NFL Week 1 Prediction: Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
PITTSBURGH STEELERS at CINCINNATI BENGALS
Pittsburgh Steelers +6.5 (-110) o44.5 (-110) +225
Cincinnati Bengals -6.5 (-110) u44.5 (-110) -275
I predict the Bengals will be a team to fade this year. Not only are previous Super Bowl losers notorious for regressing the following season. These teams are particularly awful in Week 1, as the trend betting against them no matter what the situation is 18-4 ATS over the past 22 seasons.
Now, Cincinnati is laying nearly a touchdown to Pittsburgh, which many fans and bettors are writing off this season with B. Roethlisberger's retirement. However, a change at QB and more mobility at the position might be just what the Steelers need. Though the acquisition of M. Trubisky is risky, there's an obvious upside to the prospect since Pittsburgh gets an experienced QB in a fresh situation.
This game should be closer than the spread indicates. The Bengals offensive line remains a major question mark (recall that unit was badly outplayed in every playoff game last season). Cincinnati is also entering the season in the highly-uncharacteristic role of being favoured in lots of games, and being a target rather than a sleeper.
Steelers head coach M. Tomlin, who has never posted a losing season in Pittsburgh, has historically done well as a division dog, going 14-6 ATS.
This brings up an angle we alluded to earlier, which is blindly taking division dogs in Week 1. Doing so resulted in a 28-8 record since the start of 2014, which is an astounding win rate. This will be the basis of multiple wagers this week, including this one on the Steelers.