A rivalry renewed. A rivalry that really has not been much of one due to the Cleveland Browns being the laughingstock of the league for years on end took a big blow when Ben Roethlisberger’s season-ending injury was added to the departures of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. After helmet gate in Week 11, you can bet tensions will be at a fever pitch even with Mason Rudolph on the sidelines. What would have been viewed as another snooze fest, is now legitimately exciting television. This matchup also has potential wild card implications with the Steelers and Browns both in the hunt for the final wild-card spot in the AFC.
- Opening Lines: The consensus point spread for this contest opened at -1 on the Cleveland Browns. The consensus over/under total opened at 40.5 points. The point spread has seen a quick increase to -2. The over/under total has dropped to 40.
- Current Line: Cleveland -2
- O/U: 40
- Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Start Time: 1:00 PM EST, Sunday, December 1st
- Last Meeting: Cleveland defeated Pittsburgh 21-7 – November 14, 2019
The schedule gods have been kind to the 5-6 Cleveland Browns. In an effort to discourage teams from resting players at the end of the season, the NFL schedule makers started placing division battles at the end of the season. This time it worked out that the Cleveland Browns will face the winless Cincinnati Bengals twice in their last five games. If that were not enough to sell you on their postseason chances even without Myles Garrett, their last five opponents have a combined record of 18-36. Half of those 18 wins come from their only tough remaining matchup against the 9-2 Baltimore Ravens. Cards on the table, outside of a surprise win over the Ravens in Week 4, the Browns have been a disaster this season. Freddie Kitchens is lucky to still have a job, and Baker Mayfield has regressed to a level no one thought possible. He still looks more comfortable targeting Jarvis Landry, and will now have to carry a team that is without its star defensive player for the rest of the season. With a healthy secondary, and Olivier Vernon hopefully returning to health soon, the 5-6 Browns will look to become a 9-7 wild card team (10-6 if they believe they can defeat the Ravens).
It was always going to be a bad season for the Steelers, even prior to the Ben Roethlisberger injury. Big Ben went back to being disinterested and prized free-agent wide receiver Donte Moncrief would start his Steelers career with more drops than receptions. He quickly became a healthy scratch before being released. James Conner proved that he is more of a volume guy who benefited from a supremely motivated (for about 10 games) 2018 offensive line. Their backfield has also failed to stay healthy. Mason Rudolph, who was once regarded as the future of the franchise under center, has seen all of his shine wear off and was benched for Devlin Hodges in Week 12. Hodges’ claim to fame? Winning a national duck calling competition. If anything has gone right for the Steelers this season, it is their defense. T.J. Watt and Devin Bush is an unfair linebacker duo, and the trade for former first-round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick turned out to be a masterpiece. The Steelers are 6-5 but have Buffalo, Baltimore, and their Week 13 opponent in the Cleveland Browns left on the schedule. They will be lucky to finish anything better than 8-8, a record that should still be treated as a successful season by the organization.
- Cleveland is 4-1-1 ATS in their last six contests against Pittsburgh.
- The home team is 4-1-1 in the last six contests between these two teams.
- Over is 4-1 in the last five contests between these two teams.
- Cleveland is 4-6 ATS on the season.
- Cleveland is 2-3 ATS on the road this season.
- Pittsburgh is 7-4 ATS on the season.
- Pittsburgh is 4-2 ATS at home this season.
- Cleveland is 4-1 ATS in their last five contests against the AFC North.
- Cleveland is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 contests following a win ATS.
- Cleveland is 2-0-1 ATS in their last three contests.
- Pittsburgh is 4-1 ATS in their last five home contests.
- Pittsburgh is 7-2 ATS in their last nine contests.
- Pittsburgh is 6-2 ATS in their last eight contests against the AFC North.
- Over is 4-1-1 in Cleveland’s last six contests against the AFC North.
- Under is 4-1 in Cleveland’s last five contests against teams with winning records.
- Under is 4-1-1 in Cleveland’s last six contests following a win ATS.
- Under is 5-1 in Pittsburgh’s last six contests.
- Under is 5-1 in Pittsburgh’s last six contests against the AFC North.
- Under is 4-0 in Pittsburgh’s last four contests following a win ATS.
Cleveland first half -0.5 (-110)
With the Browns being our pick for the full game, the tiny first half line also presents some appeal. Strangely, first half can be found at -0.5 on Cleveland despite the point spread for the full game already shifting to -2 at PointsBet. This is one to lock in right away. The Steelers secondary has been on fire since the acquisition of Minkah Fitzpatrick, but you can be sure Freddie Kitchens has focused his offensive game plan on avoiding the former first-round pick in coverage. Cleveland was able to have their way with a Mason Rudolph led Steelers offense in Week 11, and should be able to do so again this week against Devlin Hodges. Lock the first half in as one unit play.
Nick Chubb over 75 rushing yards (-303)
If the juice on this player prop feels like a baseball line we might find attached to the Houston Astros or the Los Angeles Dodgers, it is because it is. The reason those contests have such heavy juice is because of the inherent win probability. The same is true here. Chubb has lost some snaps to Kareem Hunt, but is still functioning as a workhorse on the ground. Chubb is averaging 101.5 rushing yards per game on the season, and is averaging 104.6 per game since Hunt joined the active roster. He has seen 22.6 carries per game in that timespan. Chubb has recorded 75 or more yards in nine of his 11 contests this season. Lay the juice for the full unit return at PointsBet.
The Cleveland Browns should win this contest by more than a field goal. While their pass rush may be down Myles Garrett and possibly Olivier Vernon, Larry Ogunjubi will be back from suspension to help create pressures on Devlin Hodges. The Browns should be three-point favorites in this contest and we may even get there by kickoff. The Browns won the Week 11 contest between these two teams by 14 points, and may be able to win by seven more in Week 13 despite playing on the road. Cleveland is 4-1 against the spread in their last five contests against the AFC North, and appear poised to make it 5-1 this weekend. Don’t overthink things in a contest with a -2 consensus point spread, but that can still be found at -1.5. Punch in Cleveland at -1.5 at -120 odds at BetMGM.
Check out our other NFL Sports Betting Guides for Week 13
- Philadelphia Eagles at Miami Dolphins (+10)
- New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals (+3)
- San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens (-5.5)
- Green Bay Packers at New York Giants (+6.5)
- Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers (-10)
- Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-2)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5)
- Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (+3)
- Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals (+3)
- Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-10)
- New England Patriots at Houston Texans (+3)
- Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (-2.5)