The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without starting center Maurkice Pouncey for Sunday’s divisional matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. Pouncey’s suspension was upheld by the NFL earlier this week for his involvement in the brawl between Myles Garrett and Mason Rudolph last Thursday. Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and running back James Conner will also not play on Sunday as the Steelers’ top two offensive weapons are sidelined with injuries. Cincinnati’s offense has struggled all season and is averaging just 14.7 points per game, third-fewest in the NFL. After winning four straight to vault back into the playoff picture, Pittsburgh must rebound to a painful 21-7 loss last Thursday to the Cleveland Browns. The Bengals will try to play spoiler and are the only winless team in the league at 0-10.
We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for this matchup between AFC North rivals.
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Steelers vs. Bengals Game Details
*All odds are courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook
This line opened at Steelers -7 and has been bet down off the key number to Steelers -6.5 and even -6 at some books, according to VegasInsider.com. The action is split with the Steelers receiving 52% of the bets and the Bengals getting 60% of the money, according to The Action Network. This indicates a slight reverse line movement favoring Denver.
The total opened at 35 and has been bet up slightly to 36.5 or 37 at most books with 72% of the bets and 73% of the money coming in on the over.
- Steelers are 6-4 ATS this season
- Bengals are 4-6 ATS this season
- Under is 7-3 in Steelers games this season
- Under is 7-3 in Bengals games this season
- Under is 4-0 in Steelers road games this season
- Bengals are 0-4 ATS at home this season
- Over is 3-1 in Bengals home games this season
*All trends are courtesy of Covers
Analysis & Picks
It’s hard to make a case to back either team here. The Bengals offense has been an absolute disaster this season. Ryan Finley has not played well in relief of long-time starting quarterback Andy Dalton with just 282 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in two games since taking over. The Steelers defense is one of the best units in the NFL and I don’t expect Cincinnati to have much success moving the football. On the flip side, the Steelers are shorthanded again on offense and will be without their best two playmakers in Smith-Schuster and Conner. The Steelers won this game 27-3 earlier this season with both of those players in the lineup. I think it’s safe to say fewer points will be scored this time around, which means the under is a very safe play here. Look to play it at all three levels, especially the first quarter and first half.
PICK: Under 37.5 (-110)
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith