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Steelers vs Browns Betting Odds - Defending champs won’t disappoint at gut-check time

Posted by Stan Simmons on 12/7/2009 1:29:46 PM

NFL Odds: Pick Steelers -10

NFL football bettigSteelers vs Browns betting odds actually mean something now, and both the NFL network and NFL betting fans are thankful given that the Thursday nighter looked like a dud on paper a few weeks ago. Now, after the Steelers have lost four straight games for the first time in five years, their trip to Cleveland is a must-win.

Steelers vs Browns betting odds: Steelers -10 (Total: 36.5)
WHAT: NFL betting
WHEN: Thursday, December 10, 8:20 p.m. ET
WHERE: Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, OH
KEY STAT: Steelers have won last five meetings
PICK: Steelers -10

Steelers vs Browns betting odds maker breakdown: The Storyline
The anemic Browns have little to play for in theory but they’d like nothing better than to spoil their hated rivals’ season. Pittsburgh remains in the thick of the crowded AFC playoff picture but probably can’t afford another loss.

Steelers vs Browns betting odds maker breakdown: Offense
Offense clearly isn’t Pittsburgh’s problem right now. Rashard Mendenhall has taken the starting running back reins and never looked back; most online betting sharps believe he’ll be Pittsburgh’s featured back for years to come. Ben Roethlisberger shook off the rust quickly against Oakland last week in his return from a concussion, quickly re-establishing his rapport with Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes.

For most of the year it’s been tough to even say the Browns have an “offense,” but Brady Quinn has actually shown something in the last few weeks, throwing for seven touchdowns – including three against a good Chargers pass defense – and no interceptions. While it’s possible that he could keep some momentum going against an inconsistent Steelers secondary, I wouldn’t count on it.

Betting Edge: Steelers

Steelers vs Browns betting odds maker breakdown: Defense
The Browns are the NFL’s worst defensive team, allowing an embarrassing 400.3 total yards per game. They’re a virtual lock to get gouged by Mendenhall and bite on Big Ben’s pump fakes.

The Steelers are an enigma right now. One of the most consistently dominant defenses of the decade, they’re the No. 5 unit in the league and are absolutely phenomenal against the run. However, safety Troy Polamalu’s absence is really hurting them, so much that we’re seeing also-ran quarterbacks like Matt Cassel and Bruce Gradkowski stretch the field against them. If Troy’s sprained MCL holds him out again this week, the Steelers can probably survive since they’re only facing the Browns. But Pittsburgh has to hope he returns in time to battle Green Bay the following week.

Betting Edge: Steelers

Steelers vs Browns betting odds for total: 36.5
The 36.5-point total is a tricky one for sports betting fans. It’s very likely that Pittsburgh’s front seven will come out angry and swarm both Quinn and any unlucky running back who gets the rock for Cleveland, be it Chris Jennings or Jerome Harrison. Even though the Steelers could hold the Browns to single-digit points, it doesn’t seem far-fetched for the black and gold to score 30-plus, does it? I’d bet over the total.

Pick: Over 36.5

Steelers vs Browns betting odds maker breakdown: Notable Injuries
Each team is missing the heart and soul of its defense; Troy Polamalu may rest one more game and the Browns have lost nose tackle Shaun Rogers for the season. We’ll call the injury situation a draw, though the Steelers get the edge back if Troy plays.

Betting Edge: Draw

Steelers vs Browns betting odds breakdown: Outlook and Pick
Say what you want about the Steelers’ bizarre losing streak – is it the dreaded Super Bowl hangover? – but it’s time to put our faith back in the defending champs. They’re angry and humiliated after a last-minute loss to Oakland. If Thursday’s game can’t motivate them, nothing can. Pick the Steelers to romp and hope they show us that they still care about the 2009 season.

STAN’S PICK: Steelers -10

The BetOnline sportsbook will update the Steelers vs Browns betting odds with live lines leading up to Thursday night’s game.



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