It’s been a long while since the Cleveland Browns last tasted the sweet taste of victory on the field in a non-preseason contest. They will look to finally get their first win since 2016 this coming Sunday against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers – a very big test for the Browns. Will the Browns upset Big Ben and company at home? Or will the Steelers show that they still own Cleveland?
Betting Preview for the Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cleveland Browns NFL Season Week 1 Game on September 9, 2018
Where: FirstEnergy Stadium Cleveland, Cleveland
When: Sunday, September 9, 2018, 1:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CBS
Betting on the Pittsburgh Steelers (-6)
As of this writing, the Steelers are still being avoided by running back Le’Veon Bell, who is still on a holdout, hoping it forces Pittsburgh to hand him a more lucrative deal. Should Bell ultimately misses Week 1, the Steelers will be looking for second-year running back James Conner to carry most of the load in the backfield.
Bell’s absence should also keep quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s arm very busy. Big Ben threw for 4,251 passing yards to go with 28 touchdowns against 14 interceptions. He still have a group of talented receivers downfield led by the one and only Antonio Brown coupled with a star in the making in the form of JuJu Smith-Schuster. The Steelers had an electric offense a year ago, as they ranked fifth in scoring with 26.4 points per game and third in total offense with 387.8 total yards per contest.
The loss of linebacker Ryan Shazier to a devastating spinal injury last season threw the Steelers’ defense in partial disarray, but the team an entire offseason to prepare should have Pittsburgh’s stop unit in a much better form.
The Steelers have been a regular conquerors of Cleveland, as they head into Week 1 with a 9-1 SU and 5-4-1 ATS records in their last 10 meetings with the Browns.
Betting on the Cleveland Browns (+6)
The Browns infamously went 0-16 SU last season, but the team went under a massive roster overhaul in the offseason, enough for its fans to be optimistic of its 2017 campaign. The Browns have a new quarterback in Tyrod Taylor, who Cleveland got in a trade with the Buffalo Bills. They also have a shiny new star wide receiver in Jarvis Landry while Carlos Hyde comes over from San Francisco.
Then there are the rookies in quarterback Baker Mayfield and wide receiver Antonio Callaway. Mayfield is still just a backup today, but he’s expected to take over the starting duties at least at some point this season. For the Steelers game, though, it’s going to be Taylor handling the starting chores.
Last season, Taylor appeared in 15 games for the Bills and came up with 2,799 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also rushed for 427 yards to go with four rushing scores.
The Browns’ defense looked good in stopping the run last season, but their secondary was wrecked on a weekly basis. They drafted cornerback Denzel Ward in the first round this year and traded for Damarious Randall from the Green Bay Packers, so hopefully, for the team, they will cut down on the 230.2 passing yards they allowed per game last year. It’s fair to doubt that those moves aren’t going to be enough Antonio Brown and company in Week 1, but the Browns’ defense could have done worse.
The Browns are also 6-4 ATS in their last 10 home games against Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh wins, 23-20.
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