Browns vs Steelers Odds, Lines and Spreads


Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb running with the ball during a game.

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) runs with the ball during an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Cleveland. The Browns won 24-22. (AP Photo/David Richard)

  • The host Pittsburgh Steelers are six-point favorites over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday night in their AFC wild card round playoff game at Heinz Field
  • John Perrotto Betting Record: 10-7-2 (2.3 units won)
  • The odds, lines and spreads for Steelers-Browns can be found below with game analysis

The Cleveland Browns have had distractions while preparing for their first playoff game since 2002 when they visit the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC wild card round at 8:15 p.m. ET Sunday at Heinz Field.

The Browns practiced only once this week and will be without rookie Kevin Stefanski this week because of COVID-19 protocols. That has put a bit of a damper on Cleveland finishing the regular season with six wins in eight games for an 11-5 record.

The Steelers lost four of their last five games following an 11-0 start, but their 12-4 record was good enough to win the AFC North and be favored against the Browns.

The Steelers were 10-6 against the spread in the regular season and the Browns went 6-10.

Browns vs Steelers

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Cleveland Browns +205 +6 (-110) Over 47.5 (-106)
Pittsburgh Steelers -250 -6 (-110) Under 47.5 (-114)

Odds taken Jan. 9 from FanDuel

Unsettled Browns

Special teams coach Mike Priefer will serve as the acting head coach while Stefanski will be stuck in the basement of his Cleveland-area home watching on TV. Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt will take over play-calling duties.

Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio is one of four players on the COVID-19 list along with cornerback Denzel Ward, safety Ronnie Harrison and wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge. While Ward might be able to play Sunday, the other three will miss the game.

Because of injuries, the Browns will be down to fourth-stringer Michael Dunn to start in Bitonioโ€™s place. It also must be a major disappointment to Bitonio to sit out as he is the longest-tenured Browns player at seven seasons.

Steelers cornerback Joe Haden will also miss the game because of the coronavirus. He will be replaced by the versatile Cam Sutton, who has an interception and three fumble recoveries this season.

House of Horrors

The Browns are 1-20 at Heinz Field and have lost in each of their last 17 yearly visits to the banks of the Allegheny River.

Cleveland also lost a playoff game there in 2003, 36-33, after blowing a big lead. It remains the franchiseโ€™s lone postseason game since being rebooted in 1999.

Classic rock band Styx had a hand in that game.

The Browns were smashed 38-7 in Week 6 in their latest bus trip across the Ohio and Pennsylvania turnpikes to Pittsburgh.

James Conner rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown for the Steelers, who were three-point favorites. Ben Roethlisberger had 162 yards passing and two touchdowns.

Stefanski benched Baker Mayfield after he threw two interceptions and was sacked four times.

The Browns beat the short-handed Steelers 24-22 last week at Cleveland in the regular-season finale. Among the Pittsburgh standouts who did not make the trip were Roethlisberger, defensive end Cam Heyward and linebacker T.J. Watt.

It was just the Brownsโ€™ second win in the last 12 games of the series as Mayfield threw for 196 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. Nick Chubb rushed for 108 yards and a TD.

Running Game Disparity

While the Steelers ran for a combined 224 yards in the two regular-season games against the Browns, they finished last in the league in rushing with an average of just 84.4 yards a game. The Browns were ninth in run defense at 110.8 yards a game.

Meanwhile, the Browns were third in the league in rushing offense with a 148.4 average. The Steelers run defense ranked 11th at 111.4.

Hunt also became a folk hero last week for the block he threw to help spring Mayfield for the game-sealing โ€“ and playoff-clinching โ€“ first down.

Though weather shouldnโ€™t be a factor as the temperature is expected to be 26 degrees at kickoff with no wind, it wouldnโ€™t be surprising to see the Browns try to establish its two-pronged running game in this matchup.

Will History Prevail?

History says the Steelers do not lose to the Browns at Heinz Field. However, the Steelers havenโ€™t played well since November and playing in Pittsburgh isnโ€™t as daunting with coronavirus restrictions keeping the crowd down to a few thousand.

Pick: Browns +6 (-110)

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John Perrotto

NFL MLB NCAAF NCAAB Sports Writer

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