The Pittsburgh Steelers finished with 17 unanswered points in this past weekend’s 37-27 triumph over the Detroit Lions, cashing as three-point home dogs. Sunday’s action has Mike Tomlin’s club heading west to face the Cleveland Browns, where the NFL odds list the Browns as small favorites.
Steelers, Roethlisberger top Lions
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw four touchdowns against Detroit, including a pair to Antonio Brown for an early 14-0 lead. Pittsburgh later fell behind at halftime, 27-20, with Lions wide out Calvin Johnson reaching paydirt twice.
Roethlisberger finished with 367 yards through the air, connecting 29-of-45 attempts. Brown united with mate Heath Miller for 15 catches, while running back Le’Veon Bell was held to 36 yards on 18 carries.
The wild affair’s combined 64 points sailed above the ‘total’ of 45, moving the OVER to 2-1 in Pittsburgh’s last three weeks of action. Steelers safety Will Allen snagged his first interception in 10 games, while his side recorded two sacks en route to allowing 451 total yards.
Browns, Campbell collapse in Cincy
Cleveland saw action on the same afternoon, failing to cash as a 4 ½-point road dog in a 41-20 defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Browns saw a 13-0 lead erased thanks to a stretch of 31 unanswered points from Cincinnati, with three touchdowns scored from defense or special teams.
Browns quarterback Jason Campbell tossed his first three ‘picks’ of the year, while sacked four times in his side’s 32 minutes of possession. Cleveland’s Josh Gordon caught a touchdown pass as part of five catches, finishing with 125 receiving yards.
OVER backers cashed their tickets by halftime, with the battle leaping above the ‘total’ of 40. Browns defensive back Joe Haden came away with two interceptions, while he and his mates held Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton to a meager 93 yards of passing.
Back the UNDER in Cleveland
NFL odds first opened Cleveland as a 2 ½-point home favorite, with early wagers on Pittsburgh dropping the number a ‘hook’ to two. The ‘total’ was first posted at 41 ½, remaining unchanged in mixed betting.
I am backing the UNDER between these foes, adding this ‘total’ play to Sunday’s NFL picks.
Cleveland has held divisional foes to 11 PPG at home, prevailing in visits from Cincinnati and Baltimore. The Browns rank fourth in the league overall for yards allowed (306.5 YPG), while both matchups with Pittsburgh last year saw the rivals combine for a lowly 34 PPG.
Pittsburgh’s sole road spot on grass this year saw “Big Ben” and Co. held to 276 total yards in a 21-18 defeat to the Oakland Raiders. The Steelers gave up five sacks, while UNDER backers collected with the combined 39 points sliding beneath the ‘total’ of 40.
The early weather report in Cleveland is calling for winds of at least 13 mph, with a side-to-side gust that could have both sides leaning to a clock-grinding run game. Pittsburgh also has a short rest looming before its Thursday night visit to Baltimore, leaving the Steelers wanting to eat time away if they enter the fourth quarter with a lead.
The ‘total’ of 41 ½ is the highest between these foes in nine meetings, with the UNDER collecting at 5-4 through that span. Look for UNDER backers to cash again here, adding to a 12-6 mark for the wager in Cleveland’s last 18 home contests.Free Soccer Pick: UNDER 41 ½ at BetOnline