NFL Betting: Is Cleveland The Right Pick Vs. Public Steelers?

Terrelle Pryor and a teammate celebrating

Tuesday, December 27, 2016 3:05 PM GMT

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been a very popular NFL pick this year. Will that love keep on flowing in Week 17 when the Steelers, with their playoff seeding locked and nothing to play for, host the one-win Cleveland Browns?

Season Record: 22-22-1 ATS, 4-8 Totals

Well what do you know, the Browns won a football game. They beat the San Diego Chargers (–4.5 away) 20-17 last week to improve to 1-14 SU and 3-12 ATS, a rare cash-in for a team that’s been pulling in a lot of sharp money this year. Mission accomplished.

So will the Browns have any betting value in their season finale? They’ll be on the road Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS) against the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of this year’s most popular NFL picks at 10-5 SU and 9-6 ATS. The Steelers have absolutely nothing to play for; they’re the No. 3 seed in the AFC, and go figure, they’ve moved from -10.5 at the open to -7 as we go to press. Hope you spent Christmas Day buying low and selling high on the NFL odds board.
 

Browns Notes

Cleveland could still be the right pick, especially if the public wades in and pushes the spread back up to +7.5 or beyond. But it’s not an ideal situation. If the Browns are indeed tanking this season, they can’t afford to win Sunday’s game because the 2-13 San Francisco 49ers would end up stealing the No. 1 overall pick if they lose to the Seattle Seahawks (-9.5 away). That’s a late-afternoon game, so the Browns won’t have any clairvoyance over the result.
 



As we said, this is also a road game for Cleveland, and road teams with little reason to care don’t do well in the late season (shout out to our main man Richard Borghesi). Sunday’s forecast has a 30 percent chance of snow showers over Pittsburgh with temperatures around 40 degrees, so it could be a pretty lousy day for covering big spreads. But we’d rather have a home dog to bet on than the favored Steelers.

So let’s bail and give the 'under' one more go. Pittsburgh will almost certainly sit everyone of consequence; QB Ben Roethlisberger said as much after the Steelers locked down the No. 3 seed. We could be looking at a glorified exhibition game Sunday, which makes the 44-point total vulnerable in possibly wet and miserable conditions. Welcome to 2017.

NFL Free Pick: Under 44 (-105)Best Line Offered: BookMaker

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3011426, "sportsbooksIds":[93,19,1096,1275,169], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1 }[/]