Two 1-1 teams in the AFC North meet up in the Steel City as both look to bounce back from a losing effort in Week 2. Both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati lost important pass catchers last week and, they’re both unlikely to suit up in this game. Will that diminish the offensive output we see in this game?
Steelers WR Diontae Johnson has been ruled out after suffering an avoidable injury during the loss to the Raiders in Week 2. Pittsburgh looked so defensively dominant in Week 1 against the Bills that it come as a bit of a surprise that they struggled to stop Derek Carr and the Raiders. Without boring you, they struggled to stop Jon Gruden’s underneath pass offense from their zones, so when they adjusted to defend the underneath passing game, they were then attacked over the top and let up big plays. It was either die by 1000 paper cuts or bazooka to the head and in the end, they kind of settled on a bit of both instead of forcibly taking one away.
The Bengals lost a close one to the Chicago Bears in Week 2 and probably should have entered this week at 2-0 when the Bears had to bring in their rookie QB Justin Fields. Joe Burrow underperformed as he threw 3 interceptions in that game and probably lost the game for his side. Ja’Marr Chase has settled well into NFL life with touchdown receptions in both games so far this season, and we like his chances of finding the endzone again against a Steelers secondary who have given up a TD reception to a WR in both games so far this season. He’s a nicely priced 17/10 with Betfair for an anytime TD. If you’re looking for something a bit bigger we also like the under on James Washington’s receptions. The line is set at U/O 3.5 receptions, a number he’s only bettered in 2 of his previous 18 games stretching back to last year. The double is priced at 3/1 with Bet365 Bet Builder but the unavailability of Diontae Johnson could mean Washington sees an uptick in targets though, so bet accordingly.
Spread: Steelers -3.0
Total Match Points line: U/O 43.0
Game Prediction: Steelers 23-17 Bengals
Best Bet: Ja’Marr Chase anytime TD @ 17/10 with Betfair. [0.5]