Mon, Oct 14, 2019

One of the NFL’s most heated rivalries renews on Monday Night Football when the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cincinnati Bengals in a battle of winless AFC North clubs. Kickoff from Heinz Field comes at 8:15 p.m. ET. Both franchises are mired in a transitional phase. The Bengals (0-3) were expected to struggle amid relatively high roster turnover in their first year after bidding farewell to longtime coach Marvin Lewis. Zac Taylor was hired to be the 10th coach in the franchise’s history. The Steelers (0-3) were projected to be competitive despite the offseason departures of two offensive superstars in Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. But the season-ending injury to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has sent their trajectory toward a rebuilding year. Pittsburgh is a 3.5-point favorite and the over-under for total points scored is 45 in the latest Bengals vs. Steelers odds. Before making your Steelers vs. Bengals picks, look at the NFL predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up more than $7,000 for $100 players on its top-rated NFL picks since its inception four years ago. It has absolutely nailed its recent top-rated NFL picks, entering Week 4 of the 2019 NFL season on a strong 17-10 run that dates back to last season. It’s also on a 79-53 roll on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season. And in Week 3, it was all over the Saints (+5) without Drew Brees covering against the Seahawks and Daniel Jones leading the Giants (+5) to the cover against the Bucs.

The model also ranked in the top 10 on NFLPickWatch.com for the third straight year on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 96 percent of CBS Sports office pool players. Anyone who has followed it is way up.

Now, the model has dialed in on Steelers vs. Bengals on Monday Night Football. We can tell you it is leaning under, and it’s also generated an against the spread pick that cashes in over 50 percent of simulations. That one is only available at SportsLine. 

The model knows the Steelers were blown out by the Patriots in Week 1, but have seen their last two losses come by six combined points. They had a chance to win last week’s turnover-filled contest against the 49ers, who scored a touchdown in the waning moments to prevail 24-20.

The game marked the first career start at quarterback for Mason Rudolph, who will lead the team for the rest of the season while Roethlisberger is sidelined with an elbow injury. The Oklahoma State product finished 14-of-27 for 174 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He showed plenty of accuracy on several downfield throws, highlighted by a 76-yard touchdown pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster in the third quarter. Pittsburgh’s patchwork defense allowed 436 yards of total offense but forced five turnovers, including two interceptions of Jimmy Garoppolo

Even so, Pittsburgh is far from a sure thing to cover the Bengals vs. Steelers spread against a Cincinnati club that is similarly hungry for its first win of the season.

The Bengals have two close losses sandwiched around a blowout defeat to the 49ers. They fell 21-17 on the road to the Bills last week. But similar to their 21-20 Week 1 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, they showed poise after falling behind early and nearly pulled the upset. They overcame a 14-0 halftime deficit to take a 17-14 lead on a 43-yard field goal from Randy Bullock in the fourth quarter.

Buffalo responded with a 71-yard drive and scored a go-ahead touchdown with 1:50 left before the Bengals saw their final drive end in a turnover. Cincinnati scored touchdowns on both of its trips to the red zone. Dalton threw for 250 yards and had a rushing touchdown to go along with a one-yard TD pass to Joe Mixon.

So who wins Bengals vs. Steelers on Monday Night Football? And which side of the spread can you bank on in over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Steelers vs. Bengals spread to jump on Monday, all from the advanced model that is up more than $7,000 on its top-rated NFL picks, and find out. 

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