Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:30 AM EST.
CLEVELAND -10 -104 over Pittsburgh
1:00 PM EST. This latest chapter in the storied rivalry between the Browns and Steelers could have been a one game showdown for the AFC North title, but a Pittsburgh win in Indy combined with the Earth Tones loss in New York last Sunday sunk that ship. Instead, the Steelers wrapped up another division crown in Week 16 and will be sitting many of their starters, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, while the Brownies must still fight for their playoff lives.
The situation the Browns face is simple. Win and they are in. While the Steelers will be short handed, the addition of Mason Rudolph to this stew makes for some added intrigue, as he will line up across Myles Garrett, who nearly decapitated the backup QB in a game last season. The situation Clevelend faces is very much the same this week as it was last when all they had to do was beat the Jets to secure a playoff bid. While their Covid-19 issues were well documented, losing most of their wide receivers and linebackers for that game in the process, the Brownies were still better than a field goal favorite. They had their chances to win that game too, but fumbled three times, including one by Baker Mayfield on a QB sneak, while the Browns were trying to complete their comeback after going down 20-3 to Gang Green. It was another example of it doesn’t matter who you are, if you lose the turnover battle, you are going to be in for a tough swim.
Technically the Steelers could improve their playoff position to the #2 seed with a win and Bills loss, however, it does appear they have their eyes on a bigger prize. In addition to Big Ben, center Markus Pouncey and defenders Cam Heyward and TJ Watt will also sit. Watt is the frontrunner to win the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year.
On the surface, this appears to be way too many points for a team like the Steelers, starting QB or not to to be taking back in a rivalry game. This market is not going to trust the Browns to be spotting this many points to the Steelers under any circumstance. However, allow us to remind you that the Steelers' defense is surrendering an average of 25 points per game over their past four outings and that's with all of their starters giving maximum effort. Pittsburgh has looked like garbage for a month aside from one-good half against the Colts last week. Coach Mike Tomlin has given us every indication that this is nothing more than a glorified practice. As Cleveland takes a lead and the game starts winding down, Tomlin is going to start pulling more guys. The Brownies don’t have to be great here to cover. They only need to hang onto the ball, put up average points and not play stupid. That’s not a lot to ask and thus, we’ll trust them to beat a team that just does not care today.
A GREAT OFFER FOR SPORTSWAGERS READERS:
We’re offering a better and cheaper alternative to cable TV. You will literally save thousands of dollars. If you’re sick of paying a fortune for programming that you don’t even want or need, this is for you. All pro sports -- EVERY GAME, tons of college football and basketball games and tons of regular programming (non-sports). Over 2500 channels all in HD for a mere $20 per month. You have to be nuts not to get it.
CLEVELAND -10 -104 (Risking 2.08 units - To Win: 2.00)