Well, after a week or two off, the Steelers are back in a primetime spot. This might be the only time I’m okay with it as it is likely Ben Roethlisberger’s last game at Heinz Field. This is a divisional matchup and is a big game for the Steelers as they still have a potential shot at the playoffs.
The Steelers are a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. On the road, they’ve been terrible and playing in some higher scoring games. At home, they are much more impressive and typically play in a low-scoring game. Over the season, they lost two games at home and those were both early season as they were trying to figure some things out. After that the only other mistake was a tie against a motivated Lions team looking to find some sort of win for the season.
The Browns have suffered through a frustrating season. While there are a ton of injuries to blame, the season is frustrating either way. Baker Mayfield has all but confirmed that he is not a franchise quarterback, and all the progress from last year is now gone. The Browns had a chance to come in this season and grab the division, instead, they became a .500 team. Again, not all of that was their fault, but they are what their record says they are.
There is no way I am taking the Browns in this one. Frankly, I’m surprised this line isn’t a bit higher. The Steelers -2.5 is my top play for tonight. I expect the Steelers to be extra motivated to get Ben a win as he leaves the field. You could also do a moneyline bet if you’re willing to risk the higher juice. Maybe I’m a sucker for theatrics or for a storybook ending, but this just feels like everyone on Pittsburgh will know what Roethlisberger has meant to the team and its history. Steelers -2.5 is the only way I can possibly look in this one at -115.
I will also take the under. This is mostly based on trends. The Steelers at home seem to either have a slower pace, better defense, or both. They don’t score a ton of points in home games either. There have only been a few home games where more points were scored than the posted total of 43.5 tonight. Couple that with no motivation for the Browns to win games for the season other than potentially ending at .500 or better on the year. Play the under .
As far as a first touchdown scorer… Give me Chase Claypool at +1200 . I think they are going to look to get Ben some touchdown passes this game.