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Plenty Of Question Marks Surrounding Steelers On Monday Night Football

Posted by Stan Simmons on 9/10/2013 7:50:35 PM

Nearly everything went wrong for the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 12-7 online sports betting loss to the Tennessee Titans at home in week one. It isn’t about to get any easier in week two. The Steelers will travel to face the AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football in week two, with plenty of question marks surrounding whether or not this team has enough pieces to be a legitimate playoff contender. Complicating matters even more is that Pittsburgh will be without Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey, linebacker Larry Foote, and running back LaRod Stephens-Howling after all three players suffered season-ending injuries in the week-one loss.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Monday September 16, 2013 – 8:30 PM ET
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
NFL Sportsbook Line: Cincinnati – 7

Cincinnati will be looking to bounce back after it came up just short in a 24-21 loss to the Chicago Bears that was part of an 0-4 week for AFC North teams. The Bengals had a 21-17 lead heading in to the fourth quarter in week one, but a late touchdown pass from Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall ended up being the difference.

NFL Betting Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers took a 2-0 lead off the opening kickoff when Darius Reynaud took a knee in his own endzone on a botched play that started with him receiving the ball at the one, but didn’t get another score until Ben Roethlisberger hit Jericho Cotchery on a four-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. That was Pittsburgh’s only other score, as they managed just 195 total yards of offense. The Steelers’ offensive line struggled to protect Roethlisberger or open holes in the running game both with and without Pouncey, and could have an even tougher time on the road against the Cincinnati defense. Pittsburgh will also have to work without one of its leaders on defense in Foote, whose role extended beyond his physical talents.

NFL Betting Preview: Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals’ defense held up well for most of week one, but an offense that is expected to take a major step forward this season wasn’t nearly efficient enough. Andy Dalton threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns and only had seven incomplete passes, but two of those were Bears’ interceptions. Cincinnati turned the ball over three times, and will need to be more careful with the football beginning with Dalton. Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis averaged just 1.8 yards per carry running for 25 yards and a touchdown in week one, and will need to be better in order to keep the pressure off of Dalton and give him time to make plays.

NFL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

A Pittsburgh team that struggled in week one against the Titans is now in an even tougher position without three key players on the road against a division rival. The Bengals turned the ball over three times last week and still nearly came out with a sports betting win at Chicago, so they should be able to get the job done at home in week two if they can avoid making those critical errors again.

NFL Betting Pick: Cincinnati Bengals - 7


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