Browns vs. Steelers Predictions: Odds, Set, Player Highlights, Pick, Trends, Stream “Thursday Night Football”

The Browns and Steelers will kick off Week 3 when these AFC North rivals square off on Thursday Night Football. Both teams are coming off losses in Week 2 that each could win on their own. Pittsburgh put out a second-half layup that allowed New England to walk away with a win. Meanwhile, the Browns are reeling from a complete meltdown against the Jets, where they blew a 30-17 lead with less than two minutes left in regulation. Needless to say, both of these clubs are probably happy to get to Week 3 and leave last week in the dust as soon as possible.

Here, we will specifically look at the different betting angles this game has to offer. Along with the spread and total, we’ll also take a look at several player props and deliver our picks on how we see this prime-time matchup unfolding.

All NFL odds through Caesars Sportsbook.

How to watch

Date: Thursday, September 22 | Year: 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland, Ohio)
Drift:
Amazon Prime Video
Follow: CBS Sports app
Chance: Brown -4.5, O/U 38.5

Line movement

Selected game | Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers

In the spring when this series first came out, the Browns were 3.5 point favorites and that held up all summer, but dropped to -3 after Week 1. In the wake of Week 2, that has changed a lot. The Browns are now considered 4.5-point favorites and even reached 5-point favorites at times during the week leading up to this Thursday matchup.

The choice: Brown -4.5 (+100). Cleveland is expected to have starter Myles Garrett for this game, which is bad news for Mitch Trubisky as he tries to hang on to his starting job in Pittsburgh. The stage is set nicely for the Browns to take an early lead at home on a short week against a traveling Steelers team and then rely heavily on the run to win. That opportunity for success on the ground is boosted as right tackle Jack Conklin is also expected to make his season debut after missing the first two weeks. Pittsburgh currently ranks 18th in the NFL in DVOA against the run, which plays right into the Browns’ strength offensively. If they can get up and force the Steelers into a more heavy game scenario, they can allow Garrett to beat Trubisky, which will likely force him into at least one turnover.

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

Above/Below Total

That total opened at 40.5 before Week 2 and quickly dragged down throughout this week after briefly rising to 41 on Monday. It fell as low as 37.5 and currently sits at 38.5 on the eve of this division showdown.

The choice: Under 19 total 1H points (-110). If forced to pick a set in this game as a whole, I’d lean down, but I’d rather go with the Under 19 1H points here. The Browns’ preference will be to control the clock and keep the game on the ground, which plays in our favor and the Steelers have shown a reluctance to throw the ball down the field with Trubisky. The game may force them to make those attempts in the second half, so this is a good way to avoid that scenario by zeroing in the first two quarters.

Basic trend: Under is 7-2 in the last nine meetings between these teams in Cleveland.

Props to Mitch Trubisky

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  • Passing touchdowns: 0.5 (Over -274, Under +190)
  • Passing Yards: 199.5 (Over +102, Under -139)
  • Rush yards: 12.5 (Over +100, Under -137)
  • Pass attempts: 31.5 (Over -131, Under -104)
  • Longest pass completion: 31.5 (Over -123, Under -111)
  • Completions: 20.5 (Over +118, Under -163)
  • Wiretapping: 0.5 (Over -129, Under -106)

Over 0.5 cuts at -129 are good value here for Trubisky, who threw a pick last week against New England. He’ll face a pass rush headlined by DPOY candidate Myles Garrett, which could force him to rush several of his throws and step into dangerous windows. I also think the Browns are primed to get an early lead in this divisional matchup that will force Pittsburgh into a game plan that forces Trubisky to push the ball down the field, something he hasn’t been comfortable with so far. Steel mills. With rookie Kenny Pickett breathing down his neck, Trubisky can also force some of those he otherwise wouldn’t want in hopes of keeping his job for at least another week.

In a similar vein, Trubisky passing over the side on 31.5 pass attempts is also a stretch, especially if we believe they will slow down and be forced to throw the ball more. He also surpassed that number in both of his games this season, including a game against the Patriots last week in which he gave up just 31 points.

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  • Passing touchdowns: 1.5 (Over +190, Under -274)
  • Passing Yards: 187.5 (Over -104, Under -131)
  • Rush yards: 12.5 (Over -111, Under -123)
  • Pass attempts: 31.5 (Over -131, Under -104)
  • Longest pass completion: 31.5 (Over +100, Under -137)
  • Completions: 16.5 (Over -139, Under +102)
  • Wiretapping: 0.5 (Over +108, Under -148)

Brissett has seen 10 rushing attempts through the first two games of the season and has topped 12.5 yards rushing once, which came last week on a 43-yard rushing performance against New York. If he averages a handful of carries per game, surpassing that 12.5-yard total isn’t a bad roll of the dice. Under 31.5 all-time tries are the top game, however, at -104. Cleveland’s offense centers around running the football and should be able to do that against a Pittsburgh run defense. If they get an early lead, they’ll be able to lean on that running game to slide into a win without putting the ball in Brissett’s hands too much.

Player props to consider

Total Attempts for Kareem Hunt: Over 9.5 (-157). Hunt has seen double-digit snaps in both games this season and is the 1B in this offense for Nick Chubb, so he will still see plenty of work in the outfield against a mediocre Steelers defense. Since joining the Browns in 2019, Hunt has played in 34 regular season games. He’s had double-digit plays in 20 of those games. If you go back to just 2020, he has been rushed more than 9.5 times 77% of the time.

Nick Chubb total rushing yards: Over 84.5 (-129). As we noted with Hunt, the ground game is the focal point of Cleveland’s offense, and Chubb is the main attraction. He has surpassed that total in each of his previous two games and surpassed it in half of his games played in 2021. The Steelers defense is traveling on a short week and just faced a Patriots backfield that averaged 4, 9 yards per carry with their backs.

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