NFL Week 1 Betting Preview: Steelers vs. Browns (Updated Odds)

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns NFL odds, Stats and Expert Picks
  • by Anthony Carpenter
  • September 8th, 2018
  • Category:

Let’s revisit the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns sports gambling online odds. Huh. That’s odd. The Browns are less of an underdog now than they were a few weeks ago. If anything, I thought they’d be a bigger dog. The difference is just one point. But still. And the best online sportsbooks are not the only ones bullish about Cleveland. For example, Terry Pluto makes a case that the Browns will beat the Steelers. It’s not a very strong case. Is Pluto this guy’s last name or where he’s from? The fact remains, though, that the Browns need to set their phasers on must-win. Or, as tackle Joel Bitonio put it, “We’ve got to win some [expletive deleted] games … oh, excuse me … sorry about that.”

See, now he’s apologizing for wanting to win. Cleveland will do that to you. Take it from Josh Gordon, to whom a regular season win is “like the equivalent of making a playoff run, making the playoffs. For us it’s almost a Super Bowl win.” Didn’t Gordon get clean? Because he sounds like he’s on something. Though it would be quite an occasion. The Browns have not won their season-opening game since 2004. And they have not defeated the Steelers since 2014. To their credit, the Browns brass has been hard at work overhauling the team. Starting with a new starting QB and a new backup, Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield, respectively. Wait, respectively? Obviously, Cleveland didn’t make the most important change they should have made. I’m beginning to think Hue Jackson is a mole. Some sort of agent saboteur.

Anyway. Let’s take a look at those update sports gambling online odds courtesy of

PITTSBURGH STEELERS -5 (-110) -220 O 43 (-110)
CLEVELAND BROWNS +5 (-110) +180 U 43 (-110)

There is something of which the Browns could take advantage, though. As Matthew wrote, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?” It’s early September, so that means Le’Veon Bell is holding out. Unlike last year, however, it appears as if Bell will miss the season opener. “Honestly it’s a little selfish,” center Maurkice Pouncey said. “I’m kind of pissed right now. It sucks that he’s not here. We’ll move on as a team. It doesn’t look like he’ll be in the game plan at this point [for Week 1]. [running back James] Conner looks great. We’ll worry about [Bell] in Week 2.” Left guard Ramon Foster added, “In the ultimate team sport we’ve created a league of individuals, in a sense.”

That’s actually very insightful. Speaking of which, starting QB Ben Roethlisberger said the offense would be fine without Bell. And Big Ben is not a broken clock. Nor is he a blind squirrel, for that matter. And while the Browns might benefit from Bell’s absence, the real winner here is the aforementioned Conner. He had just 144 yards on 32 carries in 2017. And he missed the last two games of the season with a torn MCL. But without Bell bogarting the rock, Conner has a real chance of breaking out. He already finished as the highest graded running back in the entire NFL, per PFF. Above several other young talents, including the Browns’ Carlos Hyde. And Conner is also a cancer survivor. Man, Bell is looking more and more like a douche. And while Bell may account for that one-point difference in the sports gambling online odds, the Steelers remain road faves.