- The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently on a four-game winning streak.
- The Cleveland Browns offense is averaging 19 points per game.
- The Steelers defense has forced 14 turnovers in their last four games.
CLEVELAND – Week 11 of the NFL season is set to kick-off tonight with an AFC North matchup as the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4) hit the road to face the Cleveland Browns (3-6). This will be the first time these two division rivals have met all season.
Both teams come into this matchup while having tumultuous seasons. For the Browns, they’ve been one of the most disappointing teams and have failed to live up to their preseason hype. The Steelers have been impressive without their quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Since Week 2 Big Ben has been out due to an elbow injury. The Steelers have also been trying to replace the talent lost by the departures of wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Leveon Bell.
Despite the Browns (-145) having a dismal season, they’re still three-point favorites at home to beat the Steelers on Thursday Night Football. However, the Browns have been dreadful ATS this season with a 2-6-1 record. Pittsburgh has been much better with 5-3-1 record ATS. The three-point spread in this game is an intriguing bet but the money line for the Pittsburgh Steelers (+125) is the best bet. The Steelers defense has been dominant lately, and history tells us the Steelers are 8-0-1 in their last nine games against the Browns SU.
The point total for this game is set at 42. With the Steelers defense being one of the stingiest defenses over the past couple weeks this low point total will likely go under. In five of the Steelers' last six games on the road against the Browns, the total has gone under and that can be expected again tonight.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been one of the most surprising teams in the NFL heading into Week 11. They come into this matchup riding a four-game winning streak after starting the season 0-3 and losing their starting quarterback. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin deserves a lot of credit for keeping this team above .500 and in the AFC playoff race.
The Browns are a much better team than their record reflects, and this game will come down to whether or not the Steelers offense led by Mason Rudolph will be able to put enough points on the board to win. The Steelers defense should have no problems leaking through a weak Cleveland Browns offensive line and if they can force Baker Mayfield into some early mistakes then it could be an easy road win for Pittsburgh. Forcing turnovers is something this Steelers defense has done well this season as they’ve recorded 26 takeaways which is the second-most in the NFL. In this decade alone the Browns have only beaten the Steelers twice, and that is another reason why all bets should be placed on the underdog Steelers.
Pittsburgh’s starting running back James Conner is expected to play in this game after missing the previous two games with a shoulder injury, this will be a big boost for the Steelers offense as Conner is a threat in the passing and running game.
The Browns on paper seemed like one of the teams that were ready to make a serious playoff push this season. The on-field results for Cleveland have been awful, second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield has regressed, and through 11 weeks, has thrown more interceptions (12) than touchdowns (9). Furthermore, Mayfield’s 12 interceptions are the second-most in the NFL behind Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston. If the Browns want to win this game, they will need to lean on their running game of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to limit Mayfield’s turnovers. The offensive line has also been a major problem for the Browns as they cling to whatever slim playoff chances they have left.
Cleveland hasn’t been good at home this season as they have a 1-3 home record and, despite their win against the Buffalo Bills last week, this is still one of the most inconsistent teams in the NFL. Fading away from the Browns on any bet is probably the smartest bet this week.
Prop Bet of the Night
US sportsbooks have one prop bet to consider in this game, “Will a Special Teams or Defensive TD be scored?”. The Steelers defense has scored a touchdown in two straight games and are second in the NFL in generating turnovers this season. Which makes the +185 “yes’’ odds for this prop very intriguing, especially when Baker Mayfield is the opposing quarterback because he is extremely turnover prone. The “no” odds for this prop are at -250. Take the “yes” odds on this prop and keep an eye out for Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick – he’s scored both of the Pittsburgh Steelers last two defensive touchdowns.
The kick-off for this game is scheduled at 8:20 p.m. ET and will be broadcasted by FOX/NFL Network.