Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST.
HOUSTON -7½ -108 over Cincinnati
1:00 PM EST. It would not be an understatement to say that the Bengals showed up to play the Steelers on Monday Night Football like it was the goddamn Super Bowl. From gate to wire, Cincinnati beat up on the Steelers like they just took the Bengals’ mothers out for a nice seafood dinner and never called them again. Or maybe they just saw JuJu Smith-Schuster shitting all over their logo during pregame warmups.
Was that Ryan Finley out there or Michael Vick circa 2004 running roughshod all over the Steelers D? With all that out of the way, how can the Bengals get up for this game against the Texans. It’s going to be like an exhibition game after the Super Bowl. What the Bengals did was prevent the Steelers from clinching yet another AFC North championship on the Bengals turf. It had to be an extremely satisfying victory and now this? It’s unreasonable to expect anything but Cinci’s “C” game. Take a bad team and add in their C game and it’s a very bad look.
If you watched Cinci beat Pittsburgh or even took the time to peek at the box score, you know that the Steelers did themselves no favors by turning the ball over three times, which aided the Bengals greatly in their new found scoring prowess. It also did not help that Ben Roethlisberger appears to have aged dramatically over the course of this season. That the Bengals scored 27 points with Finlay throwing for just 89 yards tells the story of an offense that did jack. Asking Finlay to keep up with Deshaun Watson is unreasonable, especially in a massive letdown spot.
Of all the negatives to come out of Houston this NFL season, the one positive has been Deshaun Watson, who has ended all debate as to whether he is an elite pivot in this league. Dude is a star maker. If you’re playing in your fantasy football championship game this weekend, there is a good chance that your riding guys like Keke Coutee and Chad Hanson at WR3 while they have outperformed some of the top receivers as of late. Anybody see Devante Adams or D.K. Metcalf last week? Nah? Us either. We understand the reluctance of spotting eight points with the Texans. It’s not easy to do but Cinci was a 16-point home underdog last week and now they’re half that on the road in a letdown spot against a great QB and a team that is hungry to make someone other than themselves look foolish. The Texans could not have hand-picked a more ripe opponent to accommodate them.
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HOUSTON -7½ -108 (Risking 2.16 units - To Win: 2.00)