NFL Betting Preview Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – January 3, 2022

The Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7-1) are set to host the Cleveland Browns (7-8) for a week 17 matchup at Heinz Field on Monday Night football. This will be a highly anticipated matchup with the AFC North up for grabs. Both teams, unfortunately, took losses on week 16, with the Steelers falling to the Chiefs 36-10, while the Browns were taken down by the Packers 24-22.

For what could be Big Ben’s last time suiting up as a Steeler at Heinz Field, there will be a lot on the line as both squads are fighting for a playoff spot in the tight AFC conference. 

Cleveland Browns Betting Preview: Browns Need to Win Out to Have a Chance in the Postseason

The Browns dropped their second game in a row and three of their last four contests but still have a shot at the AFC North title. Despite being in last place, Cleveland has a chance of taking the North crown if they win their next two games or be inside the top ten in the draft if they lose their next two. 

The latter seems more like you as the Browns are playing terribly at the moment. In his last matchup against the Packers, Baker Mayfield struggled considerably as he finished completing 58% of his passes and throwing four interceptions. By the same token, the offense averages just 15 points per game in their last six contests. Nick Chubb finally got back on track, though, recording 184 yards and a touchdown in the loss last week. 

On the defensive side of the ball. The Browns have been pretty stout all year and held the Packers to 25 points and 311 yards but didn’t force a turnover or record a sack in the loss. Despite their inconsistency, Cleveland has been one of the most fearsome defenses in the league, holding opponents to 321 yards and 21.9 points per game. 

Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Preview: Roethlisberger’s Last Game at Heinz Field

The Pittsburgh Steelers are struggling between a win-now mentality and a rebuild at the same time. They have some bright young talent and some veterans who aren’t done just yet. As a result, the Steelers have a mediocre record and are sitting in third place.

Pittsburgh had a tough outing last week as the defense couldn’t contain Patrick Mahomes and the star-studded Chiefs offense. The unit allowed 36 points and 381 yards of offense and didn’t force a turnover in the lopsided loss. Although they managed two sacks, they’ll need a quick fix because the defense is conceding 24.7 points and ranks 26th, conceding 368.4 yards per game. 

Offensively, the Steelers haven’t been the regular juggernaut they once were on offense with Big Ben under center. In the first half in their matchup with the Chiefs last week, the offense was shut out in the first half and managed just ten points the entire game. The Steelers’ offense has capsized at this point, and Big Ben is leading the Steelers to just 20.1 points per game. Look for the Steelers to hammer the run, with Najee Harris averaging almost four yards a carry.

Betting Lines & Odds

Early betting odds on MyBookie have the Browns the -3.5 road favorite, with the point total set at 43. 

Free Betting Pick

Call me crazy, but I think the Steelers take this matchup against the Browns. I believe the Browns are completely falling apart right now; Kevin Stefanski and the Browns fanbase have had it with Baker Mayfield capped off by his four-interception performance against Green Bay in a game they should have one. Don’t get me wrong, the Browns are the better team here, but I think Big Ben and the home crowd find a way to get things done in his last matchup at Heinz Field.

The Steelers are 2-0 ATS when they are home underdogs this year, and they already beat the Browns earlier in the year on the road. This team definitely has what it takes, and if they can get some stops on defense, they will have a chance to win this game outright. I like Mike Tomlin to cook something up and find a way to get into the playoffs. 

BetUSASports Free Pick: Steelers +3.5

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