The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals are slated to face off in Week 1 of the 2022 regular season, and there are a lot of narratives between these two teams. For the Bengals, they are trying to show their 2021 AFC Championship, and trip to the Super Bowl, wasn’t a fluke. To prove they are not just AFC contenders, but AFC favorites. As for the Steelers, they turn the page to a new quarterback, and a new era of Steelers football. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the team, and there remain huge question marks surrounding the team heading into the regular season.
For those who follow the current betting lines, the Steelers opened as 6.5-point road underdogs, and, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, that line hasn’t moved since the schedule was released.
(Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.)
At this point, it is time to check in and see who the pundits, who call themselves experts, like in this showdown in Cincinnati this Sunday.
After looking at expert picks, there was a common thread among all of them. What was that thread? Of those who had a full panel picking the games, only one expert thought the Steelers will actually leave Cincinnati victorious Sunday.
All the haters at SB Nation...only 1 believes.
The huge panel at ESPN...only 1 believes.
The Sports Illustrated panel of experts...only 1 believes.
The USA Today crew...only 1 believes.
Those are sites where people just check a box on a website and move on with their lives. However, there are some who spend more time pouring over these picks, and provide some analysis than just a winner and loser.
For those type of experts, one which is talked about a lot is Pete Prisco of CBS Sports. Prisco predicts a close game Sunday, but the Steelers ultimately falling short vs. the Bengals.
The Steelers come in as a division dog, which is a role Mike Tomlin has done well in as coach, going 14-6. There are concerns about the Steelers offensive line, which is why this number is bloated. But Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has been dealing with appendicitis all preseason, which might lead to some rust. The Steelers will hang around in this one, but the Bengals will win it late.
Pick: Bengals 23, Steelers 20
Like Prisco, Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News also goes in-depth on every one of his picks heading into Week 1 Sunday. Iyer also sees a close game, but like Prisco sees the Steelers starting the season 0-1.
The Steelers present a tough immediate challenge as the Bengals try to avoid a Super Bowl-losing hangover in the brutal AFC North. But Cincinnati gets a break with Pittsburgh starting Mitchell Trubisky over the better QB choice, first-round rookie Kenny Pickett.
The Bengals’ offense should come out confident with an improved line, but Joe Burrow is facing a dangerous pass defense coming off a preseason layoff. They will survive late with Burrow delivering better than his counterpart, but the Steelers stay in it with plenty of Najee Harris and other key QB help.
Pick: Bengals win 24-23 but fail to cover the spread.
These are just a few sites who make weekly NFL picks. When you think about all those sites not listed above, this is when we turn to our friends at NFL Pick Watch, a site dedicated to tracking NFL expert picks by the week. They take all expert picks and put them into an easy-to-read graph for fans to enjoy. When it comes to the Steelers vs. Bengals game, a whopping 95% of NFL experts like the Bengals to hold serve and win on Sunday.
What do you think about the upcoming game? Will the experts have it right? Or are they way off? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the Bengals in Week 1.