Sunday’s Steelers at Bengals betting total is just 36.5 points so fans of offense may want to avoid watching this contest. QB issues are plaguing both Pittsburgh (6-4) and Cincinnati (5-5) and a 100% chance of rain at Paycor Stadium means the first team to 13 points might come out on top here – if it even takes 13 points.
The Steelers are -2.5 road favorites at a Cincinnati club that has lost two in a row. This line opened with the Bengals being a 1 point favorite, but the spread is on the move with 59% of bettors liking Pittsburgh on the road.
Why the Steelers Have Value at -2.5
Pittsburgh should be a bit energized as they just (finally) fired offensive coordinator Matt Canada on Tuesday, replacing him with running backs coach Eddie Faulkner. There’s a lot of unknowns that come with a change like that midseason, but can the Steelers really be any worse off considering they rank 30th in the league in passing yards (170) and 28th in scoring (16.6 ppg).
The Steelers don’t throw the ball very well, but on a rainy day in Cincinnati that wasn’t going to really be an option anyway. The weather plays well to Pittsburgh’s strength which is their ground game that ranks 16th in the NFL. RB Najee Harris refused to talk to the media this week but should be reinvigorated with the firing of Canada while fellow RB Jaylen Warren has stacked up consecutive 100+ yard games.
Maybe you’re not necessarily betting on Pittsburgh in this matchup, but against Cincinnati. The Bengals lost Joe Burrow for the season last Thursday in a loss to Baltimore, and now go with Jake Browning in his first NFL start against a defense that can get to you led by T.J. Watt (11.5 sacks).
Why the Bengals Have Value at +2.5
Losing Burrow is not ideal for the Bengals, but Cincinnati was also just 5-5 with their star QB this season. Browning has had a week to work with the starters and while the Steelers defense gets a lot of hype, they are still just 27th in the NFL in total yards allowed and 23rd vs both the pass and run.
Browning can lean on his running game on Sunday, and Joe Mixon is dialed in with a TD in four straight games (3 rush, 1 reception). Mixon had 16 carries for 69 yards vs the Ravens, but maybe the Cincinnati offense will look better with more reliance on the ground game.
Browning is an unknown in his first NFL start, but maybe he’s better to back than the known of Kenny Pickett for the Steelers. The Pittsburgh defense allowed just 13 points last week in Cleveland, but they still lost 13-10 to Dorian Thompson-Robinson making his second career start at QB.
Free Week 12 Steelers at Bengals Betting Pick
It feels like the side could go either way in this rivalry matchup, so really the only play to make on a rainy day is on the under. This game has 13-10 written all over it on a rainy day with two question marks at QB.
Free Pick: Under 36.5