Steelers vs. Browns Game Preview
It is difficult to find a more lopsided rivalry in professional sports than the one between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns. While people are high on the Browns entering the 2018 NFL season, it is important to remember the Steelers are 25-3 against the Browns since drafting Ben Roethlisberger in 2004.
Barring the franchise folding midseason, the Browns cannot do any worse than they did in 2017 when they joined the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams to lose every game over a 16-game season.
They look to be on the right path in 2018, making some splashes in the offseason and drafting Heisman winner Baker Mayfield first overall.
It is another Super Bowl or bust year for the Steelers, who went 13-3 last season, only to lose in the Divisional Round of the playoffs to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
While Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown are ready to go to start the season, the continual holdout from Le’Veon Bell hurts the Steelers in 2018.
Despite the Browns being as bad as any team in NFL history the last two season, they have played the Steelers closely (2-0-1 ATS against the Steelers). The Steelers are also notoriously slow starters, and if Bell does not play, the Browns could keep this game close.
Steelers vs. Browns Game Predictions
Browns-Steelers Moneyline Prediction
Even with all the improvements the Browns have made this offseason and the Steelers potentially being without the services of Le’Veon Bell, Ben Roethlisberger’s historical dominance over the Browns is such a damning statistics, it is too much to overlook.
Big Ben is 22-2 against Cleveland, with a 37-18 TD-INT ratio and a quarterback rating of 95.8. In fact, since joining the Steelers in 2004, Roethlisberger has more wins in Cleveland than any Browns quarterback over the last 14 years.
Bet the Steelers (-260) on the moneyline
Browns-Steelers ATS Prediction
While betting on the Steelers straight up is the safest bet on this game, taking the Browns against the spread is not a bad alternative. The Browns have held their own against the Steelers in their last three games, including in Week 1 last season. In that game, the Steelers also travelled to Cleveland to open their season.
While the Steelers won, Deshone Kizer managed a late score, helping Cleveland cut the deficit to three. Although Cleveland eventually lost (21-18), they managed to cover the spread and are 2-0-1 ATS against the Steelers in their last three meetings.
The Browns have upgraded at quarterback this season with Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield. Taylor is expected to start the season. Taylor is underrated in NFL circles. He led the Bills to the playoffs last season and has a 51-16 TD-INT ratio since becoming a starting quarterback in 2015.
Taylor, along with the addition of wide receiver Jarvis Landry and running back Carlos Hydes, gives the Browns a much better offence in 2018. Picking the Browns to beat the Steelers is still risky, but the talent they have should keep things interesting in Week 1 (especially against the Steelers who tend to start the regular season slow).
Bet the Browns +4.0 (-110)
Browns-Steelers Game Total Prediction
Although the Steelers have one of the best offences in the NFL and the Browns should score more points in 2018 (than they did last season), the stats suggest betting the under early in the season is a better bad.
When these two teams played in Week 1 last season, the game total finished under. Over the last ten meetings between these two teams, only three games finished over. Two of those games were in Week 17 when the Steelers were resting starters in preparation for the playoffs.
Also, even if Bell does play, the All-Pro running back will likely look rusty. The same goes for Cleveland Browns’ wide receiver Josh Gordon. Since the most dangerous players on each team’s offence will not look their best in Week 1 (if they even play), neither team’s offence will look as good as it will come midseason.
Bet Under 46.0 (-110)