The Bengals are in for a tough matchup when they host the Steelers on Monday Night Football, and it appears the oddsmakers and experts agree on that. It isn’t that hard to believe that no one if giving Cincinnati a chance when they have to field either Brandon Allen or Ryan Finley and Pittsburgh will have Ben Roethlisberger with all day to throw.
Here is a look at exactly how far off the oddsmakers and experts think this game is.
The Bengals are currently 13-point underdogs to the Steelers at home, according to Bovada. The last time these teams met Pittsburgh won 36-10, and that was when this team had Joe Burrow under center still. Now we aren’t even sure if Brandon Allen will be available. Anything can happen, and that is why they play the game. However, a really motivated Steeler team that has already blown this team out was undoubtedly going to be an overwhelming favorite on Monday Night Football.
- Cincinnati are 1-4 against the spread in their last five games.
- The total has gone under in four of Cincinnati’s last five games.
- Cincinnati are 0-5 straight up in their last five games.
- The total has gone under in four of Cincinnati’s last five games against Pittsburgh.
- Cincinnati are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games at home.
- Cincinnati are 0-7 straight up in their last seven games when playing at home against Pittsburgh.
- Cincinnati are 1-8 straight up in their last nine games this season.
- The total has gone over in four of Cincinnati’s last five games against an opponent in the AFC.
- The total has gone over in five of Cincinnati’s last six games against an opponent in the AFC North.
- Cincinnati are 1-5 against the spread in their last six games played in December.
- Pittsburgh are 2-4 against the spread in their last six games.
- The total has gone under in five of Pittsburgh’s last six games.
- Pittsburgh are 11-2 straight up in their last 13 games.
- Pittsburgh are 5-1 straight up in their last six games on the road.
- Pittsburgh are 6-2 against the spread in their last eight games against an opponent in the AFC.
- The total has gone under in 10 of Pittsburgh’s last 15 games against an opponent in the AFC North.
- Pittsburgh are 0-6 against the spread in their last six games played in December.
- All 10 of ESPN’s experts are taking the Steelers
- SB Nation has one of their 10 experts taking the Bengals
- Non of CBS Sports’ experts went with Cincinnati
- NFL Pick Watch, which takes into account picks from across the web, has the Bengals receiving no picks
Outside of the one SB Nation expert clearly trying to regain ground, it is clear there is no confidence in the Bengals. It is hard to blame the experts. Cincinnati hasn’t been able to look like they were actually in danger of winning any of their past three games, and that has plenty to do with the offensive struggles after Burrow going down. Next week may be the last time experts even consider taking the Bengals when they face the Texans.
My prediction is this is going to be ugly. The Steelers may be on a two-game losing streak, but that signals to me how motivated they will be to beat up on a lesser Bengals team. This game would’ve been a little more interesting if players like Burrow, Joe Mixon and Jonah Williams were all healthy on offense, but you get what you get.
We can talk about what miracles it would take for the Bengals to get a win this week. First, the Steelers will have to continue to struggle protecting the ball. Roethlisberger has tossed a few questionable passes the past two weeks, and those turnovers opened the door for the upsets Pittsburgh suffered. Cincinnati needs to capitalize on those opportunities by not only intercepting the passes, but by also making sure they return them for touchdowns. They probably need at least two scores combined from defense and special teams.
Even if that happens, the Bengals offense will have to be able to score a couple times on their own, which has been a real chore. This offense hasn’t scored more than 10 points in the past three games. That simply isn’t going to be enough to get it done this week against an offense that has all the ability in the world to throw the ball deep.
The odds are stacked against the Bengals, but sometimes inferior teams can get up for games like this to try and salvage a season. It sure would be great to get a win against Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football.