By all accounts, the Cincinnati Bengals really needed a shot in the arm – or a kick in the ass – after the first two weeks of the season. Well, they probably got a little bit of both, and it kept them alive in the AFC North division race. Now they can draw even closer on Sunday as they face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game that begins at 4:25 PM ET at Heinz Field in the Steel City. Remember that if you are a customer at VietBet, you can watch the game live on CBS, and while it’s happening, you can place wagers in real time using the state-of-the-art software presented through Live Betting Ultra.
Bengals Steelers Odds:
In the NFL odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, Pittsburgh is, of course, the favorite at home:
Pittsburgh Steelers -5.5
Cincinnati Bengals +5.5
Over 40.5 points -110
Under 40.5 points -110
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Bengals Steelers Odds – Week 7 NFL Betting Preview
At Cincinnati struggled for just three field goals in their first two games, both at home, there was, according to a lot of sources close to the team, “near-mutiny” unless they got rid of offensive coordinator Ken Zampese. Well, Marvin Lewis took care of that, by bringing in quarterback coach Joe Lazor to replace him. Lazor had been in that position with the Miami Dolphins previously, although he got fired a couple of seasons ago. Such is life in the NFL. But Lazor at least brought some life to the festivities, and Andy Dalton has been really effective in the first three games since, completing 73% of his passes. And these Bengals have been very competitive in all three games, winning against Cleveland and Buffalo and taking Green Bay to overtime. Truth be told, Cincinnati should not have lost that game, as they got out to a big early lead.
The Steelers experienced a horror story a couple of weeks ago as Ben Roethlisberger threw five interceptions against the Jacksonville Jaguars, two of which were returned for touchdowns. But then they came back last week with a victory over the previously undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, and at Arrowhead Stadium, no less. Le’Veon Bell, who did not get into camp because of a holdout, had 179 rushing yards in that game, and Antonio Brown had 155 receiving yards, bringing his total to 700 on the season.
This is really a great matchup between two of the best wide receivers in the business. Brown, with 48 catches, paces things for the Steelers, and in fact, he is so dominant in the lineup that the next wide receiver on the list has only 17 receptions. AJ Green has caught 32 passes for 504 yards for the Bengals, and their next most productive receiver, Brandon Lafell, has caught only 15 balls.
As important as Bell is to the Steelers, the idea of getting an effective ground attack together is extremely important to the Bengals as well. Although Dalton has been better protected since Lazor became the coordinator, he has still suffered an average of three sacks a game, but if Joe Mixon, the rookie out of Oklahoma, can get off, this would be a big plus. Mixon had 51 rushing yards last week, and the Bengals, when you really look at things, are one of the better balanced teams in the league with respect to the ratio of passes to rushing plays.
The Steelers give up an average of 4.7 yards per carry, but they were double-tough against standout rookie Kareem Hunt of Kansas City last week, limiting him to just 21 yards. Cincinnati has been pretty solid against the run, giving up 3.8 yards per attempt, but what they’ve really done a good job at is not only limiting pass completions (only 57.4% allowed), but also how far those passes go, as they have yielded only 4.9 yards per attempt, which is microscopic. Interestingly enough, Pittsburgh has that same figure. And these teams have combined for 38 quarterback sacks. So maybe this becomes a defensive battle.
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By Charles Jay