The Cleveland Browns season and the betting odds were sent into a tailspin early Wednesday with the news that Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson would require season-ending surgery to repair a broken bone in his throwing shoulder.
The Browns enter this matchup with Pittsburgh riding a two-game winning streak. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has won two straight and brings a 2-1 away record when the two AFC North rivals square off Sunday in Cleveland.
Join me as I take a closer look at the betting odds and make a prediction for the Steelers vs. Browns on Sunday, November 19.
Steelers vs. Browns Betting Odds Analysis
This contest is going to be a strange one for the oddsmakers. Cleveland opened as -205 at Caesars Ohio to win this game. Watson news drove this number to -135, which could drop even further by kick-off time.
Caesars opened Cleveland as a -2.0 (-110) favorite, and that number went as high as -4.5 (-110) and now sits at -2.0 (-110). That’s good news for those wishing to back the Browns and bad news for Steelers backers.
The total opened 38 (-110) points, and that number has dipped to 34 (-110). The last dip was from 36 points early Wednesday morning after the Watson news.
Steelers vs. Browns Best Bet
I’ve always liked the Steelers as the underdog, especially on the road. Since 2007, Pittsburgh has been 38-25-2 ATS as the away underdog, and I sure wish I had taken the +4.0 points earlier in the week.
Covering the spread and winning games they aren’t supposed to win is a common theme during the Mike Tomlin era. He’s been head coach since 2007, and the Steelers have that extremely good ATS as the away dawg, and that is all his doing.
Pittsburgh is 2-0-0 ATS as the away underdog this season, but the problem they face is that the Steelers’ defense allows the 25th-most rushing yards per game, and rushing the football is how the Browns eat on offense. Cleveland has a banged-up offensive line and still manages to get the job done, and I don’t see that changing Sunday.
The other problem is the stout Browns defense. They are elite and difficult to score the football on. Pittsburgh averages 17.7 points per game as the away side. They are an improving offense under second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett, and if they can score their average, and I believe they can, they will cover the spread and win this game straight up.
The best bet for this one is Steelers +2 (-108) at DraftKings. Pittsburgh has a long history of covering as an away underdog and is 2-0-0 ATS this season as the away underdog. The Steelers should be able to get enough stops to find a way for an improving Pittsburgh offense to score enough to cover and maybe even win this contest.
My best bet: Pittsburgh Steelers +2 (-108) at DraftKings Sportsbook Ohio