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Steelers vs Bengals Monday Night Football Odds, Lines, and Spread

David Golokhov

by David Golokhov in NFL Football

Dec 20, 2020 · 3:35 PM PST

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger getting away from the Buffalo Bills defensive end A.J. Epenesa.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) scrambles away from Buffalo Bills defensive end A.J. Epenesa (57) who is blocked by offensive lineman Chukwuma Okorafor (76) during the second half of an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers will visit the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium for Monday Night Football.
  • MNF Picks Record: 1-5 ATS; 3-5 O/U; -7.0 Units.
  • The Bengals have lost five in a row by an average margin of 14.8 points per outing.

The final Monday Night Football of the year will feature the Pittsburgh Steelers visiting the Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers started the year by winning 11 straight but have since lost two in a row. The general expectation is they get the win on Monday against the hapless Bengals but can the Steelers cover a huge spread?

Steelers vs Bengals Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Pittsburgh Steelers -950 -14.5 (-108) Ov 40.0 (-110)
Cincinnati Bengals +640 +14.5 (-112) Un 40.0 (-110)

All odds as of December 20 at FanDuel

Steelers Stumbling As Playoffs Approach

For much of the season, the Steelers stood atop the AFC standings. However, with back-to-back losses in each of the last two weeks, they’ve now fallen to the No. 2 seed in the conference. One more loss will see them fall to third. The last two losses were to division-leading teams but there is greater concern in Pittsburgh.

To start, something has happened to the Steelers offense. After being an elite unit for their first 10 games, they’ve now scored 19 points or less in three straight. That’s not what you’d expect from a unit that features Ben Roethlisberger, Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson and Juju Smith-Schuster.

On the other side of the ball, the Steelers defense is still holding up strong but it’s clear that the injuries are starting to mount. Losing linebacker Devin Bush earlier in the year was brutal but it had appeared that the team had adjusted. They’ve now lost Bud Dupree as well and that’s starting to have a ripple effect on this entire unit.

The pass rush averaged 3.8 sacks per game through their first 10 contests but that’s down to 2.3 over their last three. If they can’t rush the passer, the entire dynamic of this defense changes. The good news is the Bengals have allowed the second-most sacks in the NFL, so this shouldn’t be a problem this week.

Bengals Breaking Down

The Bengals are just 2-10-1 this season and while the losses have piled up, they’ve been competitive for much of the season. Four of their first five losses were by one score. However, since losing stud rookie quarterback Joe Burrow for the season, the team is breaking down and appears to be fading.

Cincinnati will enter Monday Night Football riding a five-game losing streak and only one of those losses was by one score. Their average margin of defeat in that span is 14.8 points per game. The spread on Monday is right in that range. They’ll have to outdo recent efforts if they’re to make a game of this and cover.

What’s The Best Bet?

The Steelers have lost two in a row and while some of it is injuries, a lot of it is self-inflicted wounds. The amount of dropped passes is bordering ridiculous from this group. Tight end Eric Ebron and wideout Diontae Johnson seemingly drop passes every week. Pittsburgh also has three turnovers, two failed fourth down conversions and are just 7-of-35 on third downs.

The Bengals should serve as the exact “get-right” medicine that the Steelers need. Cincy is 10th-worst in getting off the field on third down, they allow the second-most sacks and they’ll have another new starting quarterback under center as Brandon Allen is out and Ryan Finley is in.

It won’t be pretty but Pittsburgh and/or the under are the plays here. The Steelers should win in a convincing but low-scoring affair in the 25-10 or 24-7 range.

Prediction: Steelers -14

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