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Bengals visit rival Steelers as favorites at sportsbooks

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Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is expected to return to action on Sunday when the Pittsburgh Steelers play host to the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals as 1.5-point betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Big Ben has been sidelined for a month since suffering a knee injury in the Steelers’ 12-6 win in Week 3 over the Rams in St. Louis, with veteran Michael Vick and third-year pivot Landry Jones leading the club to a pair of straight-up wins in his absence.

Pittsburgh is coming off a disappointing 23-13 road loss to the Kansas City Chiefs as 3-point underdogs, their first against the spread defeat of the season, and enters Sunday’s Bengals vs. Steelers betting matchup at Heinz Field averaging just 20.5 points per game over their last four, and have seen the point total play UNDER in 10 of their past 12 contests.

They meet a rested Bengals squad that is coming off a bye week after opening the season with six SU wins, 5-0-1 ATS, and seven SU wins in their last nine road contests.

However, Cincinnati has lost three straight to Pittsburgh, and are just 4-13 SU and ATS in their last 17 meetings with their AFC North divisional rivals.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, travel to London, where they will meet the Detroit Lions on Sunday morning as 5-point betting favorites in the final NFL International Series game of the season.

Kansas City ended a five-game SU and ATS losing skid with their victory over the Steelers, and have held opponents to just 15.7 points per game over their last three.

The Lions made offensive coaching changes this week after falling to 1-6 with a 28-19 loss to the surging Minnesota Vikings. Detroit is now a dismal 1-9 SU in their last 10 games according to the OddsShark NFL Database, and have disappointed bettors with their current 5-13 ATS run.

The 4-2 Vikings will be looking to solidify their place in the NFC Wild Card hunt with a third straight victory when they visit the Chicago Bears in a contest pegged as a pick’em at the sportsbooks.

Minnesota is a middling 3-2 in their last five against the Bears, who are 2-1 SU and undefeated against the spread since opening with three consecutive losses.

In other NFL Week 8 betting action, the Green Bay Packers visit the undefeated Denver Broncos as 2.5-point chalk, while the struggling Baltimore Ravens take on the San Diego Chargers as 3-point favorites, and the Seattle Seahawks battle the Dallas Cowboys as 5.5-point road favorites.

Broncos double-digit favorites on Sunday night vs. winless, depleted Giants

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The Denver Broncos head into Sunday night with the largest spread they have had at home after a bye week in at least 25 years. The Broncos are 11.5-point favorites against the winless New York Giants with a 38.5-point total for the Week 6 Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Denver is 6-1 straight-up and against the spread in post-bye week games dating back to 2010. There’s a similar long-running trend of Denver being 7-2 SU and ATS in home games following a bye week since 2003. However, this is the first time since 1996 that Denver has been a double-digit favorite in that scenario.

The Giants, which are 0-5 SU and 2-3 ATS, had three wide receivers, including Odell Beckham Jr., sustain season-ending injuries last week. That has left QB Eli Manning with WR Roger Lewis (15 career catches) and WR Tavarres King as his main outside targets. Slot WR Sterling Shephard (sprained ankle) could be inactive.

While team performances tend to gravitate toward the mean with time, the Giants will need to show something new – with replacement-level personnel – in order to move the ball against a Denver pass defense which allows only 6.2 yards per pass, fifth-best in the NFL.

The Broncos’ top-ranked defense, led by OLB Von Miller, is also first in run defense and has every starter healthy. While NFC teams are a combined 1-10 SU on the road against Denver since 2012, the Giants are a solid 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against the AFC.

Denver, 3-1 SU and 2-1-1 ATS, has been quietly efficient on offense. The Broncos, with QB Trevor Siemian, are in the middle of the NFL pack in yards per pass, but they are facing a Giants secondary that is minus CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (suspension) and has also had inconsistent play from CB Eli Apple.

Denver, 7-2 ATS over its last nine home games in October, has been good at opening holes for the tandem of C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles, who are each capable of making things happen in the open field if the tackling gets sloppy. New York also won’t have DT Olivier Vernon drawing double teams up front and keeping blockers off MLB Damon Harrison.

Unless the Broncos stop themselves, they should be able to grind out a workmanlike win.

The total has gone over in three of the Giants’ last four games against the Broncos, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The total has gone over in six of the Broncos’ last seven games as a favorite of 11.0 points or more.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Watch Indianapolis Colts vs. Seattle Seahawks live on NBC

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The Seattle Seahawks host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football as both teams look to get back to .500.

Russell Wilson will be the focal point of the Seahawks offense after throwing for a career-high 373 yards and four touchdowns in a losing effort vs. the Titans in Week 3. Wilson’s ability to avoid the rush and use his legs will be on full display as Seattle’s offensive line continues to struggle.

On the defensive side, the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” will look to get back on track at home in a raucous environment against Colts QB Jacoby Brissett who is filling in for an injured Andrew Luck.

If the Colts have any chance to pull off the upset on the road, Brissett will have to use his legs and connect on some deep throws to T.Y. Hilton.

Football Night in America

Start time: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Colts vs. Seahawks

Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app