In this article, we’ll provide you with our top football betting picks for the Week 8 Thursday Night Football game the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns. We’ll study the odds, betting lines, teams, and players to give you our recommended betting picks to beat the New Jersey sportsbooks.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns (-2.5) – O/U: 40
Thursday, November 14, 2019 – 8:20 p.m. EST
TNF Week 11 Betting Pick: Browns (-2.5)
We’ve got an intriguing AFC North matchup as the 5-4 Pittsburgh Steelers travel on a short week to face the 3-6 Cleveland Browns. The Steelers have won four straight games while the Browns just snapped a four-game losing streak. Our top betting pick is for the Browns to cover the 2.5-point spread. Let’s dive into the facts and figures to see how we landed on this conclusion.
TNF Week 11 Betting Lines: Steelers at Browns
The public has backed Pittsburgh early this week, with nearly two-thirds of the bets so far. This is a big reason why we’ve seen the line drop a half-point to -2.5 for Cleveland. All things considered, this is a fair line with the Browns initially getting the standard three points for being the home team. We love the line even more, coming down under -3, and we’ll explain why.
Steelers Betting Form
Somehow, the Steelers currently have the last playoff spot in the AFC. Four straight wins will certainly revive that swagger around the team. Pittsburgh will get RB James Conner back, adding some much-needed pop to the offense.
When looking at the season for QB Mason Rudolph, it’s actually a lot better than anyone could have ever imagined. The second-year signal-caller now has 11 TD-4 INT and has done a fine job of managing this offense when needed. Granted, he’s no Ben Roethlisberger, but the Steelers have done just fine with him at the helm. The one concern, though, is how Rudolph will perform in the first short-week game of his career.
The Steelers’ defense has been solid during the four-game winning streak allowing an average of 16.8 points. Adding Minkah Fitzpatrick has certainly been huge, as he now has a touchdown in each of the last two games. Since becoming a Steeler, Fitzpatrick now has four interceptions, two fumble recoveries, two touchdowns and a forced fumble in seven games.
As a team, Pittsburgh is second in the NFL with 26 takeaways – behind only New England (27). In fact, the Steelers lead the NFL in opponent’s drives ending in a turnover (23.8%).
Browns Betting Form
QB Baker Mayfield will need to wake up feeling dangerous if the Browns want to make it two in a row. Mayfield has certainly underperformed this season, but he did get RB Kareem Hunt back last week. It was his first game with the Browns, following an eight-game suspension. Hunt finished admirably with 30 rushing yards on four carries and 44 receiving yards on seven catches.
It’ll be interesting to see how head coach Freddie Kitchens utilizes his new dual-threat backfield on a short week. RB Nick Chubb has been fantastic this season and sits only 81 rushing yards shy of 1,000 on this season. Chubb has accumulated 20 carries in six of the last seven games, so this could be a spot to get Hunt some more touches.
When comparing the defenses, Cleveland only has nine takeaways compared to Pittsburgh’s 26. That might not come into play as much on Thursday night. Instead, this defense will need more of a better effort in stopping the run. Only three teams in the NFL (Cincinnati, Carolina, Kansas City) have allowed more yards per carry (4.9) this season.
Luckily, the Steelers’ offense hasn’t been moving the ball with great regularity. They had their moments in MNF games against the Bengals and Dolphins. However, the defense is a big reason why a majority of those points were on the board. As long as the Browns’ offense doesn’t put the defense in bad spots, we’ll be just fine with Mayfield & Co.
TNF Week 11 Betting Pick: Browns (-2.5)
While we may have given a lot of great tidbits about the Steelers, we’re going the opposite direction. The Browns’ offense is much better than what the Steelers have to offer, and that’ll end up being the catalyst to victory. Sure, the Steelers’ defense is playing great but they have faced some subpar competition of late. Expect the Browns to play much better with their season on the line.
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