Betting

NFL Week 18 Betting: Odds, Spreads, Picks, Predictions for Browns vs. Steelers

Predictions for Browns vs. Steelers

Browns (7-9) at Steelers (8-8)

Opening Spread: Steelers -3

Opening Game Total: 39

Opening Team Totals: Steelers (21) Browns (18)

Weather: Outdoors, no current concerns

The Line Report

  • This line opened as Steelers -3
  • This line has moved to Steelers -2.5
  • This total opened at 39 points
  • This total has moved to 38.5 points

Notable Injuries

Steelers: Questionable: DL Larry Ogunjobi, Edge Alex Highsmith, LB Myles Jack, CB Arthur Maulet, S Minkah Fitzpatrick

Browns: Questionable: WR Amari Cooper, C Ethan Pocic, RT Jack Conklin, CB Denzel Ward

The Steelers Offense vs. Browns Defense

The Steelers’ offensive line remains a bottom-tier pass protection unit, but they have improved in the run game. The Browns’ defensive front is a below average unit themselves, despite having premium edge rusher Myles Garrett. This trench matchup is a relative draw from a macro sense, but Garrett has a massive individual advantage.

Betting Notes Per TruMedia

  • The Steelers are 9-6-1 against the spread this season
  • The Steelers are 6-10 on overs this season
  • Kenny Pickett is 7-4 against the spread in his career
  • Kenny Pickett is 3-8 on overs in his career
  • Mike Tomlin is 132-120-5 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach
  • Mike Tomlin is 112-142-3 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach

Steelers Offense

  • The Steelers are scoring 17.5 points per game, which is 29th in the league
  • Pittsburgh is 24th in the league in yards passing per game and 17th in yards rushing
  • The Steelers are passing on 61% of their plays and running on 39% of plays, per Sports Info Solutions
  • Per the Edge, Najee Harris is 14th in the league in yards rushing with 954
  • Harris has 85 yards rushing or more in five of his last eight games
  • Jaylen Warren has double-digit carries in two of his last three games
  • Diontae Johnson has seven or more targets in each of his last six games
  • Johnson has 137 targets on the season, with no receiving touchdowns
  • George Pickens has 50 yards receiving or more in five of his last seven games
  • Pat Freiermuth has six or more targets in 10 of his 14 games this season
  • Freiermuth is sixth among tight ends in receptions (63), sixth in yards receiving (732), and seventh in target share (19.4%)
  • Per TruMedia, Diontae Johnson leads the league in perimeter snaps with 818, to go with 118 in the slot
  • George Pickens has played 664 snaps on the perimeter and 127 in the slot

Browns Defense

  • The Browns have allowed 22.1 points per game, which is 18th in the league
  • Per The Edge, the Browns have allowed the fifth-most yards rushing per game and the 17th-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season
  • Cleveland has given up the 27th-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year
  • Cleveland has given up the eighth-most PPR points per game to perimeter receivers
  • The Browns have allowed the 21st-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season 

The Browns Offense vs. Steelers Defense

The Browns’ offensive line is a top-five level group. The Steelers’ defensive front is also a top-five level unit. This is a strength vs. strength trench matchup where neither side has a notable advantage.

Betting Notes Per TruMedia

  • The Browns are 8-8 against the spread this season
  • The Browns are 8-7-1 on overs this season
  • Deshaun Watson is 28-28-2 against the spread in his career
  • Deshaun Watson is 26-32 on overs in his career
  • Kevin Stefanski is 20-28 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach
  • Kevin Stefanski is 24-23-1 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach

Browns Offense

  • The Browns are scoring 21.7 points per game, which is 16th in the league
  • Cleveland is 23rd in the league in yards passing per game and sixth in yards rushing
  • The Browns are passing on 56% of their plays and running on 44% of plays, per Sports Info Solutions
  • Per the Edge, Nick Chubb is second in the league in yards rushing with 1,448 and tied for fifth in rushing touchdowns with 12
  • Chubb has at least 90 yards rushing in each of his last three games
  • Since Deshaun Watson took over at quarterback Amari Cooper has a 27.9% target share with a 40.3% air yards share
  • Since Deshaun Watson took over at quarterback Donovan Peoples-Jones has a 21.7% target share with a 36.5% air yards share
  • Since Deshaun Watson took over at quarterback David Njoku has a 21.3% target share and a 14.9% air yards share
  • Per TruMedia, Amari Cooper has played 704 snaps on the perimeter and 170 in the slot
  • Donovan Peoples-Jones has played 652 snaps on the perimeter and 284 in the slot
  • David Njoku has played 471 snaps as an in-line tight end, 62 on the perimeter, and 176 in the slot

Steelers Defense

  • The Steelers have allowed 20.8 points per game, which is 11th in the league
  • Per The Edge, the Steelers have allowed the 20th-most yards rushing per game and the 25th-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season
  • Pittsburgh has given up the ninth-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year
  • Pittsburgh has given up the ninth-most PPR points per game to slot receivers
  • The Steelers have allowed the 12th-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season
  • The Steelers have allowed the eighth-most PPR points per game to tight ends lined up in the slot

 

This Is What You’re Betting on

If the Steelers win this game, they will keep Mike Tomlin’s winning season streak alive. Additionally, if Pittsburgh wins while the Jets beat the Dolphins and the Bills beat the Patriots, the Steelers will be the AFC’s seventh seed. The Steelers are highly motivated, while the Browns are playing for pride. The Steelers won the first matchup between these two teams 29-17 back in Week 3 on Thursday Night Football.

If You’re Betting on the Steelers

Since the Steelers’ Week 9 bye and the return of T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh is 6-2. The Steelers have given up 17 or fewer points in seven of those eight contests. If you’re betting on the Steelers, you are building that bet on their talented and consistent defense. You’re getting them against Watson’s offense, which breached 20 points on offense for the first time in five games against the Commanders last week. For those curious, six of the Browns’ 27 points against the Texans came on offense, as Cleveland had two defensive scores and a returned punt in that contest.

I’m higher than consensus on Kenny Pickett, as I’ve seen more positives than negatives in his game. The Steelers’ offense has scored 20 or more points in four of their eight games since their bye, which includes a 37-30 loss against Joe Burrow’s Bengals. Pickett has been very good late in games, and that offensive spike against the Bengals shows that this offense has some ceiling. That said, your primary concern as a Steelers bettor is a middling offensive performance against a Browns defense that is playing its best football of the season.

If You’re Betting on the Browns

Cleveland is 3-2 since Watson took over at quarterback. Since that shift, the Browns have been notably worse on offense and significantly better on defense. If you’re betting on the Browns, you’re building that stance off two core concepts. The first is that Cleveland’s offensive line is one of the few in the league that’s capable of stalemating the Steelers’ high-end defensive front. The second is that the Steelers have been an inconsistent offense, while Cleveland has held five of its last six opponents to 17 or fewer points. Watson has been inconsistent since his return, but he was among the league’s best and most dynamic quarterbacks before his lengthy absence. You shouldn’t build a Browns bet around Watson, but a spike game is certainly on the table.

Your primary concern as a Browns bettor is that the highly motivated, physical Steelers come in and knock Cleveland around in all phases. Your second is that the Browns’ offense has a few starters banged up, and that leads to Watson struggling against one of the better defenses in football.

Awards Market Ramifications: None

Winner/Confidence Pool: I’m going to be Steelers-heavy in a 7-3 type ratio in winner pools. I will treat this contest as a coin flip in confidence pools.

Spread Pool: From a pure football standpoint I view this game as a relative coin flip, but the Steelers’ motivational factor will make this a game where I take Pittsburgh or pass.

Survivor Pool: Ideally, you want to avoid this contest in survivor pools.

Ryan’s Recent Betting Record:

ATS 2021: 49-31

ATS 2022: 48-32

Props 2022: 55-37

WATCH MORE: Brows vs. Steelers Betting Preview

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