Monday in the Queen City, but nothing coming close to the scene at the Superdome.
If the Bengals want to keep their crowd in the game they will have to find a way to slow down the Steelers rushing attack that is spearheaded by Rashard Mendenhall and find a way to run the ball against the Steelers. If the Bengals want to run the ball against Pittsburgh they need not watch any film of what Steelers’ opponents did this season because no team was able to muster any sort of ground game against them. The Bengals may just abandon the run all together because they are not that good at it anyway (21st in the NFL). The Carson Palmer-led aerial attack ranks sixth in the league and they may find success with it against an overrated Pittsburgh secondary that ranks 25th in the league.
The game is a crucial contest for both teams. It certainly looks like a must-win scenario for the Bengals, the defending AFC North champions, who have lost four in a row including a 22-14 home loss to Miami last week. The Steelers are trying to keep pace with 6-2 Baltimore and they want to avoid a two-game slide heading into a crucial Sunday night contest in Week 10 against New England.
The Steelers are eager for another shot at Cincinnati, who swept the season series last year. They won both games over Pittsburgh by a combined nine points.
The Steelers desperately want defensive end Aaron Smith back, but his timetable is still more than a month away. The defensive line will get a big boost if defensive end Brett Keisel is able to go. He is probably out with a hamstring injury. The Bengals have been hit by the injury bug in the secondary. Safety Roy Williams and cornerback Johnathan Joseph remain questionable for Monday and safety Chinedum Ndukwe is probable with a knee injury,
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Betting Odds and Line Moves
After opening as low as 3.5 points in some places, the Steelers have shot up to 6.5-point favorites. The total of 41 has fallen a half a point since opening at 41.5. NFL odds are courtesy of Sportsbook.com.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Trends
Steelers are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 games as a favorite
Steelers are 2-6 ATS vs. a team with a losing record
Bengals are 5-1 ATS in their last six games as a home underdog
Steelers are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine meetings in Cincinnati
Steelers are 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings
Road teams are 12-4-1 ATS in the last 17 meetings between the two teams
Monday Night Football NFL Picks and Predictions: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals disastrous season has a chance for redemption at home against Pittsburgh. Heavy public action has moved the line close to a full touchdown. The public is weary of a Cincinnati team that has awful losses this season at home against Miami and Tampa Bay and at Cleveland. Cincinnati has lost to those three teams and Atlanta. In comparison, Pittsburgh is 4-0 against those same teams. This will be Big Ben’s third game back in the lineup and he and his receivers should be at midseason form by now, especially against a weakened Cincinnati secondary. Take the Steelers giving the points.
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