NFL Odds Favor Steelers in NFL Week 1 Over Browns

Steven Suarez

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 6:14 PM GMT

Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014 6:14 PM GMT

Johnny Football time? No not yet, but the rookie quarterback will make his official NFL debut soon enough. For now it's Brian Hoyer at the helm of the Browns, who face a difficult Week 1 test in Pittsburgh against the Steelers who are favored on the NFL odds.

* * U P D A T E * *
The NFL odds have settled down for this encounter between Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

Earlier in the week, the lines varied in the six-to-seven point range, but now a majority of books have the spread at seven. More people like the Steelers in this spot, and we don't fault them.

Without a legitimate starting quarterback, as well as their best offensive player in Josh Gordon, it's hard to see how the Browns will get anything done offensively in Week 1. And while Cleveland has become much better defensively, Pittsburgh at least has the experience of Ben Roethlisberger and the play-making ability of Antonio Brown.

What's more, the Steelers will be at home, and they know how important it'll be to get off to a good start this season. We're laying the relatively big number and recommending an NFL pick on the home team.

NFL Pick: Steelers -7 at 5Dimes

 

It was yet another disappointing season for Cleveland in 2013-14. The Browns managed only four victories in all, and they weren't much better against the spread.

A spark was needed, and Cleveland is banking on that being Johnny Manziel eventually. It remains to be seen when he'll be given his first chance, but the Week 1 starter has been announced and it'll be the more experienced Hoyer.

No matter who the starting QB is, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers must like the look of this matchup for their opener. They're at home and are therefore favored at anywhere from six to seven points depending on the sportsbook. The total has risen slightly from 40 to 41.

Pittsburgh in 2013-14 Regular Season: 8-8 SU, 9-7 ATS, +0.6 margin of victory

Cleveland in 2013-14 Regular Season: 4-12 SU, 6-10 ATS, -6.1 margin of victory

The NFL betting lines vary for this Week 1 divisional battle, as Pinnacle as a line of six available for those of you that think Pittsburgh is the better side. Meanwhile, you can find a spread of seven available at 5Dimes if you're set to take a chance on Cleveland on the road.

We don't foresee much action coming in on the Browns in this spot, however. They're without their best offensive player in Josh Gordon, and there's no understating how big of an impact that makes on Cleveland's already limited offense. Will Ben Tate step up and excel in a lead back role? Who will take over the top receiving option for the Browns? Is the defense good enough to cover the team's offensive deficiencies?

There are less question marks in Pittsburgh, although it's fair to wonder if the defense will hold strong after a number of changes over the offseason. Still, with Roethlisberger under center and Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown ready to contribute, it's no surprise to see the lines head in the Steelers' favor more and more each day.

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