The Cleveland Browns aim for back-to-back wins for the first time this season when they host the red-hot Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night Football. Cleveland (3-6) erased a deficit on Baker Mayfield’s seven-yard touchdown pass to Rashard Higgins with 1:44 left in the fourth quarter and emerged with a 19-16 victory over Buffalo on Sunday. The Browns had lost four in a row but have won their lone divisional game this year, posting a 40-25 road triumph over AFC North-leading Baltimore in Week 4. Pittsburgh (5-4) is in the midst of a four-game winning streak after getting past the Los Angeles Rams, 17-12, at home on Sunday. The Steelers have played just one of their last six contests on the road, where they are 1-2 this season, but are unbeaten in their last eight visits to Cleveland (7-0-1). Kickoff at FirstEnergy Stadium on Thursday is set for 8:20 p.m. ET. Cleveland is a three-point favorite in the latest Browns vs. Steelers odds after the line opened at 2.5, while the over-under for total points is 41.5. Before you make any Steelers vs. Browns picks of your own, you need to hear what SportsLine’s AFC North expert, Larry Hartstein, has to say.
A former lead writer for Covers and The Linemakers, Hartstein combines a vast network of Vegas sources with an analytical approach he honed while working for Pro Football Focus. Last year, he went 61-47 in the NFL, and this year, he’s even hotter. Entering Week 11, Hartstein is a scorching 36-19 on NFL picks against the spread this season, a 65.4 percent cash rate that’s returned nearly $1,500 to $100 bettors.
And these two teams have contributed to Hartstein’s success. In six picks involving Pittsburgh or Cleveland this year, Hartstein has called the pointspread winner all but once. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, Hartstein has locked in on this AFC North battle and generated another strong against the spread pick for Browns vs. Steelers on Thursday Night Football. You can head to SportsLine to see it. Now, here are several NFL betting lines for Steelers vs. Browns:
- Browns vs. Steelers spread: Cleveland -3
- Browns vs. Steelers over-under: 41.5 points
- Browns vs. Steelers money line: Cleveland -150, Pittsburgh +130
- PIT: Mason Rudolph (4-2) to make seventh start of season
- CLE: Baker Mayfield 110.74 QB rating in last four games vs. AFC North
Hartstein knows that the Steelers have been performing at a high level defensively this season. Pittsburgh ranks third in the NFL with 33 sacks, second with a plus-13 turnover ratio and first with 12 fumble recoveries. Linebacker T.J. Watt is fifth in the league with 9.5 sacks after recording a pair against the Rams, while safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is tied for first in interceptions after making his fifth of the season versus Los Angeles.
Fitzpatrick, who was acquired from Miami before Week 3, became the first Steeler to return an interception and a fumble for touchdowns in a season since the feat was accomplished in 1996 by Rod Woodson and Carnell Lake. Watt has registered 5.5 sacks over his last three contests, while fellow linebacker Devin Bush leads all NFL rookies in tackles (69) and fumble recoveries (four). Running back James Conner, who is expected to return after missing two games with a shoulder injury, has notched 404 scrimmage yards and four touchdowns in his last two meetings with the Browns.
Even so, Pittsburgh is no guarantee to cover the Steelers vs. Browns spread on Thursday Night Football.
Hartstein also knows that Mayfield has been taking care of the ball, going back-to-back games without throwing an interception. The 24-year-old former No. 1 overall draft pick also has performed well in his last four meetings with AFC North rivals, recording 1,260 yards with 11 touchdowns and only four picks. Newcomer Kareem Hunt has excelled versus the division as well, as he scored seven TDs in his last three contests against those clubs while with Kansas City. Hunt made his team debut last Sunday and presents another threat in a backfield that already includes Nick Chubb, who has gained at least 90 yards from scrimmage in each of his last eight contests.
The Browns, who are 1-4 against the spread as home favorites since 2016, will need to improve offensively when near the goal line. Cleveland had major difficulty in such situations against the Bills and was stopped on eight consecutive plays from the one-yard line in the first quarter.
Hartstein has analyzed this matchup and while we can tell you he’s leaning under, he has discovered a crucial x-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. He’s sharing it only at SportsLine.
Who wins Steelers vs. Browns on Thursday Night Football? And what critical factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Browns vs. Steelers spread you should jump all over Thursday, all from the No. 1 NFL expert who’s brought in nearly $1,500 this season, and find out.