Cleveland Browns (4-1 3-2 ATS) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-0 3-1 ATS)
The Browns have won four in a row and hit the road to face the unbeaten Steelers in an AFC North matchup where first place in the division is at stake. The Steelers are a 3.5-point favorite with a total of 51.
Even with this game in Pittsburgh, the public has backed the Browns, as they opened as a 5-point underdog, and as of Wednesday are a 3.5-point dog.
While the Steelers are at 4-0 they have not faced a team that has a winning record. Cleveland has not played a tough record as well, but they did beat an Indianapolis Colts team 32-23 in their last game that came into the game at 3-1.
Last season these rivals split the two games facing each other with each winning at home. The home team has covered the spread in the last four games between these division rivals.
The Cleveland D has had issues but they are the fourth highest-scoring team in the league. They only rank 29th in the league in passing yards per game but even without the injured Nick Chubb, the team has the top-ranked rushing offense.
Pittsburgh has been legit on both sides of the ball and they rank fifth in the league in scoring defense.
Good all-Around Game
In their last game against the Colts, the Browns outgained them by 77 yards, had balance on offense (261 passing yards 124 rushing yards), and held Indy to only 68 rushing yards.
Baker Mayfield passed for 247 yards with two TD and two INT in the Colts win and he has eight TD and three INT in the Browns three-game win streak. Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry are the top two targets and each has at least 279 receiving yards.
Kareem Hunt has stepped up in Chubb’s absence and has rushed for at least 71 yards in his last two games.
Pittsburgh’s defense ranks second in the league against the run and the pass D has been decent. They have the most sacks in the league and they will face a Cleveland offensive line that has given up five sacks in the last three games.
Big Ben – Healthy and Productive
Ben Roethlisberger has played well in his comeback after missing nearly all of last season and while he has not put up eye-popping numbers he has 10 TD and has only been picked off once. In the 38-29 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Pittsburgh’s last game, he passed for 239 yards with three TD and was not picked off.
Rookie WR Chase Claypool went off for 121 yards in the win over the Eagles and leads the Steelers in receiving yards while JuJuSmith-Schuster has not had more than 48 receiving yards in his last three games.
James Conner leads the team in rushing yards and had 44 on 15 carries in the last game. In the Philly game, the Steelers rushed for 134 yards but 58 came on one run.
The Pittsburgh O-Line has protected Big ben well but not face the Browns and Myles Garrett, who ranks second in the league with six sacks.
The Browns have only covered in one of their last seven road games but the one they did was their last one. On the other side of the coin, the Steelers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games.
I am leaning towards the Browns in this one because of Mayfield and the weapons he has. I see this being a low scoring game and Cleveland will not just cover but get the win and take over first place in the AFC North.
PICK: Browns +3.5