The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals will go head-to-head in an AFC North showdown on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. On paper, this game seems easy to pick. The Bengals enter the game with a nifty 4-1 record, while the Steelers are sporting an underachieving 2-2-1 record.
The 4-1 team naturally will win, right?
Maybe in most instances, but not when it comes to Bengals vs. Steelers.
The Steelers have won the last six meetings between these two teams, and this game will be a lot closer than what their respective records might indicate. The Steelers are coming off a huge win against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 5, and the Bengals are coming off their own impressive win by clawing their way back from being down 17-0 to the Dolphins, and still finding a way to win.
Needless to say, when you look at the sordid history between these two organizations, this game will have plenty of fireworks, and I’m not even talking about the potent offenses of both teams.
With all that said, who are the experts picking to win this divisional game? It is time to check in on those ‘experts’ and see who is picking the Bengals to take a commanding lead in the division, as well as those who think the Steelers will win back-to-back games for the first time this year and make the divisional race something to watch in the second half of the season.
There is a large contingent of experts who don’t believe the hype surrounding the Bengals, and the majority of those experts reside at CBS Sports. Of their 8 experts who submit picks, only ONE thinks the Bengals will win at home and advance their record to 5-1.
For a more middle of the road mindset regarding this game, look no further than ESPN. The experts at the mother ship are split down the middle with this game. 5 for the Steelers, 5 for the Bengals.
Looking for a pro-Bengals site, the haters here at SB Nation were more than happy to oblige. 7 experts pick games weekly, and only 2 of them think the Steelers have any chance of winning and advancing their record to 3-2-1 heading into their bye week.
But these are only three websites. What about the hundreds of experts who submit picks who aren’t a part of the aforementioned panels? This is where our friends at NFL Pick Watch come in handy. NFL Pick Watch is a website who tallies all NFL expert picks and puts them into one easy to read chart.
For this Week 6 game, they are showing 59% of the experts favoring the Bengals at home in this matchup. This would be close to the 2-point spread currently in favor of Cincinnati. This is the first time this season the Steelers haven’t held the majority of expert picks before a game, and the first time Las Vegas has them as underdogs in the point spread category.
Will Pittsburgh build off their 41-17 dismantling of the Falcons last week, exposing the Bengals in the process? Or will the Bengals show they are here to stay at the top of the division? Only time will tell...