PIT-CIN Free Pick
AFC North rivals clash at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday when the Cincinnati Bengals host the Pittsburgh Steelers at 4:15PM ET.
The Steelers fell to 1-1 on the season with 17-14 loss to the Bears in Chicago last week. Pittsburgh failed to cover the 4.5-point spread as favorites while Ben Roethlisberger threw for 221 yards and a touchdown. Kicker Jeff Reed missed two field goals in the fourth quarter, which contributed to Pittsburgh’s demise.
Cincinnati shocked the Packers in Green Bay last week with a 31-24 victory as 7.5-point underdogs. Carson Palmer threw for 185 yards and three touchdown passes, while Chad Ochocinco caught four passes for 91 yards and a score. (He also did the “Lambeau leap” as promised.)
Oddsmakers from online sports book BetOnline have made the Steelers 4.5-point favorites over the Bengals on Sunday. The over/under total for this game has been set at 37.
The Steelers have failed to cover the spread in each of their first two games. Is this the week the finally cover?
That’s tough to say given the injury to All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu, although the Pittsburgh defense is still good enough to give Palmer and the Cincinnati offense fits on Sunday.
We think the Steelers will bounce back from their loss against the Bears last week, although they might not pull away until late in the second half. Pittsburgh has no running game right now and although Roethlisberger has done a great job putting the team on his shoulders, not being able to grind opponents down late in the game has allowed Steeler opponents to keep things close.
We expect a Pittsburgh cover on Sunday, but it won’t be pretty. We actually favor the under more in this game based on the fact that the total has gone under in six of Cincinnati’s last eight games when playing at home against Pittsburgh.
Our NFL Week 3 Free Pick for this matchup is: PITTSBURGH STEELERS –4.5 and UNDER 37.
425 Pittsburgh Steelers –4.5 Over 37 Moneyline: -190
426 Cincinnati Bengals +4.5 Under 37 Moneyline: +165
Pittsburgh is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games on the road
Pittsburgh is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Cincinnati
Cincinnati is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Cincinnati is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
Tyrone Carter, S, Missed Wednesday Practice (thigh)
Troy Polamalu, S, Missed Wednesday Practice (knee)
Aaron Smith, DE, Missed Wednesday Practice (not injury related)
Hines Ward, WR, Missed Wednesday Practice (not injury related)
Limas Sweed, WR, Full Wednesday Practice (foot)
Lawrence Timmons, LB, Full Wednesday Practice (ankle)
Andre Smith, T, Out Week 3 (foot)
Cedric Benson, RB, Missed Wednesday Practice (ankle)
Chris Henry, WR, Missed Wednesday Practice (quadricep)
David Jones, CB, Missed Wednesday Practice (foot)
Johnathan Joseph, CB, Limited Wednesday Practice (ankle)
Nate Livings, G, Limited Wednesday Practice (knee)
Posted: 9/27/09 1:30PM ET