Steelers vs. Bengals Week 1 matchup preview and current betting lines
The Cincinnati Bengals hope to avoid any Super Bowl hangover by starting with a fourth-consecutive win over rival Pittsburgh, or something it has not done since the 1990 season. The Steelers vs. Bengals spread is in Cincinnati’s favor as a 6.5-point home favorite.
Cincinnati surprised everyone with last year’s dominant connection between quarterback Joe Burrow and rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, the ultra-rare case of a college duo taking their game to the pros and flourishing right away.
It was more than just Chase as Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd make up an excellent receiver trio. Burrow led the NFL in completion percentage (70.4%) and yards per attempt (8.9) despite taking a league-high 51 sacks. That is a strange trio of stats to lead the league in, but it shows how explosive this offense was despite the protection issues.
Meanwhile, the Steelers have a quarterback situation to monitor after Ben Roethlisberger retired following an 18-season career. Mitch Trubisky is the new starter with first-round rookie Kenny Pickett backing him up. How short is the leash for Trubisky? This is new territory for head coach Mike Tomlin, who is trying to avoid having his first losing season in Pittsburgh. But this should be the biggest challenge of his career.
Players to watch in the Steelers vs. Bengals game
George Pickens: The second-round wideout still has the highest odds (+900) to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. He first has to show he can make an impact in an offense with many mouths to feed and a quarterback in Trubisky who does not have a track record of making that happen. Pickens had an impressive preseason, but he is not a good OROY bet due to the limits of this offense.
Trey Hendrickson: The defensive end proved he was not a one-year wonder in New Orleans by registering a career-high 14 sacks in his first season with the Bengals in 2021, earning Pro Bowl honors. He could have a field day with this outmatched Pittsburgh offensive line and a quarterback who won’t get rid of the ball as historically fast as Roethlisberger did. Hendrickson had a sack in each win over the Steelers last season.
Our Best NFL Bets for the Steelers vs. Bengals game
We have two NFL Week 1 predictions we really like for this game as the Bengals host their nemesis Steelers.
Steelers vs. Bengals Spread Pick: Bengals -6.5 (-110)
Pittsburgh has failed to score more than 17 points on the Bengals in the last three meetings due to the defense picking up on its tendencies. Since late 2020, the Steelers have been excessively relying on short passes and go routes down the sideline. There is no play-action game or using the middle of the field. The Bengals just squat on the short throws and dominate them.
While some think Ben Roethlisberger’s post-surgery elbow was the reason for this, it’s not like Trubisky is known for getting the ball down the field.
Meanwhile, the Bengals did not have an explosive offense in two games with Pittsburgh last year, but Burrow sliced and diced them. He also did not take a sack in Pittsburgh, ending the team’s 75-game streak with a sack.
It has been over 30 years since the Bengals beat the Steelers three times in a row by double-digits like they have since 2020. But just a 7-point win is good enough for the cover here, and with those Steelers vs. Bengals odds, we like the Bengals to deliver at home and cover the spread.
Be sure to check our NFL picks page for more betting information and NFL Week 1 odds.bet on nfl with Pointsbet >
Player Prop: Joe Mixon Over 69.5 Rushing Yards (-115)
The Steelers know they must stop the run better after finishing dead last on run defense in 2021. However, Joe Mixon has been a problem for years with at least 70 rushing yards in four of his last five games against Pittsburgh. He had 165 yards in the last meeting and 90 before that. Mixon only broke 90 yards five times last year, so the Steelers were his whipping boys. Cincinnati’s improved offensive line will also be looking for better run blocking for Mixon.
Pittsburgh’s defensive additions should prevent Mixon from exploding like he did last year, but they do not look strong enough to prevent Mixon rom hitting the over at 70 yards. The game script is also favorable to Cincinnati. Look for the Bengals to be in the lead in the second half and counting on Mixon to salt away the game on the ground the way the Steelers used to do to the Bengals for decades. That is why Mixon rushing for over 69.5 yards is our NFL bet of the week.bet on NFL with betmgm
Frequently asked questions about the Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati game in week 1
The game is being played at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Since 2007, Mike Tomlin is 9-5-1 SU and 6-8-1 ATS in season openers.
In three career meetings against the Steelers, Joe Burrow is 2-1 with five touchdowns, two interceptions, 97.4 passer rating, and six sacks taken.