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Free NFL Pick From Linebacker: Steelers vs Bengals

Steelers vs Bengals Free NFL Pick

In their first of two meetings this season, the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Cincinnati to take on the division-leading Bengals. The 4-1 Bengals are currently 2.5-point favorites over their AFC North rival. Linebacker predicts a different outcome, however, with a projected score of 29.6 - 28.0 in favor of the Steelers. Linebacker suggests a $95 wager on Pittsburgh +2.5 for a $100 average bettor.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals (CIN -2.5, O/U 53)

Why will Pittsburgh cover the spread?

  • Pittsburgh’s vaunted passing game should torch a Bengals secondary allowing 277 yards per game (T-9th most in NFL). Ben Roethlisberger is fourth in the NFL in passing attempts (215) and passing yards per game (333).
  • Cincinnati’s run defense has been equally shaky. It’s allowed the 10th-most rushing yards per game (118.2) and 10th-most yards per carry (4.5) in the NFL.
  • TJ Watt (6.0) and the Steelers defense (19.0) currently lead the NFL in sacks. Starting C Billy Price will miss his fourth straight week for Cincinnati. The Bengals have allowed seven of their nine sacks this season with Price on the sidelines.
  • Cincinnati’s offense enters fourth in the NFL in scoring (30.6 ppg) but has lost some key weapons. Tyler Eifert and Giovani Bernard will both miss Sunday’s contest, while Eifert’s replacement Tyler Kroft was seen in a boot Wednesday. 2017 first-round pick John Ross is also questionable after missing last week’s game with a groin injury.
  • Without Eifert, Ross and Bernard last week, the Bengals offense managed just 332 total yards at home against a Dolphins team ranked 22nd in total defense. Cincinnati’s defense outscored the offense, accounting for 14 of the team’s 27 points.

How to bet the total in Steelers @ Bengals:

Linebacker projects a final score of 29.6 - 28.0, coming in above the current OVER/UNDER line of 53. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh both enter Sunday’s matchup in the top five in the NFL in scoring, so both offenses are capable of putting up points. Linebacker suggests a wager of $65 on the OVER for a $100 average bettor.

Need-to-know stats for Steelers @ Bengals:

  • 26-for-41 (63.4%), 290 passing yards – Big Ben has averaged over 40 pass attempts per game this season, and Linebacker projects him to exceed that total once again. The 290 passing yards would be his fewest since Week 2, but Roethlisberger’s 20th-ranked completion percentage (64.2% in 2018) should keep his yardage down even with a high number of attempts.
  • 21 touches, 109.8 total yards – James Conner busted out last week with 185 total yards on 25 touches against the Falcons. The Bengals have allowed the eighth-most yards per game to opposing RBs this season (157.8), so Linebacker projects Conner to break through the century mark once again.
  • 5 receptions, 70 yards, 0.53 TDs – AJ Green should have a solid outing against a Pittsburgh secondary allowing 296 passing yards per game. There’s also a good chance he reaches pay dirt, as he averaged 0.53 touchdowns per game in Linebacker’s simulations.