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The Steel City plays host to an AFC North clash as the 2-5-1 Cincinnati Bengals are in Pittsburgh for a battle with the 8-0 Steelers on Sunday as part of the Week 10 slate in the NFL. This is the first of two scheduled meetings between the division rivals, with the rematch set for Week 15 in Cincinnati a little more than a month from now.
Pittsburgh has won nine straight against the Bengals, with Cincy's last win in the rivalry coming in Pittsburgh in Week 8 of the 2015 season.
Heading into Week 7, there were only three undefeated teams remaining in the NFL: the Seahawks, Titans and Steelers. Two of them lost that week, with Seattle falling to Arizona and Pittsburgh holding off Tennessee. That's left the Steelers as the only ones standing.
But of their two wins so far this year, one of the Bengals' triumphs came against those Titans, the week after the showdown against Pittsburgh. Perhaps the bye came at an inopportune time following that resume-builder, but they'll look to play David again against the league's unblemished Goliath.
Cincy will be without running back Joe Mixon once again this Sunday, missing his second consecutive game with a foot injury. They did get a boost defensively, however, signing Takk McKinley after the defensive end was waived by Atlanta.
All Systems Go?
Like a lot of teams this year, the Steelers faced adversity this week when several players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, forcing them to work remotely away from their teammates at the team facility. One of those players was QB Ben Roethlisberger, but the team expects to activate him Saturday and have him under center for the Bengals game.
Big Ben briefly exited last week's game in Dallas with injuries to both knees but was fortunate to come out of it okay.
Pittsburgh's comeback win over the Cowboys last Sunday kept its undefeated record intact and set a franchise record as they are now 8-0 for the first time in team history. It hasn't been easy lately, as the Steelers' last three wins have come by a combined 12 points.
Betting Line and Pick
This line opened with the Steelers as double-digit favorites but has since come down to 7.5, with an over/under of 46. Despite those slim margins in the aforementioned three games, Pittsburgh did cover in two of the three but failed to cover the big number against the Cowboys.
The Bengals are coming off their bye, and while they will be missing their top running back, Joe Burrow has developed a rapport with Tyler Boyd, AJ Green and fellow rookie Tee Higgins on the outside. The Steelers have only won by more than a touchdown once in their last five versus Cincinnati.
The Bengals are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 road games, and Burrow has thrown for 655 yards, five touchdowns and one interception in his last two starts. Take the points.
Pick: Bengals +7.5