Bengals vs Steelers: Monday Night Football Full Betting Preview

Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown celebrating
Can Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown get a win in Cincinnati? (By Keith Allison (Flickr) CC License)

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The Week 13 edition of Monday Night Football (December 4th) sees the Pittsburgh Steelers take to the road against the Cincinnati Bengals. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 PM ET at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. The weather is expected to be cloudy and 56° Fahrenheit for the majority of the game, with about a 50-percent chance for rain come the fourth quarter and winds reaching 13mph. Here is your full betting preview, with advice for the moneyline, the spread, the game total, and a few favorable props.

Injury Reports

CINCINNATI BENGALS

Cincinnati Bengals injury report

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Pittsburgh Steelers injury report

Bengals vs Steelers Team Stats

BENGALS vs STEELERS

Bengals vs Steelers team stats

BENGALS OFFENSE vs STEELERS DEFENSE

Bengals offense vs Steelers defense stats

STEELERS OFFENSE vs BENGALS DEFENSE

Steelers offense vs Bengals defense stats

Bengals vs Steelers Game Preview

On Monday Night Football in Week 13, the 9-2 Pittsburgh Steelers look to hold onto the top seed in the AFC when they head to Cincinnati to take on the 5-6 Bengals, who are fighting to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Cincinnati will also be seeking to avenge its 29-14 loss in Pittsburgh back in Week 7.

The difference in the first meeting was two second-half Andy Dalton interceptions, and Cincinnati choosing not to give Joe Mixon a single carry after the break, even though he rumbled for 48 yards on seven carries in the first half. Pittsburgh was able to bottle up AJ Green, holding him to just 41 yards on three receptions, and no other Bengal (who was given the opportunity) could make a play. Unfortunately for the Steelers, they won’t have Joe Haden to throw at Green this time around. Facing a receiver of Green’s caliber without Haden is bad news for a Pittsburgh secondary that has given up passing touchdowns of 39 yards, 54 yards, 55 yards, 75 yards, 60 yards, and 61 yards over their last three weeks.

AJ Green wasn’t the only star receiver who didn’t perform to expectations in that game. Antonio Brown had a pretty quiet day for the Steelers, only hauling in four of his ten targets for 65 yards, though he did at least find the endzone. This isn’t out of the norm for Brown against the Bengals. The former sixth-round pick only averages 74.1 receiving yards per game vs Cincinnati (compared to 85.5 receiving yards per game for his career), and has just five touchdowns in 14 games (compared to 53 touchdowns in his other 98 career games). But even an Antonio Brown who doesn’t record 100-plus receiving yards in a game is still incredibly valuable on the field. Pittsburgh may find out just how valuable he is to their offense this Monday night, as Brown is in jeopardy of missing the game. If the five-time Pro Bowl receiver is forced to sit out with a toe injury, JuJu Smith-Schuster will have to step up as Ben Roethlisberger’s go-to pass-catcher.

On the bright side for Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger has been dominating the Bengals since long before Brown entered the league in 2010. Big Ben’s impressive 53-18 record against the AFC North is not just a result of the Cleveland Browns (whom he is 22-2 against), but also the Bengals, whom Roethlisberger possesses a 20-7 record against. The five-time Super Bowl champion will have the services of his workhorse running back, Le’Veon Bell, without question. With Bell, who totaled 192 yards from scrimmage in their Week 7 clash, the Steelers are 5-1 against their division rivals. In order for Cincinnati to exorcise its demons against Roethlisberger on Monday night, they’ll have to slow Bell and force Big Ben to put the ball in the air, hopefully not to Antonio Brown.

Even if the Bengals’ fifth-ranked pass defense can force a stinker from Ben on the road (where his passer rating is 10.2 points lower than at home), they’ll still need to find a way to put points on the board, which hasn’t been easy for them this season. Cincinnati ranks dead last in total yards and 25th in points scored this season. This is largely thanks to the pitiful offensive line Andy Dalton has in front of him. The Bengals line have struggled to open holes for running backs and have allowed their pivot to be sacked 28 times this season. This is a troublesome thought when preparing to play a Steelers defense that ranks sixth in DVOA against the run and has recorded 38 sacks on the year (second-most).

This game will be decided by who can overcome their biggest obstacle: Big Ben on the road or the Bengals line against anyone.

Bengals vs Steelers Betting Opportunities

Betting the Bengals vs Steelers Moneyline

BEST BENGALS MONEYLINE: +200

While some online betting sites have the Bengals odds as low as +185, you can find a lot more value by heading to MyBookie.

BEST STEELERS MONEYLINE: -225

You can find these odds at multiple betting sites, including BetOnline.

BENGALS STRAIGHT UP TRENDS

  • CIN is 3-2 SU at home this season
  • Since 2015, CIN is 1-2 SU as a home underdog
  • CIN is 2-2 SU in divisional games this season
  • Since 2011, CIN is 21-20 SU vs the AFC North
  • Since 2011, CIN is 20-27 SU as an underdog (fifth-best in NFL in that time)

*2011 is when Andy Dalton entered the league.

STEELERS STRAIGHT UP TRENDS

  • PIT is 5-1 SU on the road this season
  • PIT is 4-1 SU as a road favorite this season
  • Since 2013, PIT is 16-7 SU as a road favorite
  • Since 2013, PIT is 40-15 SU as a favorite
  • Since 2013, PIT is 20-9 SU vs the AFC North

*2013 is when Le’Veon Bell joined the Steelers, forming the Killer Bs.

HEAD-TO-HEAD STRAIGHT UP TRENDS

  • PIT is 5-0 SU vs CIN in their last five meetings
  • PIT is 8-1 vs CIN in their last nine meetings
  • PIT is 15-2 SU in their last 17 games at CIN
  • PIT is 61-35 SU all-time vs CIN

EXPERT MONEYLINE ADVICE: STEELERS (-225)

Although Ben Roethlisberger has experienced his troubles on the road throughout his career, Pittsburgh has still won four consecutive road games this year, and are currently riding a six game winning streak. A big factor in these wins have been the Steelers defense, who is allowing just 15.8 points per game on the road this season. Sure, not many of Pittsburgh’s opponents on the road have been offensive juggernauts, but neither is Cincinnati – 25th in points scored.

TJ Watt and the rest of the Steelers pass-rush will get to Andy Dalton and consistently set their offense up with favorable field position. Even if AJ Green does get behind the Pittsburgh secondary for a long touchdown, it will likely be Cincinnati’s sole source of offense.

Betting the Bengals vs Steelers Against the Spread

BEST BENGALS SPREAD: +6 (-110)

This spread is available at Bovada.

BEST STEELERS SPREAD: -4.5 (-117)

SportsBetting.ag is offering this spread, but you can also find the Steelers -5 with -110 odds at TopBet.

BENGALS AGAINST THE SPREAD TRENDS

  • CIN is 6-5 ATS this season
  • CIN is 3-0 ATS in their last three games
  • CIN is 2-3 ATS at home this season
  • CIN is 2-2 ATS vs the AFC North this season
  • Since 2011, CIN is 26-18-3 ATS as an underdog (sixth-best in NFL during that time)

STEELERS AGAINST THE SPREAD TRENDS

  • PIT is 6-5 ATS this season
  • PIT is 1-2 ATS in their last three games
  • PIT is 3-3 ATS this season on the road
  • Since 2013, PIT is 12-10-1 ATS as a road favorite
  • Since 2013, PIT is 16-11-2 ATS vs the AFC North (sixth-best in NFL during that time)

HEAD-TO-HEAD AGAINST THE SPREAD TRENDS

  • PIT is 4-1 ATS vs CIN in their last five meetings
  • PIT is 4-2 ATS in their last six at CIN
  • PIT is 4-3 ATS vs CIN in last seven where they are favorite

EXPERT AGAINST THE SPREAD ADVICE: BENGALS +6

Ben Roethlisberger has won a lot in The Jungle, but the last two meetings at Paul Brown Stadium have been decided by a combined six points. The Steelers secondary has given up big plays through the air to the Brett Hundley-led Packers and Jacoby Brissett-led Colts recently. Odds are Andy Dalton and AJ Green hook up for a big one, and it’s too difficult to trust Big Ben to score too many points on the road, especially if he’s playing without Antonio Brown.

Bengals vs Steelers Totals Betting

BEST OVER ODDS: 43 (-110)

This total is available at GT Bets.

BEST UNDER ODDS: 43 (-105)

Under bettors have the option of taking better odds with a 43-point total at Bovada, or get an extra half-point at TopBet for -110 odds.

BENGALS TOTALS TRENDS

  • The OVER is 5-6 in CIN games this season
  • The OVER is 2-3 in CIN home games this season
  • The OVER is 2-2 in CIN divisional games this season
  • Since 2011, the OVER is 18-23 in CIN divisional games
  • Since 2011, the OVER is 7-6 in CIN home games where they are underdogs

STEELERS TOTALS TRENDS

  • The OVER is 3-8 in PIT games this season
  • The OVER is 2-0 in PIT’s last two games
  • The OVER is 0-6 in PIT road games this season
  • Since 2013, the OVER is 11-30 in PIT road games (league-worst in that time)
  • Since 2013, the OVER is 22-32-1 in games where PIT is favorite (third-worst in NFL during that time)

HEAD-TO-HEAD TOTALS TRENDS

  • The UNDER is 5-2 in their last seven meetings
  • The UNDER is 6-1 in the last seven when PIT is favorite
  • The UNDER is 4-2 in the last six at CIN

EXPERT TOTALS ADVICE: UNDER 43 (-105)

Pittsburgh’s offense disappoints far too often on the road, and may have to play this one without Antonio Brown, or at best, a hampered Antonio Brown. And even a healthy Brown hasn’t been able to overcome this Bengals secondary throughout his career. In 14 career games against Cincinnati, Brown has only recorded two games with more than 100 receiving yards, and has failed to post more than 87 in their last five meetings.

These two teams play far too physical when they’re on the field together. The UNDER is a good bet whether Brown plays or not.

Bengals vs Steelers Prop Betting

These are not the only prop bets you can make, rather a few that grabbed our attention. All of the listed props were taken from Bovada.

Prop bet from Bovada

EXPERT PICK: FIELD GOAL OR SAFETY (+110)

Neither of these teams are very efficient in the red zone. Cincinnati ranks 17th in red zone touchdown percentage (53.3-percent) and Pittsburgh is 28th, only punching the ball in on 46.5-percent of their red zone trips. Meanwhile, the Bengals defense ranks first in opponent red zone touchdown percentage, only allowing 39.4-percent of their opponent’s red zone trips to end with a major. Pittsburgh is also decent at locking up when their back is against the wall, preventing teams from scoring touchdowns on 50-percent of their red zone trips.

A field goal is a solid bet here with plus odds.

Total field goals prop from Bovada.

EXPERT PICK: OVER 3.5 (-110)

For all the reasons listed in the first prop, and adding in the fact that these are two reliable kickers (both over 84-percent on field goal attempts this season), this one is screaming OVER.

Longest touchdown prop from Bovada.

EXPERT PICK: OVER 38.5 (-115)

I know I just spent the first two props telling you there will be plenty of field goals kicked early and often, but there will be at least one touchdown scored in this game, and it’s likely to come on a big play. As previously mentioned, the Steelers have given up six passing touchdowns longer than 38 yards over the last three weeks, and five of them were from at least 54 yards out. AJ Green is one of the best deep threats in the league, and Andy Dalton isn’t afraid to chuck it up to him. Throw in the speed of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant for the Steelers, and we’re bound to see at least one big play that goes for a touchdown.