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All four AFC North teams lost last week, and this Thursday Night Football clash could play a vital role in determining who takes out what is looking like one of the weakest divisions in the NFL.
Fresh off the back of conceding 31 points to a Joe Flacco led Jets side, the Browns have no appeal whatsoever laying more than a field goal against a division rival they have struggled against.
Yes, the Steelers have their problems. Mitch Trubisky is certainly not the answer at quarterback. The offensive line continues to whiff blocks. The defence is greatly weakened by the absence of TJ Watt.
Still, nearly all these problems are mirrored by their division rival. Cleveland moved the ball effectively on the ground against the Jets last week, and the Panthers the week before, but given this took place against two of the worst teams in the league, what does this really tell us?
Cleveland’s defence has also been poor. While Myles Garrett continues to be one of the top pass rushers in the league, the rest of the Browns front seven is a major weakness, and their secondary is playing nowhere near their reputation.
Ultimately, the bet here comes down to coaching. The Steelers are a remarkable 32-22-2 against the number as away underdogs with Mike Tomlin as head coach. They are 52-38-6 in division games.
The Browns have been an appalling bet against the number as home favourites under Kevin Stefanski, going 5-11. They are an atrocious bet in Division games, going 2-11 at the spread.
Getting well over a field goal in a game that will likely come down to one score, the Steelers are an excellent bet.
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Same Game Multi
With Mitch Trubisky and Jacoby Brissett starting at quarterback in this game, both teams will lean heavily on the running game. Neither the Steelers nor the Browns lead backs is scared of a heavy workload.
This game screams under as both teams will try and run the ball, which will work the clock, and are conservative on offence which diminishes the opportunity for turnovers.
Tight end Freiermuth is seeing plenty of targets – 17 in two games – as Mitch Trubisky continually checks the ball down and at 6’5″ has the catch radius that Trubisky prefers.