The Pittsburgh Steelers believe they have their season turned around but will likely find out if that is truly the case when they host the Cincinnati Bengals at 4:25 p.m. Sunday at Acrisure Stadium. PHN readers can cash in on the DraftKings promo exclusive, too.
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The Steelers (3-6) beat the New Orleans Saints 20-10 last week coming off their bye week. That followed back-to-back losses.
The defending conference champion Bengals (5-4) have drawn within one game of the first-place Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North standings by winning five of seven games since an 0-2 start to the season. One of those losses came to the Steelers 23-20 in overtime at Cincinnati in Week 1.
Here are the Steelers odds and lines vs. Bengals at DraftKings:
Spread: Steelers +3.5 (-110), Bengals -3.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Steelers +155, Bengals -180
Over/Under: O 40 (-110), U (-110)
Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Preview
The Steelers harassed quarterback Joe Burrow and the rest of the Bengals’ offense throughout the season opener. Pittsburgh forced Cincinnati into five turnovers and sacked Burrow seven times.
However, Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt tore his left pectoral muscle in that game and the defense went downhill in a hurry without the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Watt returned to action last week and the Steelers held the Saints to 176 total yards.
That standout effort is what fuels the Steelers’ hopes that they can come on strong in the second half of the season and earn a playoff berth.
Another reason why the Steelers are so optimistic despite being three games under .500 is they finally got their running game in gear last week. They rushed for a season-best 217 yards, including 99 by Najee Harris, and four different Steelers had runs of at least 20 yards in a game for the first time since 2011.
The hope is a better running game will take some pressure off rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett. The win over the Saints was the first for Pickett in a game in which he both started and finished.
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Pickett continues to underwhelm as he has thrown two touchdown passes and been intercepted eight times in six games. However, he was solid against the Saints, completing 17 of 30 passes for 199 yards with no TDs or picks while also rushing for 51 yards.
Pickett, though, has taken six sacks in each of the last two games.
While Burrow makes the Bengals go, the Steelers will have to be cognizant of Bengals running back Joe Mixon. In his last three games against the Steelers, Mixon has averaged 112 yards rushing, though he was limited to 82 yards on 27 carries in Week 1.
The Bengals had their bye last week, which came after Mixon’s strong performance in a 42-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers. He rushed for 153 yards and four touchdowns on 22 attempts and finished with a career-best 213 scrimmage yards and five TDs.
Mixon became just the sixth NFL player in the Super Bowl era to have at least 200 total yards and five TDs in the same game.
Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Prediction
The Steelers are feeling good about themselves coming off beating the Saints. However, they might want to temper that enthusiasm a bit because New Orleans is just 3-7 and started the pedestrian Andy Dalton, perennial chum for the Steelers’ defense, at quarterback.
The Bengals are a lot better than the Saints and are coming to Pittsburgh with revenge in mind. The Steelers might want to hold off on those Super Bowl plans.
Bengals 28, Steelers 21
Pittsburgh Steelers Bets We Like
Bengals -3.5 (-110)
Over 40 (-110)
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