Thursday Night Football: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns Preview, Prediction, and Pick

Game: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

Date & Time: Thursday November 14th, 2019, 8:20 (EST)

Location: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH 

The Line: Cleveland Browns -2.5, O/U 40

TV Channel: FOX

NFL SEASON ATS RECORD: 34-25-2

In this Thursday Night game, the Cleveland Browns look to keep their slim playoff hopes alive in a weak AFC.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns Preview

If the Cleveland Browns look to make good on their offseason moves and make the playoffs, they better get moving. After losing 4 in a row to drop to 2-6, the Browns saved their season with an ugly 19-16 win against the Bills that could’ve went either way. At 3-6, the Browns are still alive in the playoff race, but barely breathing.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers started the season 0-3, and Ben Roethlisberger was ruled out for the season, everybody (rightfully) wrote them off. Since that start, the Steelers are 5-1, winners of 4 in a row, and right in the thick of the playoff race.

Many could point to the acquisition of S Minkah Fitzpatrick as the turning point of their season. Trading for Fitzpatrick was risky. With Roethlisberger already out for the season, trading a 1st-round draft pick could’ve blew up in their face. Besides, they were already 0-2, a couple more losses and their pick was basically guaranteed to be Top-10.

Instead, Fitzpatrick has changed everything about the Steelers. In 7 games, he has intercepted 5 passes, forced and recovered 2 fumbles each, and has scored 2 touchdowns, including one last week in their victory over the Rams. Without Fitzpatrick, this defense isn’t making the same plays it is, and who knows what their record would be.

For the Browns, it will be up to Baker Mayfield to protect the ball against this suddenly dominating defense. If not, it’ll be a long night for the Browns, who will see their playoff hopes vanish with a loss.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns Key Stats

  • Baker Mayfield has thrown the 2nd-most Interceptions with 12
  • Steelers lead the series 7-0-1 since 2015
  • This is the teams first meeting this season
  • The teams will play again in Week 13

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers Betting lines

  • The O/U for the game is 40
  • The Browns are 2.5 point favorites on Draftkings
  • The Browns are -148 on the ML, Steelers +130

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns Spread Prediction

For the second straight week, the Browns are favorites at home against a team over .500. I understood last week, as I’m not sold on the Bills as a good team, but this week has me scratching my head a bit. 

The Steelers have proven to be the much better team, and they’re the hotter team as well, winning 5 of 6. The Browns have lost 4 of 5, but won their last one. With all the offseason talk of how explosive the offense will be this season, that talk has been quieted by their average play. Baker Mayfield has regressed, and the flashy trade for OBJ hasn’t turned out as they hoped. Still, the Browns are favorites.

The Steelers are 2.5 point underdogs. With this game being in Cleveland, it will be paramount for them to get off to a good start. I think this will be a close game. The Browns will be playing like their lives are on the line, because in reality, they are. With a loss, the Browns will drop to 3-7, with slim hopes for the playoffs. 

This game will come down to the wire, and I can see a field goal winning it either way. Because of that, I’m going with the Steelers, and buying a point to +3.5.

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