NFL Week 1 Odds and Trends: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns
The best NFL gambling sites couldn’t be less impressed with the new-look Cleveland Browns. The look, mind you, great on paper. But that is, you know, on paper. And the Pittsburgh Steelers are the scissors. The Browns have defeated the Steelers only twice this decade. And the Steelers have won their last six meetings straight. Moreover, Pittsburgh ranked 3rd in offense, 5th in defense, and 3rd in passing last season. Meanwhile, Cleveland ranked 24th, 14th, and 22nd in those same categories respectively. Of course, the final tenants of those Browns´ QB room were Kevin Hogan, Cody Kessler, and DeShone Kizer. Who at some point were roomies with Josh McCown and Robert Griffin III. Egads. This season, the Brown’s starter will be, for all intents and purposes, Baker Mayfield. And his backup will be Tyrod Taylor. And that’s why they call them “new look.”
Pro sports teams go through cycles. They go through ups and downs. The Browns, for instance, are down. The Steelers are up. Or at least upper. But they are on their way down. Hey, it happens in the best families. Let’s take, say, the New England Patriots. Tom Brady seems immortal. But he won’t last forever. However, when he finally rides into the sunset, the Pats will have five Super Bowls to show for it, if not more. Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell all seem to have one foot out the door. When they’re gone, whether for good or just from Pittsburgh, what will the Steelers have to show for it?
All of which is to say that the Steelers are running out of time. They’re in must-win mode, as they say in the parlance of our times. Not just win every game, but also win the game. And what better way to make a statement, than at the expense of the lowly Browns? Though it wouldn’t be the first time they underestimate a seemingly lesser opponent. Jacksonville Jaguars, anyone?
The Browns selected QB Baker Mayfield as the first overall pick in the first round of the 2018 draft. That might account for the fact that Cleveland isn’t dead last on the best NFL gambling sites’ odds-boards. However, Hue Jackson being Hue Jackson, he named Tyrod Taylor the starter and Mayfield the backup. We all know that order will be reversed sooner than later. But in the meantime, Taylor will be getting first-team reps that would serve Mayfield better.
Moreover, regardless of who starts, there remains a very important question. To whom will they throw the ball? Wide receiver Josh Gordon present for the opening of training camp. It’s widely known that Gordon has had to battle the proverbial personal demons. If he has truly gotten better, then he should do whatever it takes to remain so. That said, and as Pat McManamon writes, “Gordon’s absence turns [the Brown’s] receiver group … into this: Jarvis Landry and a bunch of guys.” A bunch that includes Corey Coleman, Rashard Higgins, Jeff Janis, Ricardo Louis and rookies Antonio Callaway and Damion Ratley. More a ‘who is that’ than a ‘who’s who.’
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns Sportsbook Odds and Info
Date: September 9, 2018
Time: 1:00 pm (ET)
Venue: FirstEnergy Stadium
Best online sportsbooks odds from MyBookie.ag:
PITTSBURGH STEELERS -6 (-110) O 46½ (-110)
CLEVELAND BROWNS +6 (-110) U 46½ (-110)
Best NFL gambling sites betting trends
The Steelers are 3-2 SU in their last five games.
The Steelers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games.
The total has gone over in six of the Steelers last six games.
The Browns are 0-16 SU in their last 16 games.
The Browns are 2-3 ATS in their last five games.
The total has gone under in three of their last five games.