The Cleveland Browns are on a four-game winning streak and will be heading to a familiar foe’s stadium as they go to Heinz Field to play the 4-0 Pittsburgh Steelers. Both these teams could be in the playoffs, and with the top seed of the conference getting a bye, this game has even more stakes than ever before. Don’t forget the Myles Garrett-Mason Rudolph situation from last season. These teams have seen each other often being in the AFC North, and this could prove which can be looked at as a contender.
Baker Mayfield is coming off his best yardage of the season last week against the Colts, where he went 21-of-37 for 247 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also has the 8th-best QBR with 78.4 and plays well under his third head coach in his three-year career. Pittsburgh has been one of the staples of consistency behind head coach Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger and their stellar defense.
(Injury reports and line movements are updated as of Sunday Morning.)
Pittsburgh was a four-point favorite when the books opened and it has moved down to 3.5 as of Sunday morning. 58 percent of the bets against the spread are still backing the Steelers giving the points.
The over/under for this game, on the other hand, has increased slightly as the week has gone on. Originally opening at 50 points, the total is now going at 50.5 or 51 points, depending on the sportsbook. A solid majority of the bets on the total, 59 percent, are backing the over in this contest.
Game-time Weather: Temperature at kickoff is expected to be in the high-50s with temperatures climbing into the mid-60s under fair skies. There are some intermittent clouds in the forecast but there is no rain to speak of. Winds are expected to come from the south at around eight miles an hour with gusts that could hit get to about 10 miles per hour.
Hunting For Extra YardsThe Cleveland Browns are sitting at 4-1 in large part due to their running game as head coach Kevin Stefanski is known to rely on it. With Nick Chubb on the Injured Reserve with a sprained MCL that could potentially sideline him for upwards of six weeks, there is a possibility for the team not to miss a single step.Kareem Hunthas averaged 5.0 yards per rush this season and has three touchdowns on the ground. He has been a good passing-back as well, with 11 receptions for 63 yards with an additional three touchdowns (six total).
This will be one of the key spots to keep an eye on as Pittsburgh has allowed just 64 rushing yards per game and the fewest total rushing yards in the league. One of the best rushing attacks vs. one of the best rushing defenses will be a solid matchup. Safety-tuned-linebacker Marcus Allen is already ruled out for this week’s game on one of the earlier injury reports, so it is already weakened a bit. It should be a fun matchup that could sway the game in one direction or another.
OUT: DT Andrew Billings, RB Nick Chubb, S Grant Delpit, T Drake Dorbeck, G Drew Forbes, G Colby Gossett, S Ronnie Harrison Jr., WR KhaDarel Hodge, S Karl Joseph, WR Jojo Natson, DE George Obinna, DT Larry Ogunjobi,LB Jacob Phillips, G Malcolm Pridgeon, G Wyatt Teller, DE Curtis Weaver, CB Greedy Williams, DE Trevon Young
Questionable: LB Tae Davis, P Jamie Gillan, RB Kareem Hunt, DT Sheldon Richardson, C JC Tretter, DE Olivier Vernon
Big Ben Continues to Step UpThe Steelers do not need great quarterback play with how good their running game has gone. However,Ben Roethlisbergerhas looked incredible since missing most of last year with an elbow injury and has made a strong case for Comeback Player of the Year. He has led the Steelers to an undefeated record through four games. Roethlisberger is completing a tick under 70 percent of passes and has 1,016 yards with ten touchdowns. The most significant factor is only throwing one interception, including none in the last nine quarters of play.
'I am just glad we are winning football games. You know me, it's not about stats, it's not about numbers, it's about winning football games. I am just glad we are winning football games.' - @_BigBen7— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) October 14, 2020
More: https://t.co/wD2Nfc6SlJ pic.twitter.com/32F8vL1maY
Big Ben has been one of the best guys under center with the fifth-highest rating (110.4), and there is a huge reason Roethlisberger is in a position to have a great game. The Browns have one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL as they allow 296.4 passing yards per game, which is the third-most. The Steelers have a 23-2-1 record with Big Ben under center against the Browns, and he throws for 244 yards during those games. With guys like Chase Claypool, Juju Smith-Schuster, and James Washington catching passes, this is lined up to be Roethlisberger’s best game of the season.
OUT: T Zach Banner, G David DeCastro, WR Diontae Johnson
Questionable:OL Stefen Wisniewski
- Pittsburgh: 7-3 in last 10 games
- Pittsburgh: 51-25-2 ATS in their last 78 games in October
- Cleveland: 1-8-1 in last 10 games vs PIT
- Cleveland: 1-7 ATS in their last 8 road games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Both these teams are as close to full strength as possible, and it will be one of their most anticipated matchups in the 21st century as both teams are finally looking solid at the same time. Both teams have shown the ability to score the ball, but Cleveland’s biggest strength is their running attack, now led by Kareem Hunt for the foreseeable future. Pittsburgh has completely eliminated the rushing attack against their defense with solid running teams like the Giants (before Saquon’s injury), Broncos, and Texans on their schedule and pretty good rushing attacks. The Steelers are 3-0 this season at home, and they can keep teams off the board more than Cleveland does. Go with Pittsburgh to remain undefeated and eat the 3.5 points as this could get ugly and be a double-digit victory.
Prediction: Pittsburgh -3.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I completely understand why the point total is as high as it is, but it should be closer to 45. Pittsburgh allows 22 points per game and completely eliminates Cleveland’s biggest strength. Both teams are solid against the run this season, while the Browns haven’t proven the ability to pass the ball efficiently for a full sixty minutes. This game should be a two-possession game, and the Steelers should force Baker Mayfield to make a couple of mistakes. This has the making to be a low-scoring game as this is the best defense Cleveland faced since Baltimore in Week 1. Go with the UNDER in this game and run to the nearest sportsbook.
Prediction: OVER 51