NFL Week 17 Pick: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, December 26, 2017 5:31 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017 5:31 PM UTC

This Browns-Steelers finale looks like an utter mismatch on paper, but it’s actually one of the more intriguing games of Week 17. Survivor Pick: Pittsburgh.

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-14, 41)

I am totally fascinated what the Steelers will do here. They have no love lost for the Browns, especially QB Ben Roethlisberger, who still feels slighted that the team he grew up rooting for passed on him in the 2004 draft. Pittsburgh is guaranteed no worse than the AFC’s No. 2 seed thanks to Monday’s 34-6 blowout win in Houston. Roethlisberger threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns without leading receiver Antonio Brown (calf). Le’Veon Bell rushed for a score, his 35th career rushing touchdown -- tied for third-most in Pittsburgh history with Kordell Stewart. So will the Steelers rest guys here in the assumption that New England isn’t going to lose at home to the Jets on Sunday? The only way Pittsburgh gets the AFC’s top seed is with a win and Patriots loss. I have no doubt that the Browns players will fight like hell in this game to avoid joining the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams to finish a season at 0-16. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam already has said Coach Hue Jackson would return next season, but that seems unlikely should his team go winless and considering Jackson has one freaking win in his two seasons. I love the Browns here to cover because the Steelers might just play it cautious, plus Brown is out again with his partially torn calf muscle.

  • Steelers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win.
  • Steelers are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring more than 30 points in their previous game.
Free NFL Pick: Browns +14.5 (buy up from 14)Best Line Offered: JustBet

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How dominant was Steelers cornerback Mike Hilton, a rookie from Ole Miss, in Monday’s win at Houston? His three sacks were the most by a defensive back in a game since Arizona's Adrian Wilson had three sacks against the then-St. Louis Rams in Week 11 of the 2005 season. He was the first Steelers defensive back with three sacks in a game since Troy Polamalu in 2005. Hilton also had a forced fumble and six tackles. Cleveland clinched the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft with Sunday’s 20-3 lifeless loss in Chicago. The Browns have followed a franchise-worst 1-15 season with an 0-15 start; Jackson’s 1-30 record is the worst stretch for a coach in NFL history, one game worse than Phil Handler, who coached during World War II. In Week 1, Pittsburgh won 21-18 in Cleveland. Roethlisberger threw two touchdown passes to tight end Jesse James as Roethlisberger improved to 21-2 in his career against the Browns. Brown finished with 11 receptions for 182 yards. It was Cleveland’s 13th straight season-opening loss. DeShone Kizer threw for 222 yards and a pick but was sacked seven times.

  • Under is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
  • Under is 18-6 in Browns last 24 vs. a team with a winning record.
Free NFL Pick: Under 41Best Line Offered: SportsBetting

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