Steelers vs. Bengals odds: Pittsburgh’s line has narrowed ahead of game day

Cincinnati Bengals defense stops Pittsburgh Steelers. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals defense stops Pittsburgh Steelers. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports /

The Steelers are favored over the Bengals in Week 10, but here’s why their betting odds have narrowed.

After an aggravating performance against the Dallas Cowboys last Week, oddsmakers won’t soon make the same mistake by making the Steelers 14.5-point favorites – no matter who they are currently matched up against. While the Cincinnati Bengals aren’t exactly the cream of the crop, Pittsburgh is coming off their two worst games of the season.

Fortunately, they were able to take care of business in both Baltimore and Dallas, but it wasn’t easy and both games came down to the finals seconds. Now, oddsmakers were tasked with setting the line for the Steelers vs. Bengals game in Week 10. Though Pittsburgh initially opened as 7.5-point favorites, courtesy of The Action Network, that line has dropped to 6.5 ahead of gameday.

Why Steelers line has narrowed

Though a one-point shift in-game odds isn’t the end of the world, you would like to see the needle move the other direction. Pittsburgh is facing a 2-5-1 Bengals team at Heinz Field and the Steelers historically have been terrific against both rookie quarterbacks and Cincinnati.

However, this isn’t the same Bengals team we are used to seeing. Admittedly, this lackluster division rival may have one of the least talented rosters in the league and they lack star power on both sides of the ball. But with Joe Burrow at quarterback, they will have a chance to win in just about every game this season.

Burrow has been terrific from the gate, considering the circumstances. He has thrown 11 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions in his first 8 games and has earned a 91.4 passer rating on the season. Remarkably, he has also averaged 284 passing yards per game so far and has passed for more than 300 yards 5 times (even topping 400 yards once this season).

Joe Burrow is significantly more talented than Andy Dalton, and he does some of his best work when the play breaks down. The Steelers defense, that struggled for much of the game against Garrett Gilbert in his first NFL start, will be tasked with slowing down Burrow in this contest.

Steelers should still win, but it could be close

Each of the past three contests for the Steelers has been decided by an average of 4.0 points per game, and they have only beaten a team by more than 10 points once out of 8 games this season (the Cleveland Browns in Week 6). Going strictly off history, Pittsburgh is unlikely to blow out the Bengals this week – as realistic as this might seem. Considering the fact that Pittsburgh’s worst play has come most recently in the season, there’s even more reason to believe this will be a close contest.

However, Pittsburgh does own the matchups in this one. Their talented defensive line will face off against one of the worst offensive lines in the league, and Burrow could be under duress for much of the contest. Additionally, Cincinnati’s front seven has been one of the worst in the league so far and their pressure rate on opposing quarterbacks has been embarrassingly bad.

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At the end of the day, I still think the Steelers will emerge as victors, but don’t expect the blowout we’ve been waiting to see. This is still a division rival with a very talented young quarterback, and this could be another game that isn’t decided until the closing seconds.