The Steelers will try to extend their four-game win streak and add to the misery of a longtime rival when they visit the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football. Pittsburgh is back to playing defense at the elite level fans expect, while quarterback Mason Rudolph is becoming increasingly effective in the extended absence of Ben Roethlisberger (elbow surgery) to put the Steelers back in the NFL playoff picture after an 0-3 start.
They have won 11 of the last 13 meetings with the Browns, who won 19-16 last Sunday to get their first home victory and halt a four-game slide. Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. ET from FirstEnergy Stadium. Cleveland is a three-point favorite in the latest Steelers vs. Browns odds, while the over-under for total points scored is 41.5, up one from the opener. Before people consider any Browns vs. Steelers picks, people need to see the current NFL predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up almost $7,000 for $100 players on its top-rated NFL picks since its inception four years ago. It has nailed its recent top-rated NFL picks, entering Week 11 of the 2019 NFL schedule on a strong 29-18 run that dates back to last season. It’s also on an incredible 91-61 roll on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season.
Last season, the model also ranked in the Top 10 on NFLPickWatch for the third year in a row on straight-up NFL picks and pool players. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
Now, it has broken down Steelers vs. Browns on Thursday Night Football. People can tell people it’s leaning under, but it also says one side of the spread cashes in well over 50 percent of simulations. People can only see that pick at SportsLine.
The model knows Mayfield has thrown for 2,201 yards and nine touchdowns, but also has 11 interceptions. Cleveland turned to the running game against the Bills last week and Chubb battled for 116 yards on 20 carries. They has 919 yards and eight touchdowns this season, averaging 5.3 per carry.
Landry (45-652-2) and Beckham (44-632-1) have been splitting the receiving duties. Both are averaging more than 14 yards per catch, but have struggled to find the end zone.
The Browns are 6-2 against the spread in their last eight division games and the defense has 26 sacks this season. Defensive end Myles Garrett has 10 of those and is tied for third in the league, while tackle Larry Ogunjobi has four.
Safeties Morgan Burnett (36 tackles and two sacks) and Damarious Randall (27 , two) are big hitters. Linebackers Joe Schobert, who has a team-high 82 tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery, and Mack Wilson (40 tackles) are intimidating presences in the middle.
But just because Cleveland has the weapons on offense doesn’t mean it will cover the Browns vs. Steelers spread on Thursday Night Football.
The Steelers are 9-2-1 against the spread in their last 12 games following an against the spread win. They were four-point underdogs last Sunday, but beat the Rams outright, 17-12. The defense forced four turnovers and scored a critical touchdown on a 40-yard fumble return by Minkah Fitzpatrick.
The unit also sacked Jared Goff four times, including two by T.J. Watt to give their 9.5 this season. Watt also has forced four fumbles for a team that has 33 sacks and is plus-13 in turnover margin.
Top rusher James Conner (shoulder) is optimistic he will be ready to return, which would be a boost for team that is expected to be without fellow running back Benny Snell (knee). Conner has 380 yards rushing and 236 receiving despite missing the past two games. Rudolph has four receivers with at least 20 receptions, led by JuJu Smith-Schuster, who has 36 for 503 yards.