Last week was too close of a call for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Dallas and now they return home to face the Cincinnati Bengals. Last we saw the Bengals, they were dominating the Titans and proving that Cincinnati is taking another step as a franchise. Pittsburgh will need a better effort from its offense to keep the perfect season alive. As much as this will be a close game, the Steelers understand the importance and get the job done at home. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Odds The bye week maybe wasn’t as well-placed as Cincinnati would have hoped as the Bengals had to sit out the week after its big win over Tennessee. Although there was a lot to like about that win, there were plenty of places for Cincinnati to improve, especially on defense. The Titans were the fourth team to amass at least 400 yards of total offense on the Bengals and the fifth team to rush for at least 150 yards against the Bengals. Fortunately for the Bengals, those are two areas where Pittsburgh has struggled this season as it ranks 25th in yards gained and 19th in rushing offense. Joe Burrow and the offense will face a stiff challenge in Pittsburgh’s defense, and the Bengals will need their rookie to fare better than he did against Baltimore. Cincinnati gained just 205 yards of total offense against the Ravens and the Steelers’ defense is the next best unit the Bengals face this NFL season. Pittsburgh survived last week against Dallas as the Steelers just looked uninterested until the second quarter. The Steelers didn’t score on their first four drives against the worst defense in the league before scoring on five of their next six drives. Pittsburgh did well enough to keep the Cowboys to just four field goals and a touchdown on their first seven drives, but it was a pair of critical takeaways that saved Pittsburgh. Fortunate to still be unbeaten, the Steelers now have to deal with a week of uncertainty as Ben Roethlisberger was placed on the COVID/Reserve list for being a high-risk contact with a positive case. He’s still on track to play this week if he continues to test negative, but if he isn’t cleared then Mason Rudolph will need to salvage the offense. Rudolph has the weapons to keep Pittsburgh a high-scoring offense, but we saw last year the impact of Roethlisberger’s absence had on the offense. The over/under on this game was set at 45.5 points by the New Jersey online sports betting sites, which is a very fair assessment of these two teams. The Bengals have struggled against some of the better defenses in this league while finding more success against the softer units. The Steelers obviously fall on the stronger side as they rank fourth in points allowed and sixth in yards allowed. Therefore it seems were more likely to see the 3 points Cincinnati scored against Baltimore compared to the 34 and 31 it put up in its last two games. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, will have to navigate whoever is at quarterback for the offense and try to find more rhythm in the running game with James Conner and Benny Snell Jr. Still, I’ll bet the under 45.5 total points for -110 odds because I don’t trust Pittsburgh to score a lot. Steelers to win This might be the hardest bet on the board because this game could go one of two ways depending upon Roethlisberger’s status. The Steelers are 6.5-point favorites over the Bengals at the NFL betting sites in New Jersey, which probably should be the case no matter who is starting at quarterback for the Steelers, but we know that is certainly not the case. Pittsburgh’s offense with Roethlisberger was uninspiring last week against a putrid Dallas defense and the Steelers’ defense struggled as well. Those are weaknesses Burrow and the Bengals can exploit, but I don’t know if that will be enough against a resilient Steelers squad. I can’t bet on the spread, but I do think Pittsburgh wins, so I’ll bet the Steelers to win by 1-13 points for +145 odds.