Browns Steelers Betting – Pittsburgh Makes Short Work Of Cleveland On Thursday
Online betting players who jumped off Pittsburgh’s bandwagon early in the season are firmly on board after the Steelers have won seven of their last eight, and on Thursday, they will take on a Cleveland team coming off a tough stretch of division games. The Browns have been struggling all season on offense, and that will continue in Pittsburgh against the red-hot Steelers.
What: NFL Betting
When: Thursday, December 8th, 8:20 PM ET
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers -14
Why Bet On Cleveland Browns (4-8 SU, 4-6-2 ATS)
Cleveland’s 31st-ranked run defense was bombed for 290 yards, including 204 yards by Ray Rice, in a 24-10 loss at home to Baltimore on Sunday and the Ravens’ ability to run the ball kept Cleveland’s offense on the sidelines for over 37 minutes. Not that more time on the field would’ve helped an anemic unit that put up 233 yards and rarely looked like scoring for the Browns, and many are calling for Seneca Wallace to start this game after Colt McCoy was 17-of-35 for 192 yards, a touchdown and a pick. The Browns couldn’t run the ball (59 yards on 17 carries) and McCoy doesn’t have a lot of help in the aerial attack, so it’s unclear if Wallace would make that big of a difference. Running back Peyton Hillis had 45 yards on 12 carries and a 52-yard reception for Cleveland’s biggest play, but the offense continues to struggle and things may get worse for Cleveland heading into another AFC North clash, which will be their third straight division game.
Hillis (undisclosed) wasn’t in the locker room after the game and coach Pat Shurmur said he didn’t hurt the hamstring that has been ailing him all season, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Madden cover boy can go this week on short rest. McCoy (knee) has to go for tests, so this could be Wallace’s chance to break the lineup. Running back Montario Hardesty (calf) may be pressed back into action if Hillis can’t go, but it doesn’t really matter as the Steelers are incredibly tough to run on. Cleveland has to make something happen in the passing game to have a chance of pulling off the NFL betting upset.
Why Bet On Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS)
The Steelers jumped out to a 21-0 lead and cruised to a 35-7 thrashing of Cincinnati at home, and they benefitted from three first downs due to flags. They needed all the help they could get as Pittsburgh was only 2-of-10 on third down and they had 295 yards to 232 for the Bengals, who also had a pair of turnovers. Ben Roethlisberger was 15-of-23 for 176 yards and two touchdowns with no picks, and the Steelers ran for 136 yards, including 60 yards and a pair of scores from Rashard Mendenhall. Defensively, linebacker James Harrison sacked Andy Dalton three times as the Bengals had to go away from the running game and play catch-up, which plays right into what Pittsburgh wants to do, which is blitz you into the ground. The Steelers allowed 104 yards on the ground, which is a little more than their average, but the ability of Pittsburgh to get out to a big lead changed the game and really hurt the Bengals’ chances.
Linebacker Lamarr Woodley (hamstring) aggravated his injury against the Bengals and even if he comes back for this game, he’ll be sharing time with Jason Worilds. Running back Mewelde Moore (hamstring) couldn’t finish the Cincinnati game either, which means more work for Mendenhall, who hasn’t been at his best in 2011. It wasn’t a banner performance by the Steelers, but they still managed to flex their muscles against a division opponent. Pittsburgh needs to run the table to have a chance at the AFC North title as Baltimore has the tiebreaker due to two wins over the Steelers, and they’ll need to lose as well to help the Steelers out.
How It Will Play Out
NFL betting odds have the Steelers as a 14-point favorite at home over the Browns, who are 1-9 SU and 4-5-1 ATS in their last 10 against Pittsburgh. In Pittsburgh, the Steelers are 4-1 SU and 2-2-1 ATS in their last five meetings with the Browns, with three of the games going over the posted total (one game was a push).
The Steelers should be able to get Mendenhall on track in this game as Cleveland’s run defense is terrible, and there aren’t many instances in which we can see the Browns putting up points against the Pittsburgh defense. Look for McCoy to spend most of the day running for his life, with or without Hillis in the backfield. Go with Pittsburgh to cover the sports betting spread on Thursday.
Browns Steelers Betting Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers