Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Marcus Allen (27) during an NFL football game on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Cleveland. Cleveland defeated Pittsburgh 24-22. (AP Photo/Kirk Irwin)
- The Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field during Wild Card Weekend
- The two teams have squared off twice this season with each side winning once
- Read below for opening odds analysis and a prediction on which way the line will move before kickoff.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns will square off for a second straight week. While the Browns earned the win in Week 17, the Pittsburgh Steelers were resting their starters in preparation for the playoffs. Now that the playoffs have arrived, the Steelers will now get to host the matchup and their first-stringers will play.
The Steelers have opened as a 4-point favorite for this matchup but which way will the line move by kickoff?
Browns vs Steelers Opening Odds
|Cleveland Browns||OFF||+4.0 (-105)||OFF|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||OFF||-4.0 (-115)||OFF|
All odds as of Jan 3rd.
Browns Make Playoffs For First Time Since 2002
The Browns playoff drought is over. After nearly two decades of being a bumbling franchise – often the laughing stock of the NFL – the Browns are back in the postseason. Cleveland finished the year 11-5 and managed to overcome all sorts of adversity to get to this point. That includes an effort in Week 17 that was shaky at times.
The Browns entered Week 17 needing a win to secure their playoff berth and that was expected to be an easy task. Hosting a Steelers side that was resting Ben Roethlisberger and other key starters, the Browns closed as a 10-point favorite. They labored throughout and in the end, eked out a 24-22 win.
Jim Donovan calling the browns game winning first down and making the playoffs pic.twitter.com/qSQb8U9QIX
— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) January 4, 2021
The Steelers scored a late touchdown but failed on a two-point conversion, which led to the Browns victory. Now the two sides will square off for a third time this season.
Super Bowl 55 Odds Tracker
Steelers Slumping As Playoffs Begin
The Steelers started the year 11-0 and were the last undefeated team in the NFL. However, they really hit the skids in the last month of the season – dropping four of their final five games – and are a very different team as the playoffs approach.
To start, the Steelers offense has virtually disappeared. Maybe a week of rest helps but the Steelers are averaging just 19.7 points per game over their last six contests. They’ve become a one-dimensional unit as they finished the year dead-last in rushing yards per game (84.4) as well as yards-per-carry (3.6).
Super Bowl odds ahead of SNF
— Matt McEwan (@SBD_Matt) January 4, 2021
The Steelers December stumbles impacted their playoff standing majorly. Instead of possibly finishing with the No. 1 seed in the AFC and earning a bye, they fell to the No. 3 spot and now won’t have home-field advantage if they end up facing the Kansas City Chiefs or Buffalo Bills. Before they look ahead, though, they have to deal with an 11-win Browns team that just beat them.
Which Way Will The Odds Move?
The Steelers have opened as a four-point favorite, which is a fairly short line. At one point in the season, they were three wins better than the Browns but in the end, they only edged them by one win. Most bettors are going to feel that momentum is with the Browns, so don’t be surprised if this line comes down throughout the week. Pittsburgh should close somewhere in the vicinity of -3.5.
For over 15 years, Dave has been working in mainstream media and sports betting. He hosted a station on Sirius Satellite Radio for four years, and is currently a senior writer for AskMen. He’s interviewed hundreds of hundreds of high-profile sports stars like Shaquille O’Neal and Floyd Mayweather.