Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns Odds, Pick & Point Spread: October 18th 2009
Last week I gave you the Detroit Lions who kept it close enough to come away with an ATS victory with the large spread they were being afforded; this weekend I’m on another sizable underdog which should keep this one closer than most are thinking:
Miracle of miracles, the Cleveland Browns won last weekend, and despite being dubbed one of the ugliest games in NFL history, I look for Cleveland to carry some of that momentum into their matchup vs. Pittsburgh. “It’s great,” coach Eric Mangini said. “It’s great. It’s just fantastic.” Jamal Lewis was a bright spot for Cleveland, gaining 117 yards. It marked the first time since December of 2007 that the Browns had 100-yard rushers in consecutive games (Jerome Harrison had 100 against Cincinnati).
On the other side of the field: The Steelers, who began 1-2 and were two games behind Baltimore in the AFC North Division, have made a comeback of sorts by winning two straight, including their first of the season on the road Sunday in Detroit. The decisions in all five of their games have come down to late in the fourth quarter or overtime though, and Sunday was no different in Detroit when the Steelers had to stop the Lions on a drive that carried to their 21 with two minutes left. The Steelers continue to struggle on the defensive side of the ball; Pittsburgh’s defense has not been nearly as dominant as it was when it led the NFL last year. The Steelers have yielded 55 points in the fourth quarter. Take into account that Pittsburgh is a horrible 1-5 ATS its last six overall; 1-4 ATS its last five when playing the roll of favorite and just 1-2 ATS versus division opponents!
Bottom line: I believe this line is simply too high; last week the Browns played hard, if not well and I believe they’ll do so again this week. I look for CLEVELAND to improve to 2-1 ATS versus division opponents and a perfect 2-0 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record this season.