NFL Picks: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals

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When the Pittsburgh Steelers arrive in Cincinnati to play the Bengals, it will mark the first time this season the Bengals will be challenged. I mean really challenged. 

Cincinnati sits atop the AFC North, tied for first place, a lofty position no one thought they’d be in at the mid-point of the season. Despite the aforementioned lack of opposition strength, it has still been an impressive run for this young team, as they are riding the longest winning streak in over 20 years for the franchise (five straight wins).

I think the winning streak ends on Sunday at the hands of an ornery Pittsburgh team. The Steelers come into this one off a last second loss to the Ravens last week, snapping a four-game winning streak of theirs. Look for Pittsburgh’s defense, which is knicked up and showing some signs of weakness at times, to have a fine day vs. this level of opponent. The Cincy offense is not explosive, despite the emergence of rookie AJ Green and doesn’t present any real matchup issues for the Steelers.

The Bengals do have a very solid defense, but I’m still looking for Ben Roethlisberger to hit close to his average passing yards the last three games (352.0 yards), with success through the air. Cincy is tough to run against, but with success via the air, it should open up some room on the ground.

NFL Picks: I’m laying the points on a divisional road favorite, always a risky proposition and a scenario one should usually avoid…but I’m willing to do so in this spot.

I’ve got a play on Pittsburgh -3.

Good luck