NFL Week 6 Betting Preview: Steelers at Bengals

Renowned professional sports handicapper Ross Benjamin breaks down Sunday’s AFC North showdown between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, and he does so from a betting perspective.

The Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1) and Cincinnati Bengals (4-1) will meet on Sunday in what’s recently developed into a bitter AFC North Division rivalry. The opening kickoff time at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati is slated for 1:00 PM ET. Currently (10/11), the NFL betting odds at Bookmaker is showing Cincinnati as a 2.5-point favorite.

Recent Series History

Pittsburgh has dominated their head to head series with Cincinnati of late. The Steelers have been victorious in 9 of the last 10 played against the Bengals, and that includes winning 6 straight times. Furthermore, Pittsburgh has won their previous 5 games played at Paul Brown Stadium. These teams have witnessed 10 of their last 14 meetings go under the total. By the way, BetOnline has a posted total of 52.5 on this game.

Steelers 2018 Season Resume

Steelers Bengals previewAfter starting the season by going 1-2-1, Pittsburgh rebounded with last Sunday’s resounding 41-17 home win over Atlanta. That contest went over the enormous total of 57.0. It’s also worth noting, the Steelers have gone 12-0 straight up in its last 12 games following a win by 22 points or more, and all those contests came with Mike Tomlin as their head coach. It’s hard to ignore those extremely successful results considering they’re an underdog this week.

The Steelers have racked up some impressive offensive numbers thus far in 2018 while averaging 28.6 points and 405.0 yards per game. However, their defensive play has been a genuine concern. Pittsburgh’s stop unit is surrendering a lofty 26.6 points and 401.2 yards per contest. Hence, Sunday denotes the 5th time in their first 6 games that they’ll see a total of 51.5 or greater. Pittsburgh has exceeded the total in 4 of their 5 games in 2018.

2018 Bengals to Date

AFC North free pickCincinnati has roared out to a 4-1 start and presently sits atop the AFC North Division standings. The Bengals will enter this week on a modest 2-game win streak, prevailing at Atlanta 37-36 two weeks ago, and then following that up with a come from behind 27-17 home victory over Miami. Cincinnati was able to overcome a 14-0 halftime deficit against the Dolphins, and that includes outscoring them 24-0 during 4th quarter action.

The good news for Bengals backers is their team is averaging a robust 30.6 points scored per game. The bad news is Cincinnati’s defense is giving up 26.0 points and 394.8 yards per outing. It then shouldn’t be shocking to find out that they’ve gone over the total in 4 of its 5 games in 2018.

Road Warriors

Pittsburgh has gone a fruitful 13-2-1 straight up during its last 16 road games. That’s hard to ignore when considering they’re an underdog at Cincinnati on Sunday. Additionally, they’ve gone 23-7 under the total in their previous 30 away tilts.

Bengals at Home

Cincinnati has seen 16 of their last 23 home games stay under the total. Moreover, they’ve gone under in 6 straight at home after playing its previous game at Paul Brown Stadium. Furthermore, Cincinnati has gone under in their last 5 at home when their point-spread is +3.0 to -3.0 and the total is 43.5 or greater. Those 5 contests averaged just a combined 38.6 points scored per game.

NFL Betting Angle

Since 2014, any team (Pittsburgh) coming off a win by 10 points or more, and they’re facing an opponent (Cincinnati) that trailed by 14 points or greater at the half of its previous game, resulted in those teams going 45-12 (78.9%) straight up. Those straight up results take on added significance since it supports the road underdog Steelers in this contest. This betting algorithm was a key factor when making one of my NFL Week 6 picks.

Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers +2.5

Ross Benjamin Free Pick

Ross Benjamin is a top sports analyst and one of the sports industry's most respected handicappers. Follow him on Twitter: @RossBenjamin1 or visit his website at