Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – NFL, Week 3 (2021)

| September 24, 2021 7:55 am PDT

The Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers are set for an AFC North tilt on Sunday afternoon. Last time out, Cincy went down to the wire (for the second consecutive week) before ultimately coming up short at Chicago. Pitt thought they’d have an easier time with a Vegas team that was traveling cross-country. Little did they know that the Raiders defense was coming to wreak havoc.

With both of these franchises looking to avenge last week’s loss, expect plenty of drama at Heinz Field.

In terms of a Bengals vs. Steelers prediction and the best bet to lock in, that’s where this betting preview comes in handy.

Take a look.

Bengals vs. Steelers Odds

Bengals (+3.5)+105
Steelers (-3.5)-125
Bengals to Win+165
Steelers to Win-190
Over 43.5-110
Under 43.5-110

While the Bengals vs. Steelers odds are hovering at Pitt -3.5 across all of the top NFL betting apps, one mobile betting site appears to be on the verge of increasing the line to four points.

At BetOnline, bettors can currently latch onto Cincy +3.5 at +105.

How long this line lasts remains to be seen.

While the natural assumption is that the Steelers are the much more dependable team, a quick glance at their last matchup against the Bengals tells a different story. Playing without Joe Burrow, Ryan Finley led Cincinnati to a 27-17 victory over the Steelers on Monday Night Football in week 15 of last season.

Why the Bengals Will Win

Did you watch the Steelers play last Sunday at home? Pittsburgh surrendered a whopping 6.6 yards per play and made Derek Carr look like an All-Pro QB. They allowed Vegas to control the line of scrimmage and eat up a bunch of the clock – the Raiders were hands down the better team on the field.

And it gets worse for Mike Tomlin.

The Steelers once again own the league’s worst rushing attack, plus they have a cast of players who already banged up. Ben Roethlisberger and Diontae Johnson are dealing with legitimate knicks, while four key members of the defense are hobbled by groin injuries.

  • J. Watt
  • Devin Bush
  • Joe Haden
  • Alex Highsmith

All are questionable for week 3.

If Derek Carr could do that much damage (Carr threw for 382 yards and produced a 126.2 passer rating) throwing to the likes of Henry Ruggs III and Hunter Renfrow, imagine what Joe Burrow could do with the weapons he has at his disposal.

Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins can win one-on-one matchups on the outside, while Tyler Boyd should have no problem finding open lanes out of the slot.

Why the Steelers Will Win

Let’s talk about some of the things Pittsburgh does well before committing to a Bengals vs. Steelers betting pick. Or better yet, let’s hone in on some of Cincy’s deficiencies.

  • The Bengals are one of three NFL teams that have committed at least 20 penalties.
  • Cincy has converted just 9 of 26 third downs (34.6%).
  • Only Zach Wilson has been sacked more times than Joe Burrow this season.

Maybe this is the same old “Bungles” we’ve come to know over the years.

Keep in mind; the Bengals turned the ball over four times in a week 2 loss to a Bears team that received inadequate play under center. Andy Dalton had thrown for just 56 yards before getting hurt; Justin Fields was an ugly 6/13 for 60 yards and an interception.  

Somehow Cincinnati found a way to lose this game. Consider that, and then account for the fact that Pitt is going to be awfully hungry after laying an egg at Heinz Field in week 2.

Now how are you feeling about a Bengals vs. Steelers pick?

Bengals vs. Steelers Prediction

If you’re looking for a good-old-fashioned AFC North slugfest, grab your popcorn and pull up a seat to this week 3 contest. Nobody expected Pitt to go into Buffalo and knock off the Bills in week 1, and most thought the Bengals would lose to the Vikings.

Flip the script, and both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati disappointed in week 2 when most thought they were each in favorable positions.

I’m going out on a limb and taking the Bengals to win this game.

I can’t trust Big Ben anymore and prefer the skill-position players on Cincy. If T.J. Watt ends up on the sidelines, the Bengals could theoretically win this game comfortably. 

Bengals vs. Steelers Betting Pick

Even though I anticipate the Bengals winning this game, +165 to win outright isn’t nearly as appetizing as getting 3.5 points of insurance at +105. You might be able to snag Cincinnati at +4 if you wait until closer to kickoff, but nothing is guaranteed.

The eye test tells me the Bengals can hang around, and the betting data confirms my thoughts are coming from the right place.

One of the early season trends is that underdogs are performing exceptionally well against the spread. To be more specific, dogs are 21-11 ATS through the first two weeks.

  • Bengals (+3.5)
Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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