Betting Pittsburgh-Cincinnati

Despite an easy early-season schedule, value is on the Bengals

Originally Published: October 21, 2012
By Jeff Gold | ESPN Insider

Ben RoethlisbergerJustin Edmonds/Getty ImagesCan Ben Roethlisberger get the Pittsburgh Steelers back on the right track?

The last article I wrote -- for Thursday night's 49ers-Seahawks game -- turned out to be a preview for one of the most epic gambling finishes ever (here's hoping you had the Seahawks). Let's see if the Sunday night matchup can provide a memorable ending as well.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been an every-other-week team this year, both straight up and against the spread. They've had zero consistency but have managed to avoid any losing streaks. In fact, the Steelers haven't lost two straight since 2009. With the Baltimore Ravens' roster unraveling, perhaps it's time for Pittsburgh to start to make a run in the AFC North and resemble the consistent winner we're accustomed to seeing. The Steelers have injury issues of their own, however: Troy Polamalu is out, and Maurkice Pouncey, Isaac Redman and Rashard Mendenhall are all doubtful.

The Cincinnati Bengals' schedule has been comically easy, and coming off two straight defeats, their record has revealed just how mediocre this team is; they've managed a 3-3 mark against the Ravens, Browns (twice), Jaguars, Redskins and Dolphins -- teams with a collective 14-22 record.

According to ESPN Insider's PickCenter, 66.2 percent of the public is backing the Steelers to cover. Since the Steelers are one of the most popular teams, and the Bengals have approximately 22 fans in the country outside of greater Cincinnati, this isn't too surprising.

Let's get some line analysis from Jay Kornegay, the bookmaker at the Las Vegas Hotel, and some handicapping expertise with a pick on the game from Paul Bessire of PredictionMachine.com.


Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

Spread: Opened at Steelers -2.5; now Steelers -1
Total: Opened at 46, now 45.5


To read more about how to bet tonight's game between the Steelers and Bengals, become an Insider today.