The Pittsburgh Steelers will look to hang on to faint playoff hopes on Sunday as they host the Cincinnati Bengals in a rematch of a wild Week 1 game that the Steelers won 23-20 in overtime.
The Week 1 loss was a bizarre game for the Bengals, as Joe Burrow threw for 338 yards but also threw four interceptions. Since that game, Burrow has been nearly impossible to stop, throwing 16 touchdowns and only two interceptions in the last eight games, the past two without superstar wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Cincinnati is coming off a bye week, but in its last game, running back Joe Mixon rushed for 153 yards and had five total touchdowns.
While the Bengals are playing much better since then, the Steelers are looking to save their season. They have split their last four games but are coming off a win against the Saints last Sunday. Since Kenny Pickett became the starter at quarterback six games ago, the Steelers are 2-4. When he throws an interception, they are 0-4. If he is able to minimize the mistakes and not put his defense in a tough situation, then the Steelers have a real chance to get a win
Caesars Sportsbook has listed the Bengals as a 4-point favorite with an over/under of 40.5.
Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
Time/TV: 4.25 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS
Point spread (from Caesars Sportsbook): Cincinnati -4
Money line: Cincinnati -205, Pittsburgh +170
Analysis: With Chase still out with injury, the Bengals have needed to look upon other star offensive players to step up. Last time out, it was Mixon who was just unstoppable with the five touchdowns. While the offense gets a lot of talk, the defensive unit in Cincinnati can be very good too. The defense has held opponents to 21 points or fewer in seven of nine games this year, and that could play a role in this game.
Pittsburgh has scored over 21 points one time this year, and that was in the Week 1 game between these teams. However, that game involved a full overtime, a Steelers pick-6 and a Bengals missed PAT at the end of regulation that would have won the game. The Steelers only had 75 rushing yards in that game, and 36 of those were by wide receiver Chase Claypool, who has since been traded to Chicago.
The Steelers have done a very nice job this year of keeping games close, and this one will be no different. However, Joe Burrow is the Bengals’ quarterback, and that will be the difference in the game.
Prediction: Bengals 24, Steelers 17