Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals Point Spread – Pick

Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2 SU, 6-5 ATS) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (5-6 SU, 6-5 ATS)
Week 13 NFL
Date/Time: Monday Night Football, December 4, 2017 at 8:30PM EST
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: PIT -6/CIN +6
Over/Under Total: 43

The Pittsburgh Steelers come to Paul Brown Stadium to face the Cincinnati Bengals in an AFC North division matchup on Monday Night Football. On Sunday, the Bengals moved to 5-6 with a 30-16 win over the Cleveland Browns. The win was their second in a row and if they could get back to .500 this week against their divisional foes, it would really be a big deal for a team that hasn’t seen much go right up until a few weeks ago. Still, they host a tough Steelers team that won their sixth game in a row on Sunday Night Football with a 31-28 road-win over the Green Bay Packers. They had to dig deep against a surprisingly-tough Packers, but they got the job done and that’s what counts. In the first game between these divisional foes this season at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh got a big game from Le’Veon Bell and the “D” kept Cincy off the board the entire second half to win going away, 29-14. Cincinnati hopes for better on MNF with a lot on the line.

The Bengals scoring a 20-17 win over the flailing Broncos and the winless Browns hardly constitutes a revival of a once-consistent franchise that has fallen on hard times. But it still gives them some confidence and slight sliver of hope. They got a nice and balanced performance on offense. The defense was vulnerable in giving up over 400 yards to the Browns’ offense, but kept them from converting it into touchdowns until the fourth quarter with some nice red-zone defense along the way. An offense that has struggled all season looked a lot better, while their sterling pass-defense again surfaced. They look for more of that this week at home in this difficult spot.

On offense, Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton has been a lot better over the past few weeks. He hasn’t thrown a pick in five games and has 5 TD throws in the last two games. On Sunday, he hit WR Tyler Boyd and TE Tyler Kroft with TD passes, also connecting well with top receiver AJ Green. They got a big assist from RB Joe Mixon, who ran for 114 yards and a TD, along with 51 yards receiving. We’ve started to see a maligned offensive line starting to play better, with Dalton better-protected over the last few weeks and the run-game coming to life. Again, with how badly they have looked at times this season, they will take good signs in any form they come. Things should be a lot tougher against the Pittsburgh defense this week, but at least they’re heading in the right direction.

The Bengals’ defense has given up a combined 33 points in their last two games and enter this matchup with some decent momentum. Up-front, they have been exposed by the run this season, but they can still make plays and get after quarterbacks with Geno Atkins, Michael Johnson, Carl Lawson, and Carlos Dunlap. They were all getting after the QB on Sunday. In the middle, Vontaze Burfict is a difference-maker and has a deep history against the Steelers. With Dre Kirkpatrick and Adam Jones at the corners, they have forged a pretty strong pass-defense this season. Even with the support on the other side of the ball being thin more often than not, they are still giving up under 20 points a game on average.

Pittsburgh was underwhelming as 14-point favorites on Sunday night, needing a 53-yard field goal from Chris Boswell as time ran out to seal the deal. Still, it was another clutch performance for a team that has really started piling up the wins, tied with the Patriots for the best record in the AFC. On Sunday, Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell had big games, though two interceptions and a Bell fumble helped keep a game close that Pittsburgh dominated across different areas, namely with 462 yards of offense and 28 first downs.


Roethlisberger was erratic with the two picks, but he made up for it with four touchdowns on 351 yards passing. The line helped keep Big Ben working in a relatively-clean pocket, while helping spring the rung-game. Bell had the fumble, but was otherwise dynamic with 95 yards rushing and 12 catches for 88 yards receiving. WR Antonio Brown was excellent on the day with 10 catches and 159 yards receiving with two touchdowns. He has five touchdowns in the last two games and 1195 yards receiving through 11 games. They were without JuJu Smith-Schuster, who they are hoping to have back soon. Martavis Bryant is working his way out the doghouse and had 4 catches on Sunday.

Sunday wasn’t the best showing for a Pittsburgh defense that was undermined by the other side of the ball. With an offense that has struggled to kick it into gear, the defense has really been the best part of the team in a lot of ways. They are very balanced and before Green Bay scored 28 on them, they had given up 18 or fewer points in 8 of their first ten games and had been especially stout of late. On Sunday, Cameron Heyward had two sacks, with TJ Watt adding another. They might be the best-rounded defense in the conference, with an improving line, a tough second level, and a secondary that has them giving up just 193 yards a game through the air.

The 29-14 result the Steelers got over the Bengals in their first game on October 22 might not be the most accurate roadmap for the purposes of this game. The Bengals haven’t lost at home since week two. This is their second of three straight home games and a good time for them to try to salvage something. Pittsburgh is 9-2, which doesn’t suggest a lack of dependability. But with some strange results this season, they aren’t an altogether-solid wagering proposition even at this level sometimes. I see a gallant Bengals stand this week, as they keep the Steelers within distance.

Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Cincinnati Bengals plus 6 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and betting the Steelers vs. Bengals game at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you’ll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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