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Written by Steven Smith on September 11, 2013

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Free Pick 9/16/13: Steve's Free NFL Football Pick Against the Spread
Photo by: USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals will be playing host to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night football.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a tough job ahead of them on Monday night when the Steelers head to Cincy on Monday to face the Bengals.

The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off a tough loss to the Chicago Bears last weekend. The Bengals held the lead late, but the Bears struck with just over seven minutes remaining in the game, to take the 24-21 lead and seal the win over the Bengals. Cincinnati moved the ball pretty well against the Bears, putting up 340 yards of total offense. Andy Dalton wasn’t perfect, but the Bengals quarterback still had a solid day against the Bears, throwing for 277 yards and two scores, while also throwing two picks. Green-Ellis was the leading rusher for the Bengals on the day, and Benjarvis really struggled against this stout bears defense, picking up just 25 yards on 14 attempts. Rookie running back Giovanni Bernard only had four touches for the Bengals, but Bernard had a 5.5 yard per carry average on the day. If Gio keeps playing this well, expect the rookie to take more and more touches away from Green-Ellis. The Bengals top wideout, AJ Green just went off against the Bears. Green hauled in nine passes for 162 yards and two scores against Chicago, and was targeted 13 times by Dalton. Defensively the Bengals played well, especially against Chicago’s ground game. The Bears managed just 81 yards total on the ground against Cincy’s defense.

The Pittsburgh Steelers had probably the most disappointing day of all NFL teams on Sunday as the Steelers fell to the Tennessee Titans 16-9 in Pittsburgh. The Steelers offense was nowhere to be found as Pitt picked up just 195 yards against the Titans. Big Ben tried mounting a comeback late, but the only offensive score of the day for the Steelers came on a TD pass to Jericho Cotchery with just under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Roethlisberger had just 191 yards through the air on the day, throwing one touchdown and one pick for a QBR of just 25.5. The ground game has been beat up this off-season, and the Steelers lack of a ground attack was evident on Sunday as Pittsburgh rushed just 15 times on the day for a combined 32 yards. Defensively the Steelers were their old selves, holding the Titans to 229 yards of total offense. The Steelers will get better, and the added day to prepare will be nice, but until Pittsburgh finds themselves a back, and a running game the Steelers are going to struggle.

In their last 17 road games, the Steelers are just 8-9 overall, with an ATS record of 5-12. The Bengals are a perfect 5-0 in their last five home games when favored between 3.5-7 points, and within that same span the Bengals are 3-1 against the number.

Sure they looked horrendous in week one, but I’ve got to take the Steelers here against the Bengals. Pittsburgh is better than they showed us on Sunday, and the travel to Cincy shouldn’t matter much with having an extra day in there. The lack of a run game in week one is a big concern, but this a proud franchise that does not like getting embarrassed and doesn’t do it all that often. Plus with this defense I’ll take more than touchdown, even if it is on the road on Monday Night Football. 


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Steve's Pick: Pittsburgh +7.5

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