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The Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns in Week 18, needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Handicapper Gray Gutfreund is here with the best bets for Sunday's Steelers vs. Browns.
ANALYSIS

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns Prediction, Picks, Odds: Can We Trust Mike Tomlin and the Steelers?

As the NFL regular season wraps up this week, everything is on the line for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They can earn a playoff berth with a win and help from other AFC teams.

Additionally, a win would extend head coach Mike Tomlin's streak of .500-or-better seasons to 16 in a row. A 9-8 finish feels like Pittsburgh's destiny, and the 7-9 Browns are all that stand in their way.

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Steelers vs. Browns Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: January 8, 2023
  • Game time: 1:00 pm ET
  • Where to watch: CBS

Click Here for Steelers vs Browns Odds

Steelers vs. Browns Predictions

Pittsburgh Steelers Moneyline (-140) (Bet $140 to collect $240) Click here for the best odds, available at FanDuel

First off, there's one thing I love about this spot for the Steelers. They have a playoff appearance on the line, while the Browns essentially have nothing to play for.

And you may wonder why Pittsburgh isn't a heavier favorite given this line of thinking. You may even say that this is a "trap line" since it doesn't really make sense why the books aren't giving the Steelers more respect. But I'm not going to question it. This has become a trustworthy team, and the added motivation can only help this Sunday.

Led by coach Mike Tomlin, rookie QB Kenny Pickett, and defensive superstar TJ Watt, Pittsburgh has become an awesome late-season story. This team was 2-6 coming out of their bye week, and they've gone 6-2 since. That includes a 4-0 stretch in the 4 full games played by Pickett since Thanksgiving.

It took them long enough, but the Steelers are healthy and playing their best football of the season, just in time for a huge home game against the Browns. And, regardless of who's on the field, you can always count on the Steelers at home in this matchup. They've won a ridiculous 18 straight home games against the Browns. And I expect them to get the job done in Week 18, with their defense leading the way.

Browns Team Total Under 19.5 Points (-105) (Bet $105 to collect $205) Click here for the best odds, available at FanDuel

Pittsburgh has specialized in winning ugly, low-scoring games this season. They're giving up just 16.9 points per game since their bye week. Only San Francisco and Baltimore have conceded fewer points in their last eight games.

Tomlin's squad has only conceded more than 17 points once in their last eight games. And that was against Joe Burrow and the Bengals. To put it simply, this Browns offense is nowhere near as good as those dudes, and they certainly could struggle to put points on the board on Sunday afternoon.

Deshaun Watson has been a catastrophic disappointment in his first five Cleveland starts. The Browns have put up just 16.8 points per game with Watson at the helm, good for 9th worst in the NFL during this stretch. However, their 6 offensive touchdowns in 5 games with Watson are the 3rd worst in the NFL, trailing only the Jets and Ravens.

Pittsburgh has held their opponents below this number in 6 straight games, and I like their chances to make it 7 straight with a win to close out the regular season.

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Article Author

NFLNBA

Gray is a massive New York sports fan, and is an NBA & NFL oracle. He’s a passionate writer with a strong background in statistics, and loves putting out player props! You can follow him on Twitter @PropBetGuru.

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