Browns vs. Steelers predictions: Odds, total, player support, selection, trends, ‘Thursday Night Football’ stream

The Browns and Steelers will kick off Week 3 as these AFC North rivals face off for Thursday Night Football. Both teams are making losses in Week 2 that they could have won on their own. Pittsburgh hushed a punt in the second half, which allowed New England to leave with the win. Meanwhile, the Browns are stunned by an absolute slump against the Jets as they give up a 30-17 lead with less than two minutes to go. Needless to say, both of these clubs are probably happy to enter Week 3 and leave last week in the dust as soon as possible.

Here we will look specifically at the different betting angles that this game offers. Alongside the spread and total, we’ll also take a look at a few player support and give our picks to see how this prime-time matchup unfolds.

All NFL odds via Caesars Sportsbook.

how to watch

History: Thursday, September 22 | Time: 20:15 ET
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland, Ohio)
Amazon Prime Video
Follow: CBS Sports App
Rates: Brown -4.5, O/U 38.5

line movement

Featured Game | Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers

In the spring, when this line was first launched, the Browns were a 3.5 point favorite and have continued this summer, but dropped to -3 after Week 1. After Week 2, that changed drastically and the Browns are now considered the 4.5-point favorites, even climbing up to the 5-point favorites at times throughout the week until they head into the game this Thursday.

vote: Brown -4.5 (+100). Cleveland is expected to have star setter Myles Garrett for this game, which is bad news for Mitch Trubisky, who is trying to hold on to his starting job in Pittsburgh. The scene was set nicely for the Browns to take an early lead at home against a traveling Steelers team in a short week and then start running intensely to secure a win. Jack Conklin is also expected to make his first game of the season after missing the first two weeks. Pittsburgh is currently ranked 18th in the DVOA against the run in the NFL, which directly impacts the Browns’ offensive power. If they can stand up and force the Steelers into a heavier play scenario, they might be able to let Garrett play against Trubisky, which will likely force him to make at least one turnover.

key trend: Browns 8-3 ATS in their last 11 Thursday games.

Total Over/Under

That total opened at 40.5 prior to Week 2 and has drawn rapidly down this week after briefly climbing to 41 on Monday. It dropped to 37.5 and currently this division sits at 38.5 on the eve of head-to-head.

vote: Total 1H score below 19 (-110). If I had to pick a total in this game as a whole I would lean in but I would rather go here with 1H points for Under-19. The Browns’ preference would be to control the clock and shake off the floor play that played in our favour, and the Steelers were reluctant to pitch the ball with Trubisky. The game can force them to make these attempts in the second half, so resetting the first two quarters is a good way to avoid this scenario.

key trend: Under, 7-2 in Cleveland in the last nine games between these teams.

Mitch Trubisky scene

passport image

  • Passing touchdowns: 0.5 (over -274, below +190)
  • Last yard: 199.5 (Above +102, Under -139)
  • rush yard: 12.5 (Above +100, Below -137)
  • pass the trials: 31.5 (Above -131, Under -104)
  • Longest pass completion: 31.5 (above -123, less than -111)
  • Completions: 20.5 (Above +118, Below -163)
  • Stopping: 0.5 (Above -129, Below -106)

More than 0.5 interceptions at -129 are good value for Trubisky, who picked up against New England last week. He will face a pass attack led by DPOY candidate Myles Garrett that could force him to rush a few shots and get into risky windows. I also believe the Browns were set up to get an early lead in this divisional matchup that would force Pittsburgh into a game scenario that forced Trubisky to push the ball down the field. Steelworkers. With rookie Kenny Pickett sighing down the back of his neck, Trubisky can push some of those he wouldn’t otherwise want in hopes of holding on to his job for at least another week.

Similarly, Trubisky’s 31.5 attempts to pass are weak, especially if we believe they will fall behind and have to throw the ball more. He has surpassed that number in two of his games this season, including a matchup against the Patriots that produced just 31 points last week.

passport image

  • Passing touchdowns: 1.5 (above +190, under -274)
  • Last yard: 187.5 (Over 104, Under -131)
  • rush yard: 12.5 (Above -111, Under -123)
  • pass the trials: 31.5 (Above -131, Under -104)
  • Longest pass completion: 31.5 (Over +100, Below -137)
  • Completions: 16.5 (Above -139, Below +102)
  • Stopping: 0.5 (Above +108, Below -148)

Brissett saw 10 rushing attempts in the first two games of the season, once overtaking the incoming 12.5-yard rushing prop in a 43-yard rushing performance against New York last week. If he’s averaging a handful of carries per game, this 12.5-yard overshoot isn’t a bad roll of the dice. Pass attempts under 31.5 are best play at -104. Cleveland’s offense is focused on running football and they should be able to do that against the Pittsburgh running defense. If they gain an early edge, they’ll be able to lean into that running game to glide to victory without putting the ball too far into Brissett’s hands.

Player accessories to consider

Kareem Hunt total rush attempts: over 9.5 (-157). Hunt has seen double digits in both games this season and is 1B over Nick Chubb this season, so he’s still going to have a lot of work in the backcourt against a mediocre Steelers run defense. Since joining the Browns in 2019, Hunt has played in 34 regular season games. He scored double-digit points in 20 of those matches. If you just go back to 2020, it’s in a rush more than 9.5 times 77% of the time.

Nick Chubb total running yards: over 84.5 (-129). As we noted with Hunt, ground play is the focus of Cleveland’s offense and Chubb is the main attraction. He exceeded this total in each of his previous two games, surpassing it in half of his games in 2021. The Steelers defense has been traveling in a short week and faced a Patriots backcourt with an average of 4.9 yards per carry on their back.

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