The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a rousing 38-16 victory over the reigning NFC Champion Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football, and with a prime time game comes a short week moving into their second game of the 2016 season. Their next opponent isn't just another team, but the rival Cincinnati Bengals.
Week 2 is only a few days away, with a Thursday Night Football game on the docket, and Las Vegas has already pushed out the early gambling lines on the upcoming slate of games. Who is favored in the Bengals and Steelers game at Heinz Field? The home team, but not by much.
According to VegasInsiders.com, the Steelers are 3.5-point favorites in the AFC North grudge match. For those not familiar with common spreads in the NFL, Vegas usually gives at least a 2.5 to 3.0-point advantage to the home team. In other words, they see this game to be about as even as they get, from a spread standpoint.
Both teams will be without big-name players. The Steelers will be without All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell, who serves two more weeks on this three-week suspension before returning to the team, and the Bengals will be without Vontaze Burfict, also serving his own three-game suspension.
On top of those who are being held out by the league office, two big-time playmakers for both teams could be shelved by injury, depending on how the week unfolds. Bengals TE Tyler Eifert has been hampered with an ankle injury which occurred in last year's Pro Bowl, and Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier suffered a knee injury in their Monday night win, although it isn't suspected to be serious.
With all betting lines, they can change. Injuries, and trends, can lead Vegas to tilt the line one way or another, as they see fit. So, if you like the Steelers to cover the 3.5-point spread, you might want to head to the window and place your bet.