Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns Thursday Night Football Betting Preview

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns Thursday Night Football Betting Preview

Ayden Fahlstrom
2 years ago
3 min read
Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb rushes the ball vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Cleveland Browns will host their rival in the Pittsburgh Steelers at First Energy Stadium on Thursday night in the first of two upcoming divisional matchups this season. Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. 

Fresh off a self-inflicted collapse against the New York Jets in their most recent game, the Browns enter this short week preparing for a .500 Pittsburgh Steelers team and their struggling offense led by starting quarterback and Mentor native Mitch Trubisky. 

Both teams will be without weapons on the defensive line as Steeler edge rusher and recent winner of the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award T.J. Watt has been put on injured reserve. 

On Cleveland's side, run-stopping defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has already been ruled out following an ankle injury sustained against the Jets. 

Last Weeks Performance

The Browns blew a 13-point lead in the final 1:22 in their home opener loss to the Jets. Costly mistakes by every unit led to boos from the Cleveland faithful in attendance. The Browns secondary was a significant red flag, as miscommunications between players led to fourth-quarter touchdowns on broken coverages for the second straight week. 

Miscues on special teams stung as prized rookie Cade York missed a crucial extra point and the Browns hands team failed to recover the game-clinching onside kick. 

Despite this house of cards like collapse, the Browns offense looked healthy. Running back Nick Chubb added three rushing touchdowns while combining with Kareem Hunt to administer a 145-yard rushing outing. Wide Reciever Amari Cooper shined as the clear wide receiver one as he surged for 101 receiving yards and a score. 

The Steelers, coming off a disappointing three-point loss to the New England Patriots, are looking to add to their division win total after beating the Cincinnati Bengals in a nailbiter week one. Ironically, the Steelers units also suffered a similar yet worse fate as the Browns in week two. 

The Steelers secondary couldn't capitalize on two would-be interceptions that led to 10 Patriots points. Special teams signee Gunner Olszewski's muffed punt return led to a touchdown. Mitch Trubisky and the pass offense received plenty of boos of their own, and running back Najee Harris again couldn't crack the 50-yard rushing mark on double digit carries. 

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Making Sense Of The Browns As Favorites

The Browns carry home-field advantage in a crucial primetime divisional matchup against the evenly matched Steelers. 

This iteration of the Browns offense is averaging 28 points per game. Although the Browns have been choking away leads in the fourth quarter on big plays, there is a lot of blood in the water for Browns defensive playmakers.

 This Steeler offense is flat, and the future of Trubisky and offensive play-caller Matt Canada could be in jeopardy. If the defense can stay disciplined, the Browns can prove why they are favored to win. 

Browns (-3)?

Despite the Steelers offense, the Mike Tomlin led defense has kept games close. While the Browns are liable to let Pittsburgh back into the game, it's reasonable to think the Browns running back tandem can cover the spread by themselves in what could be a statement division win for the Browns. 

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