Steelers vs Bengals NFL Odds & Vegas NFL Betting Preview: Week nine of the NFL betting season ends with a MNF match-up between two AFC North divisional foes as the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) visit the Cincinnati Bengals (2-5) face off in a Monday Night Football picks contest. Vegas odds makers have installed the Steelers as -6½(-110) point NFL picks favorites on the road. The Steelers lost to the Bengals in Cincinnati last year after blowing two double-digit leads but, before that, had won eight straight NFL picks contests in the Queen City and are 8-2 in their last 10 NFL predictions match-ups played in Ohio. Though the Bengals swept the season series en route to a division title last season, Pittsburgh still holds a 13-6 edge in NFL picks contests played since 2001.
Since starting 2-1, the Bengals have lost four straight NFL predictions contests, all by differences of 8 points or less. Carson Palmer has found a real rapport with Terrell Owens, who has 45 catches and 5 TDs. Chad Ochocinco is next with 39 catches but just 2 TD passes. The running game, though, has disappointed, with Cedric Benson leading the way with more than 500 yards but only 2 TDs. The Bengals have also only gotten one run of 20+ yards and average just 3.8 yards per rush. The Bengals have not given-up a ton of yards on defense but they have failed to generate a pass rush. They do have nine interceptions but seem incapable of making the big stop when needed.
Pittsburgh is 5-2 after a 20-10 loss on Halloween Night that exposed, in many ways, a secondary that ranks near the bottom in the NFL in yardage allowed. Drew Brees picked the defense apart, going 20-22 in the second half with two touchdown passes. Linebackers Lawrence Timmons (74 tackles, 3 sacks) and James Harrison (49 tackles, 6 sacks, $100,000 in fines) have been especially effective on defense, Ike Taylor has two interceptions, but safety Troy Polamulu did not have a strong game against the Saints and seems a bit slow this season following an injury-plagued 2009. Offensively in tonight's Monday Night Football picks contest, Ben Roethlisberger had his first off-game last week, but has traditionally played the Bengals tough. Hines Ward and Heath Miller continue to be his prime targets, while Mike Wallace (23.4 yards per catch) has continued to be a threat with the deep pass. The Steelers have run more, ranking 11th in the league, with Rashard Mendenall leading the charge.
Last season’s two NFL picks victories over the Steelers earned the Bengals a divisional crown. This is a new year, however, and Cincinnati has struggled. Look for the Steelers to mix the pass and run on offense and control the deep ball on defense. The over/under of 41( ov-110) could be in jeopardy in this Monday Night Football picks battle as both teams could find success but the Steelers should cover the Vegas spread and win the NFL picks contest on the road.
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