Week 3 of the NFL season kicks off Thursday night with the AFC North between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns (-4.5, 38.5) at FirstEnergy Stadium. Now that the season is in full swing, there are plenty of opportunities to bet on the game if you so desire. So what games are our analysts looking for in this matchup between the NFL’s two fiercest rivals?
Rate Analysts Doug Kezirian, Tyler Fulgum, Joe Fortenbaugh, Anita Marks as well as Erin Dolan; fantasy and sports betting analysts Eric Moody as well as Andre Snellings; Sportzshala Statistics and Information Seth Waldercolumnist for Sportzshala Jason Fitz and football underdogs Aaron honey submit your best games for tilt on Thursday.
Note. Lines from the bookmaker Caesars, unless otherwise indicated.
Steelers vs. Browns (-4.5, 38.5)
Thursday, 8:15 pm ET, FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland.
The Steelers played two games decided by the FG, and the Browns played two games decided in the last few seconds, including Sunday’s historic crash against the Jets. What do you think of each team participating in week 3?
Kezirian: Both offenses are extremely limited to walking quarterback play. Cleveland dealt with a solid offensive line and a weak opponent. The Browns are still a team that I plan to retire this season as soon as they take on a good team. I just don’t think it’s a week. The Steelers are a completely different team without T.J. Watt. He just changes the whole landscape of the team, so it’s hard to judge them when they had a solid opening win.
Schatz: It’s easy to know what to do with the Steelers, and it’s hard to know what to do with the Browns. The Steelers turned out exactly as we expected. The offense was barely moving the ball, and people are already calling for Kenny Pickett to replace Mitch Trubisky. The defense was above average, even without T.J. Watt in the second week. But Browns are weird. They scored a lot, way more than we expected with Jacoby Brisset at quarterback. A defense that should have been good lost 55 points to Baker Mayfield and Joe Flacco. I am very confused by the 2022 Cleveland Browns.
Fulgum: I liked the Steelers 7.5 wins before the start of the season, so they’re on the right track in two weeks, but it’s hard to get inspired by Trubisky’s offensive game, coupled with the loss of Watt on defense. However, Mike Tomlin always finds ways to steal the winnings. The Browns’ Week 2 loss against the Jets was very embarrassing. As long as Brisset is in QB, the Browns will rely on play on the run and Miles Garrett will create chaos on the edge to win games. I think they can do it in this game as the Steelers defense lacks Watt and their OL is substandard.
Fitz: The Steelers is a reminder that your track record doesn’t always speak well. While the Browns may hope that all they have to do is stagnate until Deshawn Watson returns, the Steelers fans’ best hope is to sit on the bench in Pickett. I don’t know (none of us know) if Pickett can play, but I do know that the Maserati Mitch looks like a hell of a Mitsubishi Mitch right now and the Steelers attack is brutal to watch.
Capricious: The Browns could be 2-0 now, but with last week’s complete rout of the defensive and special teams, they’re 1-1. They need a win on Thursday night after a late crash last week. However, I’m a half-full person, and the Browns’ attack generated 1.98 EPA per disc last week. It was the second best result of the week. The Steelers would probably be 2-0 if it wasn’t for that incredible touchdown by Nelson Agolor. Tomlin has also publicly stated that he wants to open up passes even more and involve dynamic rookie George Pickens more – he only has six goals so far. Trubisky is averaging 5.1 yards per try this season. What would a Pittsburgh offense look like under Pickett?
Snellings: A year ago, the Steelers played two playoff teams, and both games held close to the end with great defense and dull offense. The Browns played two teams that both finished with one of the worst six records in the NFL last season, one of which played with their backup quarterback and scored high but managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in a spectacular fashion in one from games. Both the Steelers and the Browns are currently run by veteran quarterbacks who are due to be replaced by more talented and younger quarterbacks before the season ends. But for now, I think the Steelers know who they are and play to their strengths, making them formidable but with a lower ceiling in every game, while the Browns are still a bit more of an enigma and we don’t know what we are. ll get away against top competition.
The Browns are 5-point favorites for a total of 38 points. Which team and total do you like?
Kezirian: I would lean less due to quarterback play and would probably prefer the first half as I expect both teams to play conservatively early on hoping to avoid mistakes. But these teams have actually scored three out of four joint games, so it’s not a strong game. I just can’t support Jacoby Brisset in replaying.
Schatz: 38 is Indeed little, and Watt will not enter that door. The Clevelands overcame that number in both games and, shockingly, the Browns are fourth in the offensive DVOA with a small two-week sample. Pittsburgh also passed that number in the first week. Division games tend to be a bit less scoring than other games, but I’m still glad there’s more than 38 here.
Fitz: 38 actually feels pretty good to me. I know it’s not much, but look at last year’s matches between these two teams and you will see that one game scored 25 points and the other 40. I can’t say that either team is better today, so I don’t expect much more in terms of scoring. I like the Browns -5 and I like less in a game where both teams’ defensemen complement their stat lines.
Capricious: I like the Steelers in this game with +4.5. Anything can happen in football on a Thursday night. And if you add in the fact that this is a division match, I’d rather bet on the underdog. The Browns are 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games against AFC teams. Even though betting trends don’t support over, I would bet on it. The Steelers’ offense is only averaging 18.5 points per game this season, with Trubisky playing center. I believe that they will exceed this number on Thursday evening. Trubisky’s starting job could be on the verge of yet another sub-optimal job. While the Browns are in seventh place with 28.0 points per game. Cleveland’s running game should continue to thrive. The Browns’ offensive line has an advantage over the Steelers’ defensive line.
Snellings: I like Steelers +4.5 and more. The Steelers managed to keep both of their games within close range of a tougher opponent than the Browns, and their defense should be enough to keep the Browns from going completely insane, as they did against the Panthers and Jets. With that said, the Steelers still allowed 204 yards in their first two games, eighth most in the league, so their defense isn’t immune to Browns strength. I could see both teams under 20 points, which would put the game in the “slightly over” category.
Tags: Give me Steelers +5 and under 38. Stefanski (2-11) ATS opponents against AFC North. None of these teams showed impressive results with a score of 1:1. Both players playing low-quality quarterbacks and both teams’ defensemen out or questionable (Watt, Clowney and Garrett) are expected to be inactive. It will be a divisional battle with few fireworks and lots of fast-paced attempts.
3. The key offensive players for each team can be found at the back of the field. Naji Harris has a snatch of 55.5 and his snatch/reception total is 77.5. Nick Chubb has a total of 77.5 and 89.5 after playing with three TDs. Do you like any of these numbers or any of the other running back props including Karim Hunt?
Snellings: I like both Karim Hunt props, over 44.5 yards dash and over 64.5 yards dash/receive. When Hunt is healthy, he constantly overshadows those marks. Hunt was injured after Game 6 last season, but has so far passed 44.5 yards in five straight games and 64.5 yards in total in four straight games. Hunt has surpassed both marks in both games this season.
Schatz: I’ll take that Nick Chubb prop rush/receive combo at 89.5. Chubb topped that mark in both games this year, and last week, Pittsburgh allowed the Patriots to run for over 100 yards.
walder: I’ll bet -179 to take Naji Harris more than 2.5 receptions. That’s the mark Harris has achieved in 15 of 19 career games. In addition, early defenders get more targets and more rollback moves against zone cover. This season, the Browns have played in the zone 60% of the time (eighth), without playing the mobile QB that forced them to play in the zone.
Besides, he’s not a running back, but I like Donovan Peoples-Jones. over 2.5 receptions (+116), too much. Yes, he went without a catch in the last game. But we are still talking about a player who has 12 goals in a year, which makes him second in command.
Capricious: If I was betting on a running prop, I would pick Hunt. above 63.5 yards dash/receive. He only had 70 yards in his first week and 69 in his second week. Like Mr. Walder, I also like Peoples-Jones for 2.5 servings. When the Steelers play cover, it should thrive.
Dolan: Karim Hunt over 42.5 yards. The Browns attack first and they have Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, but in this short week I’m looking to Hunt to walk his crutch in the rushing yards. He overcame it in both games this season, averaging 52 yards and 12 tries. The Steelers’ defense also allowed 128.5 yards per game, 22nd in the league. I expect the Browns to control the ball…