To the surprise of none, the Pittsburgh Steelers are favored to beat the Cleveland Browns despite the game being played in Cleveland. However, they are not just favorited, but favorites to win in a two-score game.
Steelers heavy favorites in Week One Matchup
The Steelers open 9.5 point favorites in Cleveland for the NFL season opener. The number has been bet down a touch, making them nine-point favorites in some areas. Still, this is a team expected to win this game by more than one touchdown.
Even with the Browns getting so many points, a lot of the trends point in the Steelers direction. The Steelers are 7-4 against the spread. when favored by less than ten points but more than a field goal in their last 11. They are also 2-0 as favorites of a touchdown or more on the road.
On the other side, the Browns are 5-15 against the spread in their last 20 when getting more than a field goal and less than 10. That includes just two outright wins. They are also 0-3 in their last three home games getting more than a touchdown on the spread. They are 4-9 with this trend since 1992. While the Steelers are 4-1 in their past three Septembers, the Browns sit at 2-4 against the spread.
The trends point to Pittsburgh and the matchups may as well. While the Browns offensive line can hold up the Steelers strength on defense, their defensive line, it is still a rookie quarterback in his first NFL games against a complex looking Steelers defense.
The defense is young and promising in Cleveland, but the Steelers have Martavis Bryant, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and Ben Roethlisberger for the first time in over a full-year. This team is going to want to shake off the rust and try things out against a Browns defense that they should have their way with.
The Steelers should win this game, and it should be right around that 10 point margin. Do not be surprised to see the Steelers by two touchdowns or more in this game, though.