Browns vs. Steelers Spread Prediction
AFC North rivals will meet in Cleveland on Sunday when the Browns open their season against the Steelers. Even without Le’Veon Bell, are the Steelers still a good bet to cover the spread as a road favorite versus the Browns?
1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday, September 9, 2018
FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Steelers are 3.5-point favorites to beat the Browns. The total, meanwhile, sits at 40.5 points. As of this writing, 60% of the public betting tickets are on the Steelers to cover the point spread.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Le'Veon Bell will miss Week 1 against the Browns. There was hope Bell would report to the team Saturday, but he was never going to play this week. Skipping the season opener is a strong message from Bell that's caused some backlash from teammates. James Conner will start and is locked into a heavy workload in a weather conditioned game. With the Steelers unwilling to rescind his franchise tag, there's no guarantee Bell returns for Week 2.
CBS Cleveland's Jeff Tanchak expects wind gusts up to 40 MPH for the Browns' Week 1 game against the Steelers. This is more aggressive than the forecasts we've seen. Sunday's game total has dropped five points due to the conditions in Cleveland. The Browns/Steelers passing attacks need to be downgraded in what projects as a run-heavy gamescript. It's a Week 1 situation to avoid.
NFL Betting Trends
The Steelers are 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games overall.
The Browns have failed to cover the spread in 21 of their last 28 home games.
Ben Roethlisberger has struggled on the road in recent years and without Bell, this is a good spot to grab the underdog Browns coming off an eventual offseason. Not only are they getting points at home, the Browns will be facing their divisional rival in a depleted state and with the weather likely to be nasty, this game should be a field goal either way.
NFL Preseason Prediction: Cleveland Browns +3.5