Week 10 NFL Picks: Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals Odds and Predictions – Free NFL Picks 11/13/11

Week 10 Free NFL Picks: Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals NFL Week 10 Vegas Odds, Free Picks, and Expert Predictions on CBS 11/13/11: The defending AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) find themselves third in their own division entering Sunday’s matchup against the surprising Cincinnati Bengals (6-2). The division rivals have had plenty of fierce battles in the past, but the young Bengals weren’t supposed to mount a challenge this season. However, both teams are in the mix for a playoff spot and the AFC North title, and the winner of Sunday’s game will move one big step closer to achieving both goals. Despite having the better record, Cincinnati is a four-point underdog in this one.

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Defense has been the calling card for both teams this year, with the Steelers ranking third against the pass and sixth against the run and the Bengals ranking 10th against the pass and second against the run. Both units have made some big plays this year, while limiting big plays for opponents. A hard hitting, tight game could be in the works.   

While the Steelers have been dealing with injuries throughout the season, there is no questioning the experience and poise of this group. The same cannot be said for the Bengals, who have a roster made up of young players at key positions. Rookie quarterback Andy Dalton has 12 touchdown passes to just seven touchdowns, but he is going to face his toughest test to date. His top target and fellow rookie A.J. Green will be facing the same test. The combination has been deadly thus far, but putting up numbers against a weak schedule is one thing. Putting up numbers in a big game is a completely different challenge.

That being said, Cincinnati will likely lean on Dalton, and the Steelers will do the same with their quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Neither team has been able to run the ball effectively this season, and that isn’t likely to change this weekend given the caliber of the two defenses. As a result, the Steelers figure to have a slight edge based on the experience of Roethlisberger. Not to mention the fact he is playing some of the best football of his professional career.

The X-factor could be Pittsburgh receiver Antonio Brown. While Mike Wallace remains the Steelers’ top weapon, Brown has been coming into his own in recent weeks. He has topped 100 yards in two of his last three games, and his ability to stretch opposing defenses opens up underneath options for the passing game. Brown is a big play waiting to happen, and in a game that figures to be a defensive struggle, and easy score could end up being the difference.

This weekend’s game means a lot to both franchises as far as the standings go, but for the Bengals, it is a chance to prove their legitimacy as a playoff contender. A loss will have critics pointing to their early success as a product of a weak schedule and could damage the psyche of a young team. The crowd in Cincinnati will be ready for this one, and the Bengals will likely deliver one heck of an opening punch. However, the more experienced Steelers have the defense to absorb the blow and an offense that can counter. Pittsburgh’s veteran savvy will show up in the second half and help the Steelers win a tough one.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5) Cover the Spread

Free NFL Football Picks and Predictions: Pittsburgh -3.5

Week 10 NFL Football: Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Date: 11/13/011
Time: 1:00 PM EST on CBS
Vegas Odds Favorite: Pittsburgh -3.5 | Total: Over/Under 40.5

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