While the Pittsburgh Steelers are back with their familiar cast of stars looking to challenge for a berth in Super Bowl 53, it is the revitalized Cleveland Browns that actually the bigger story heading into the 2018 NFL regular season. You see, after going winless in 2017 following a one-win campaign in 2016, Cleveland underwent a dramatic makeover this offseason and now have the look of a team that is going to be competitive at the very least in 2018.
After making a handful of smart offseason tranactions and equally impressive picks in each of the last two NFL Drafts, the Browns look like they’re going to be quite entertaining this season and that alone speaks volumes seeing as how they were barely watchable the last two seasons.
Now, as they get set for their regular season opener against their longtime AFC North division rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, NFL betting enthusiasts everywhere need to know if the revamped Browns can either pull off the huge upset or cover the chalk as home underdogs.
Let’s find out right now.
Steelers vs Browns 2018 NFL Week 1 Odds & Preview
When: Sunday, September 9, 2018 at 1:00 PM ET Where: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio TV: CBS Radio: TuneIn Live Stream: CBSSports.com NFL Odds: Pittsburgh -5.5 / Total: 46.5
Why Bet On The Pittsburgh Steelers?
Why should you bet on the Steelers in this regular season opener? Well, because they’re the more mature, more talented and more complete team. The Browns might be revitalized, but the Steelers are the only legitimate Super Bowl contender in this matchup.
Cleveland, like almost every other team not named Jacksonville, is going to have a difficult time stopping Pittsburgh’s Killer B’s (plus JuJu). The Steelers are elite on both sides of the ball and really, we still don’t know much about the new-look Browns.
- Average Score For: 26.35
- Total Yards: 387.76
- Pass Yards: 284.82
- Rush Yards: 102.94
- Average Score Against: 20.76
- Total Yards: 310.94
- Pass Yards: 201.82
- Rush Yards: 109.12
Why Bet On The Cleveland Browns?
Why should you bet on the Browns in their Week 1 opener? Well, after two preseason games, it’s pretty clear to me that the revamped Cleveland Browns are not going to be a bunch of pushovers in 2018.
They’ve got a seriously underrated veteran quarterback that doesn’t make mistakes very often in Tyrod Taylor and a bunch of talent on both sides of the ball with guys like Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry, Denzel Ward and Myles Garrett.
- Average Score For: 14.62
- Total Yards: 308.81
- Pass Yards: 201.75
- Rush Yards: 107.06
- Average Score Against:
- Total Yards: 328.13
- Pass Yards: 230.25
- Rush Yards: 97.88
NFL Betting Trends for Steelers vs Browns
- Pittsburgh is 105-77 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points since 1992
- Pittsburgh is 4-0 SU vs Cleveland over the last 3 seasons
- Cleveland is 4-12 ATS in all games over the last 2 seasons
- Cleveland is 7-23 ATS as an underdog over the last 3 season
- 2 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
Steeler vs Browns NFL Week 1 Analysis and Prediction
While I’m expecting the Browns to put up a fight in this Week 1 AFC North divisional matchup, my expert pick says they narrowly fall to the Steelers in this contest, although they’re the pick to cover the spread with just a bit of room to spare.
While the road team in this rivalry has gone 3-1-1 ATS in the last five meetings, the Pittsburgh Steelers are a surprising 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight games against their AFC North division rivals, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games against their AFC conference rivals, 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in Week 1. Add it all up and I’ve got the revamped Browns covering the spread as near touchdown home underdogs.
NFL Week 1 Pick: Pittsburgh 27 Cleveland 23