NFL Week 4: Monday Night Football Pick & Prediction

Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers, Heinz Field, 8:15 PM, ESPN (Steelers -4, O/U: 45.5)

The Bengals are reeling after another tough road loss against the Bills last week. Only being blown out at home against the 49ers, the Bengals have lost their 2 road games by a combined 5 points. Andy Dalton is 4th in the league in passing with 979 yards, 5 TD’s and 3 picks while completing 63% of his passes. He’s been without AJ Green (who is expected to be out until at least week 7) but have had John Ross (13 catches for 292 yards, 3 TD’s) and Tyler Boyd (24 catches for 250 yards) step up to fill his shoes together. Their issues have been lack of Mixon’s rushing game (87 yards on 32 carries) and their rush defense which has given up 168.7 yards per game)

The Steelers are living a very similar story where they’ve had 2 close loses of 6 points combined yet were blown out by the Pats in week one. Shockingly, with Big Ben getting hurt in week 2, the Steelers have managed to stay in both games with their backup, Mason Rudolph. Mason has only completed 57% of his passes but has limited turnovers with 4 pass TD’s and 2 picks. Still, the offense has struggled mightily, averaging 204 yards through the air and 64 yards rushing with Conner only averaging 2.9 yards on 34 carries and 97 yards. The offense isn’t the only one struggling as the defense has given up 303 yards through the air and 139 yards on the ground per game. It has been an ugly start with seeing Big Ben go out with injury, Bell and Brown leaving the offense all in the same season. The Steelers are struggling in a way that could hamper them until the end.

This game will be absolutely nasty as both teams are looking up at the Pound Puppies leading the division…yes, you read that right, 4 weeks in, the Browns are leading the division. Take the Bengals to finally get a road win against a virtually hapless Steelers, Bengals cover in the under, Bengals 20-14.

Week 10: Thursday Night Football

Carolina at Pittsburgh, 8:20p, NFLN (Steelers -3.5, O/U: 51.5)

Finally, we get a game on Thursday worthy of most football fans’ time.

The Panthers have enjoyed the last couple of games with Eric Reid on board to help the defense as the offense keeps rolling at home.  On the road, it’s a little bit of a different story where Cam stays the same but the offense doesn’t score as much.  History points to the Panthers as being a weak road team and even though they’ve lost 2 of 3 on the road (their only 2 losses), they were within 7 points in both games.  In fact, Cam has been stellar as far as his completion percentage and passer rating.  Cam is certainly having a career year but not only is Cam playing well, Christian McCaffrey is having a fantastic sophomore season in the NFL as well.

The Steelers have enjoyed a 4 game winning streak that started after a week 4 loss at home to division foe, Ravens.  That loss put them 0-2 at home and 1-2-1 overall with the season in peril, uncertainty with the Bell situation, turmoil in the organization with AB until they met the high flying Falcons at home the next week.  They haven’t looked back since.  Yes Big Ben has thrown 7 picks but also has 16 touchdowns, Conner slightly outperforming Bell from last year with the same amount of starts and Brown might not have a ton of yards or a great average per catch but has 9 touchdowns.  The defense has been in lockdown mode the last 4 weeks.

With the defense in lockdown mode, take the Steelers to cover in the over, Steelers 31-27.

#beatyourbookie