Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cincinnati Bengals

Market Watch

Last week, the Bengals were -3 point favorites in the LVH look-ahead line. After the disaster in Pittsburgh, it  re-opened at -6! Usually, we'd see some buyback on the Steelers because they are one of the most 'public' teams in the NFL, but they looked so brutal that the money continues to come in on the Bengals.  Right now, 70 percent of the bets are on the home team.

The current line is -7, but you can find -6.5 if you shop around. I'd say this is a pretty accurate line when you consider the injuries for the Steelers, but I'm not sure if a play on the Bengals is a no-brainer.

FULL ANALYSIS

Bottom Line

Everyone is high on the Bengals this season. Unlike some of the other teams around the league, Cincy is fully deserving of the hype. They are now taxing defenses by using a majority of two tight-end sets, and they have the second best wide receiver on the outside. Their defensive line is going to give the Steelers front some trouble, and Big Ben is already feeling the effects of a limited receiving core. Wallace is in Miami, Miller is still on the mend, and there is no running game in sight.

Having said all that, let's consider three key factors. First, it's never a good idea to count out Roethlisberger. Second, Dick Lebeau's schemes can give any offense problems. And finally, the Steelers were embarrassed in Week 1. Now they must bounce back on national TV in prime-time under the bright lights. We should see their very best effort in this spot.

As much as I like the Bengals, and the mismatches in their favor, I'm going to pass at this number. If you like the Bengals and bank on them to cover, I'm certainly not going to argue against it. Instead, I'm going to stay conservative and tease them down to -.5 /-1, essentially making it a 'pick em'.