Week 1: Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers 9/11/22 NFL Picks, Predictions, Odds

Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (0-0)
September 11, 2022 1:00 pm EDT
The Line: Cincinnati Bengals -6.5 / Pittsburgh Steelers +6.5; Over/Under: +44.5
(Click here for latest betting odds)

The Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers do battle Sunday in a week 1 AFC North division matchup in MLB action from Paul Brown Stadium.

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be out to begin the post-Ben Roethlisberger era in the Steel City as Big Ben announced his retirement in January, making it the first time since 2003 where Pittsburgh will suit up without #7 under center. The Steelers had a decent 2021 season, finishing at 9-7-1, finishing 2nd in the AFC North but bowing out in the Wild Card round to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Steelers have some veteran presence at QB with Mason Rudolph and Mitch Trubisky, but maybe it’s Kenny Pickett’s time to lead the squad as a first-round pick from the University of Pittsburgh to save the pro team of where he calls his alma mater. Najee Harris will try to take another step forward as one of the elite running backs in the NFL, while Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson make up the top options for a formidable Steeler receiving group. Defensively, Cameron Heyward leads the charge up front for Pittsburgh while T.J. Watt and Myles Jack lead the linebackers. Minkah Fitzpatrick leads yet another loaded secondary for Pittsburgh coming into this season.

The Cincinnati Bengals will be out to make history after a stellar run in 2021, finishing the year at 10-7, exceeding their win total from the previous two seasons combined while also winning the AFC North title. The Bengals took out the Raiders, winning their first playoff game since 1990 and ending the NFL’s longest playoff win drought, Titans, marking the Bengals’ first ever playoff road win, and Chiefs before falling to the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl. Joe Burrow’s back after throwing for 4,611 yards, 34 TDs and 14 interceptions while Joe Mixon returns after heading up Cincinnati’s ground attack with 1,205 rushing yards and 13 TDs last season. Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins also return as the next big 1-2 punch in the NFLin terms of receivers while Tyler Boyd rounds out the solid unit of pass-catchers at the top. Trey Hendrickson anchors Cincinnati’s defensive line alongside Sam Hubbard, Wyatt Hubert, D.J. Reader and Joseph Ossai to name a few while Akeem Davis-Gaither, Logan Wilson and Markus Bailey lead the linebackers and Eli Apple, Vonn Bell, Tre Flowers and others headline Cincinnati’s secondary.

Pittsburgh is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a road underdog and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 division games while the over is 5-1 in their last 6 games as a road underdog. Cincinnati is 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games overall and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 division games while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 games in September.

I think a lot of folks are going to be excited to see what Cincinnati brings to the table when they run it back this season, but I think this is a bit much. I have no doubts that the Bengals are going to do big things this season, but these Steelers-Bengals games are usually physical, tight and I expect this one to be no different. As much as I can’t stand Mitch Trubisky, he performed fairly well in the preseason and he has to be at his best with two other fully capable options in the background in Pickett and Rudolph. I think this one has 3 or 4 point game written all over it, so give me the Steelers and the points here.

Chris Ruffolo's Free Pick:
Pittsburgh +6.5
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