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Browns vs. Steelers: MNF Week 17 betting odds, preview, and pick

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

January 2nd, 2022

AFC North hostilities will be renewed at Heinz Field on Monday night, as the Cleveland Browns visit the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Both teams are not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs just yet, but only the winner of this tilt will likely have something to fight for in Week 18. Another intriguing storyline heading into this matchup is the potential home field swan song for Ben Roethlisberger, who hinted at retirement earlier in the week. 

Let’s dive into this matchup and see where bettors should be landing.

Cleveland Browns (7-8) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7-1), 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

Tue, January 4 2022, 1:15 AM

PIT Steelers

Moneyline

+145

Spread

+3.5

Total

O 41

CLE Browns

Moneyline

-180

Spread

-3.5

Total

U 41

Cleveland needs to feed Nick Chubb

Nick Chubb rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries against the Green Bay Packers on Christmas Day, yet the Browns lost 24-22. That’s thanks in no small part to quarterback Baker Mayfield’s four-interception performance.

The Browns would be wise to leave the ball in Chubb’s hands on Monday night, as he’ll face off against Pittsburgh’s league-worst rush defense (142.7 yards allowed per game). This unit has been embarrassed in recent weeks by Dalvin Cook (205 rushing yards), D’Onta Foreman (108 rushing yards), and the Kansas City Chiefs’ backfield of Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Derrick Gore, and Darrel Williams (127 combined rushing yards). The Steelers have allowed no fewer than 36 points in four of their last six contests.

Can Big Ben conjure up a vintage effort?

Roethlisberger will waltz into the Hall of Fame five years from now should he choose to hang up his cleats after this season, but he’s currently a shell of his former self.

In his last two outings, Big Ben is 39-for-60 (65%) with only 307 yards (5.1 per attempt), and a modest 1-1 touchdown-interception ratio. It’s likely he’ll have trouble moving the chains against a Browns pass defense that’s eighth in yards allowed per game this year (215.1).

Even if the Steelers choose to ride Najee Harris – who’s having a solid rookie season by volume, though his 3.7 yards per carry won’t intimidate most NFL defenses – it’s hard to see them finding the end zone more than twice against a Cleveland defense that’s allowed just 17.6 points per game over its last five contests.

Browns and Steelers injury report

Cleveland BrownsPittsburgh Steelers
Kareem Hunt: Questionable (ankle)
Kendrick Green: Questionable (calf)
Malik Jackson: Questionable (knee)
Chris Wormley: Out (reserve/COVID list)
Ronnie Harrison Jr: Out (ankle)
Devin Bush: Out (reserve/COVID list)
John Johnson III: Out (hamstring)
Joe Schobert: Out (reserve/COVID list)
Pressley Harvin III: Questionable (personal)

Browns vs. Steelers betting trends

  • The Browns are 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 games in January
  • The Steelers are 1-4 ATS in their last five Monday games
  • The Steelers are 18-6-2 ATS in their last 26 games as a home underdog
  • The Under is 5-1 in the Browns’ last six games on grass
  • The Over is 25-7-1 in the Steelers’ last 33 games in January

The verdict

Chubb is the most explosive player on either side here. Plus, the Browns boast the superior defense. Back Cleveland to win a low-scoring affair.

Score prediction: Browns 23, Steelers 14

NFL pick: Browns -3.5, Under 41


Browns vs. Steelers pick powered by The Quant Edge

Our predictive engine is calling for the Browns to win, and the game to go Over the projected total.

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