You’ve seen Steelers vs Bengals before, but never quite like this. The roles have been reversed between these two franchises, with the Bengals returning to action from a Super Bowl appearance against a Steelers team embarking on a fresh, new rebuild for the first time in nearly 20 years.
Cincinnati progressed to its first Super Bowl since 1988 this past season thanks to the dramatic lift it got from franchise quarterback Joe Burrow. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, no longer has Ben Roethlisberger to guide the team to glory following his retirement.
These two teams are heading in vastly different directions, but will their Week 1 matchup reflect that? Here’s a look at the Pittsburgh vs Cincinnati odds, as well as our prediction, best bets, and more.
Steelers vs Bengals Odds
It’s no surprise to see the Bengals as significant favorites here in Week 1, according to our NFL odds.
Not only are they the more talented team, but they’ll have the benefit of playing in front of a home crowd that will be eager to welcome them back and celebrate their AFC Championship title.
Steelers vs Bengals Implied Score
Bengals 25.5, Steelers 19
As it stands, the oddsmakers have the Bengals winning their Week 1 matchup by nearly a touchdown over their AFC North rival.
Steelers vs Bengals Pick of the Day
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Steelers vs Bengals Matchup
One key factor to watch for on Pittsburgh’s side is the quarterback situation. Mitch Trubisky was named the starter and a captain for the Steelers, who drafted Pitt standout Kenny Pickett in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
For the Bengals, it’s worth noting that Burrow will likely look a tad rusty, at least early in the game. After undergoing an appendectomy in late July, he didn’t see any preseason action.
Steelers vs Bengals Prediction
Bengals 23, Steelers 14
The Steelers have a strong defense headlined by All-Pros T.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward, but as will be the case in many of Pittsburgh’s games this year, their contributions on that end of the field won’t be enough to overcome an inconsistent and shaky offense.
This Steelers team does have some interesting weapons on offense, including their young, exciting core of wide-outs and tight ends. There’s also Najee Harris, a second-year running back who totaled 1,667 yards from scrimmage last season. But all of that only matters so much given the quarterback situation.
I’m expecting Cincinnati to take advantage of Pittsburgh’s missed opportunities on offense and capitalize on excellent field position, even if that doesn’t always lead to them finding the end zone.
This will be a good tune-up game for Burrow and the Bengals and a solid opportunity for the Steelers to see how they stack up in the early going against top-tier talent. This will be a decisive victory for Cincinnati, though I believe there will be positive takeaways for both teams involved in this fight.
Steelers vs Bengals Bet Tips
The Steelers have an implied total of 19 points in this contest, but I’m not sure I would even give them that much. It’s going to take some time for this offense to gel and find their rhythm, and I don’t see that happening in a hostile environment in Week 1.
Because of their anticipated struggles and difficult matchup, I would bet down a few notches on Pittsburgh’s team total. I like them to land Under 17.5 points, and you should be able to find this at plus-odds at more than a few sportsbooks.
Steelers vs Bengals Best Bets
Bengals -6.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Wager: 1 Unit
I really like the Bengals to win this game comfortably over the Steelers. Pittsburgh will improve over the course of the season and give Cincinnati a tougher fight when they meet again, but I don’t think anybody expects this Steelers team to have much figured out or set in stone early on.
Excluding preseason, this will be Cincinnati’s first home game since it defeated the Las Vegas Raiders in the Wild Card Round, and Bengals fans are going to be as loud and rowdy as ever. Pittsburgh would have a tough enough time establishing consistency on offense without any distractions.
A backdoor cover could be in play for the Steelers here, but I believe the Bengals will lead by a large enough margin in the second half to put this one completely out of reach and win by at least a touchdown.
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Under 44.5 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
The Steelers are a defensive-minded team, and while I don’t doubt that the Bengals’ offense can find ways to take advantage of this unit, they may have enough struggles of their own with Burrow making his return following his appendectomy.
Because of that, I feel both teams will come in below their projected totals in this game and deliver us a lower-scoring opener than the oddsmakers are expecting. Cincinnati’s offense won’t have the same juice we’re used to, and Pittsburgh will struggle to put enough points on the board to make up for it.
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Steelers vs Bengals Props
Steelers: Under 18.5 Points (-105) at Caesars
Cincinnati isn’t known for its defense, but that doesn’t mean Pittsburgh won’t struggle to put up points in Week 1. The aforementioned quarterback situation is a big reason why — it’s hard to be too confident in Trubisky at this stage of the season, so the Steelers’ offensive scores should be few and far between.
This is a good total to cap the Steelers at. This mark is two points fewer than their implied total in the contest, and three touchdowns feels like one too many for this offense. Two and a successful field goal is more like it, but I wouldn’t count on them to score quite that many times, either.
Bengals: Under 26.5 Points (-115) at Caesars
Cincinnati’s implied total in this game is 25.5 points, but that seems just a touch too high. Pittsburgh’s defense is to be taken seriously, even if last year’s numbers didn’t always reflect that. This unit will play a key role in the team’s success this season, and I don’t believe they’ll take that lightly.
Additionally, Burrow will have some rust to shake off. The Bengals’ other skill players, including Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Joe Mixon, can carry the load for him if he takes some time to get going, but 26.5 seems like a safe ceiling for Cincy.
Steelers vs Bengals Parlays
Bengals -6.5 & Under 44.5 Total Points (+264) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
Our best parlay for this matchup sees our two best bets for the game paired together. By combining these two wagers, we can get (+264) odds on two events that seem more likely than not to occur.
As I’ve laid out, the Bengals can and should win this game by a comfortable margin. The Steelers simply don’t have what it takes to hang around with Cincinnati at this stage of the season and will take time to build some offensive chemistry.
That also lends to why I favor the Under in this game. Pittsburgh will have a difficult time posting points in this game, and the Bengals might lack their usual punch on that side of the ball against a stifling Steelers defense. I’m projecting a low-scoring win for Cincinnati, which we can snag here at plus-odds.