Browns-Steelers Betting Preview, Picks, and Props
Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Game Info
Cleveland Browns (11-5) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)
Date: Sunday, January 10, 2021
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Venue: Heinz Field
Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Moneyline, Spread, Total, and Odds
Moneyline: Browns (-194) | Steelers (+162)
Spread: Browns +6.5 (-115) | Steelers -6.5 (-115)
Total: Over 47.5 (-106) | Under 47.5 (-114)
Super Bowl Odds: Browns (+5500) | Steelers (+1700)
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Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers News and Notes
Don’t call it a comeback; Pittsburgh’s been here for years. Literally, years over the Browns. You can pretty much act as if last week’s “loss” to the Cleveland Browns never happened. The Steelers had already wrapped up the AFC North and decided they’d instead rest their big guns than play them in a near meaningless game. Ben Roethlisberger, along with many other starters at critical positions, did not suit up against the Browns, who only scraped by with a two-point win to end the NFL’s longest postseason drought.
So here we are a week later with the Browns trying to win in a place they haven’t since 2003, a year before the Steelers drafted Big Ben. That’s right, 17 tries for Cleveland at Heinz Field, and they have come up empty in every single one. Roethlisberger is a big part of Pittsburgh’s dominance over the Browns. In addition to being undefeated at home, he carries a career record of 23-2-1 against Cleveland. That record does not include his 379-yard, three-touchdown performance in Pittsburgh’s 30-9 win over the Browns in the 2015 season, when Big Ben, recovering from an injury, replaced an injured Landry Jones after the opening drive.
This year’s version of the Steelers will rely most heavily on their defense to continue that dominance over Cleveland. Pittsburgh allowed the third-fewest points in the league at 19.5 per game. They also finished third in yards allowed and the league’s best pass defense giving up 194.4 yards per game. In addition to limiting yardage through the air, Pittsburgh was also first in interceptions with 18, sacks with 56, and QB pressures with 196. In addition to landing in the top-three in quarterback hurries and knockdowns, they boast the league’s best opposing QB rating at 76.7.
Pittsburgh’s strength is Cleveland’s counter strength. The Browns had the number one offensive line this season, keeping Baker Mayfield as the most protected quarterback in the league. The Browns QB was sacked only 26 times all season. But the Browns come into this one with a bunch of issues on the line. Starting guard Joel Bitonio is already out, sitting on the reserve/COVID-19 list, while Jack Conklin at tackle and guard Wyatt Teller are listed as questionable. Conklin was named a first-team All-Pro on Friday, while Teller was named to the second team.
The Browns COVID outbreak will also sideline multiple non-starters and head coach Kevin Stefanski who will not be on the sidelines this week. Cleveland has eight players on the reserve/COVID-19 list that have yet to be activated for Sunday night.
The Browns sit around the middle of the pack in both points scored and allowed this year. They had the sixth-worst passing offense with 231 yards a game but third in rushing, putting up 148 per game. Their defense has been good against the run allowing a ninth-ranked 110 yards per game. Conversely, Pittsburgh was dead last in running the ball, putting up just 84.4 yards per game.
Cleveland definitely comes in the hotter team of the two. The Browns have won six of their past eight, although a win against the second-string Steelers and victories over four non-playoff teams coupled with a loss to the Jets takes some air out of that 6-2 record. Pittsburgh has lost four of their past five with defeats coming to the Bengals and Washington, both on the golf course but did beat the Colts. But perhaps the biggest telling game is from Week 6 when Pittsburgh trounced the Browns 38-7 at Heinz Field.
Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Predictions and Picks
- Steelers alternate spread cover -4.5 (-140)
- Under 47.5 total points scored (-114)
- Browns under 20.5 total points scored (-144)
- Ben Roethlisberger over 40.5 pass attempts (-108)
- Baker Mayfield throws an interception (-184)
- James Conner under 48.5 rushing yards (-112)
- Steelers are 4-1 against the spread in past five vs. Browns
- Under is 5-1-1 in Steelers past seven games as a favorite
- Home team is 5-1 against the spread in past six head-to-head meetings
Prediction: Steelers 23, Browns 17