Add Steelers +111 to Week 6 NFL Picks vs. Browns

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 5:41 PM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 5:41 PM UTC

The Cleveland Browns have steadily improved through the years but the Pittsburgh Steelers have always seemed to have their number. Can the Browns win this crucial AFC North showdown at home on Sunday?

Odds Overview
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns -2, (47, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), Sunday, (CBS, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT): The point spread in this game (Browns -2) is a true testament to how much the Cleveland Browns have improved over the years, but beating the Pittsburgh Steelers here at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland on Sunday afternoon will be the only thing the players will be focusing on with the way their AFC North sort-of rivals have owned them through the years. The Browns (2-2 SU, 2-0-2 ATS) actually need the game a little more right now than do the Steelers (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS) and the NFL odds (Browns -123, Steelers +111, Pinnacle) reflect that this should be one of those games that can go either way and possibly come down to a long field goal attempt, a blown referee’s call or an untimely turnover—all things impossible to work into one’s handicap of a given game. But we’re here to try to find an edge in all the various markets that now exist and which sometimes provide easier routes to profiting from sports gambling than betting on the conventional Sides and Totals.


Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have finally found a way to take some pressure off QB Ben Roethlisberger (39-39 ATS Away, 36-21-2 ATS vs. AFC North) and the Steelers passing game and his name is (RB) Le’Veon Bell (460 rushing yards). Bell’s presence opens up the games of guys like WRs Antonio Brown (511 receiving yards)—a great pick for an Anytime TD Scorer prop wager when the numbers come out later—Markus Wheaton and Justin Brown and Roethlisberger (23-16 ATS as Underdog) himself. And, here against the Browns, expect Pittsburgh to have a very balanced attack on offense as it has in the Steelers last 4 straight wins against the Browns (including the last 3 ATS). In the last four meetings in this series, the Steelers have outscored the Browns, 101-55, and Pittsburgh is 8-2 SU over the L10 in this series (21.7 PF-11.9 PA) and has historically dominated the Browns. And those types of expectations and doubts are hard to erase after years of repetition in the rough-and-tumble NFL. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin (61-62-2 ATS) will hammer the importance of this particular game in a muscular conference which includes the impressive Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens, so Pittsburgh (Total Steelers Points 22½, Stan James) will go in and try to hope the defense sets the tone as it did in those last four wins over Cleveland allowing 27—when the two met in Week 1 at Pittsburgh where the Steelers won, 30-27—7, 11 and 10 points (an average of 13.7 ppg).

Ike Taylor (forearm) is still out indefinitely for Pittsburgh while Shamarko Thomas (hamstring), LB Ryan Shazier (knee) and WR Martavis Bryant (shoulder) are all listed as questionable so injuries aren’t a big issue for the Steelers here in Cleveland.


Cleveland Browns
The Browns  (4-12 SU, 6-10 ATS in 2013) and first-year coach Mike Pettine have given QB Brian Hoyer (82/132, 1,008 yards, 6 TDs) the keys to the car and so far Hoyer’s done the job driving as Cleveland has played in four very close games (3, 2, 2 and 1 point) against some very formidable opponents in these Steelers in Pittsburgh (L 30-27), the Saints (W 26-24), the Ravens (L 21-23) and last weekend’s thrilling 29-28 win over the Titans in Nashville (to avoid a 1-3 start). Worth noting, all 4 Browns games have gone Over the total so far. Cleveland has been very effective running the ball so far this season with Ben Tate and Terrance West, the Browns have the #4 Rushing attack in the NFL (143.3 ypg), so, look for Cleveland (Total Browns Points 24½, Stan James) to try to work the run early to try to set the tone at home in what is a very important divisional game for them with losses already to Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Here on Sunday, the home crowd and the Dawg Pound will probably be at their historic loudest and maybe proudest and this should be a very entertaining and close game.

On the injury front, DL Phillip Taylor (knee) is listed as questionable for Sunday and WR Josh Gordon is still suspended (until Week 12).


Best Approach
Most trends in this game as far as a side point toward the Steelers while the some of the recent relevant trends concerning the Total Points are a mixed bag. Cleveland is a woeful 3-13 L16 SU, 3-7-1 ATS in its L11 and 2-4 L6 ATS at Home here at FirstEnergy Stadium. Pittsburgh is 6-2 L8 SU and 4-2 L6 SU on the road and the simple monster trend is that the Steelers are 20-2 SU L22 against the Browns (11-2 SU L13 on the Road). So, with the small plus (+111, Pinnacle) on the Moneyline, feel it’s best to back the team that’s proven it can win and expects to win here to avoid falling to 3-3 in an extremely difficult AFC North with three straight tough home games on tap (Texans, Colts, Ravens).

As far as the Total Points trends, the Under is 5-2 L7 in the series but the Browns have played in four straight Overs to start the season and the Steelers are in an Over pattern (7-3 L10) themselves, the 47 seems right where it should be as NFL Totals have risen over the last couple of years so a 47 where a 44 or 45 used to be is just part of the new reality. But this is the Steelers-Browns so nobody would be surprised with a 17-16 final here either. So make sure to place your bet on the Steelers for your Week 6 NFL Picks.

NFL Pick: Steelers Money Line +111 at Pinnacle

NFL Props Pick: Anytime TD Scorer Antonio Brown (Steelers)

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