After what happened on Sunday Night in the NFL, tonight’s Monday Night Football clash between the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7-1), who host the Cleveland Browns (7-8) has become much clearer.
The Browns can no longer reach the playoffs, but the Steelers need to win both their remaining games against the Browns this week and then the Ravens next week, in order to stand any chance of progressing to the playoffs.
The problem facing the Steelers is that while this week, the Browns have little to play for, the Ravens certainly will as they could still steal a playoff spot with a victory and results going their way in other games too.
Admittedly, it is a longshot for the Steelers, but given their record this season, it is a chance that they will try to take, starting with tonight’s game.
This week, our odds are provided by BetMGM Sportsbook.
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Steelers Win In Cleveland
The teams last met on Halloween in Cleveland and it was the Steelers who clinched the win with a hard fought 15-10 victory in a game where Najee Harris’ 91 yards rushing and touchdown proved to be a key element of the Steelers’ victory.
However, the Browns may well have Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt available for this game and against a Steelers defence that has struggled against the rush all season long, you would think that talented duo could have plenty of opportunities for yards in the game.
The other key factor in this game is that while the pressure is all on the Steelers, there is now no pressure on the Browns and there is no chance of them dialling it in against a fierce divisional rival and a team that they have had many battles with over the years.
So will the Steelers be able to rise to the pressure and land a win to keep their feint playoff hopes alive, or will the Browns be the party poopers and ensure that Pittsburgh spend the playoffs watching on TV?
What Can We Make Of The Browns?
As one of the most inconsistent teams in the AFC, it is hard to know what Cleveland team
will be on display against the Steelers tonight. Could it be the Browns team that put up 41 points against the Bengals and who pushed the Green Bay Packers hard in their game last week?
Or will it be the Browns team that shipped 45 points against the Patriots, 47 against the Chargers and 37 against the Cardinals?
The betting population of Pennsylvania and other states seem to think that it will be the latter with a huge swing in the betting on Pittsburgh to win overnight, chiefly on the news that the Browns are out of the playoff race.
But will they be any less motivated for this game against a divisional rival as a result? I am not so sure.
The smart money seems to be on the Steelers here, but sometimes I am not that smart.
Browns @ Steelers Tips?
For me, there are two things that worry me with the Steelers. First they can’t stop the run and Nick Chubb will likely have Kareem Hunt to spell him in tonight’s game. That is a formidable 1-2 punch that the Steelers defense is going to have to deal with.
The other issue is the porous offensive line and the fact that Ben Roethlisberger has a tendency to hold onto the football for too long. That will be music to the ears of Myles Garrett who I think is going to make life tough for the veteran quarterback.
Big Ben has never lost to the Browns in the regular season. But I think he will tonight. Take the Browns (+3) to win the game at 5/4 on the moneyline, while I am expecting their to be under 42.5 points in the match up.