The Cleveland Browns were picked to finish second in the AFC North Division while Pittsburgh was projected to finish fourth entering the season but the loser of Monday night’s game will be in last place in the division with one game remaining.
Neither team has been eliminated from the playoffs but Cleveland (+7500) has the 11th-best odds while Pittsburgh (+12500) has the 12th-best odds to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
At least one of the teams could be eliminated from playoff contention by the time the Monday night game kicks off.
Pittsburgh is 7-2-1 in one-score games while Cleveland is 4-6 in games decided by eight points or less.
Pittsburgh is 5-0-1 in its last six home games, although those matchups have been decided by a total of 20 points. Cleveland has lost its last three road games.
Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-20s at kickoff.
Game: Cleveland (7-8) at Pittsburgh (7-7-1)
Location: Heinz Field
Day/Time: Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET
|Cleveland||-3½ (-120)||-180||40½ (-110o)|
|Pittsburgh||+3½ (even)||+160||40½ (-110u)|
The visiting Pittsburgh Steelers were listed by the NFL picks against the spread as five-point favorites against the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 31.
D’Ernest Johnson’s 10-yard touchdown run gave Cleveland the seven-point lead with 9:36 left in the third quarter but touchdowns by Pittsburgh rookies Najee Harris and Pat Freiermuth gave the Steelers the 15-10 win. It was the fewest points by the winning team in the series since a 13-9 Pittsburgh victory on Jan. 1, 2012. It was the fourth time in the last five games that the Steelers covered against the Browns.
The game went well under the 43-point total after the previous two matchups went over the total.
Next game: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The visiting Cleveland Browns were listed by the NFL betting lines as 7½-point underdogs against the Green Bay Packers in Week 16.
A pair of touchdown catches by Green Bay receiver Davante Adams gave the Packers the nine-point lead at halftime. The lead grew to 12 on a Green Bay field goal early in the third quarter, but a Cleveland field goal and an Anthony Schwartz touchdown catch with 4:31 left to play made it a two-point game. Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield’s fourth interception of the game with 50 seconds remaining clinched the win for Green Bay, as a missed extra point and failed two-point conversion pass came back to haunt Cleveland.
The game barely missed going over the 46½-point total. It was the fourth time in the last five games that the game went over the total.
Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (knee), running back Kareem Hunt (ankle), defensive backs Ronnie Harrison (ankle) and Troy Hill are questionable. Offensive linemen Jack Conklin (knee) and Drew Forbes (knee), defensive lineman Takkarist McKinley (Achilles) and tight end Stephen Carlson (knee) are on injured reserve. Defensive lineman Jordan Elliott, linebackers Tony Fields and Elijah Lee, defensive backs John Johnson and Greg Newsome, kicker Chase McLaughlin as well as offensive linemen Alex Taylor and JC Tretter are on the reserve/COVID-19 list
#Browns Myles Garrett (groin), John Johnson III (hamstring) and Malik Jackson (knee) all trained on the side during the open portion of practice.
Kareem Hunt (ankle) and Troy Hill (knee) were not on the fields during the open portion of practice.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) December 28, 2021
Next game: at Baltimore Ravens
The visiting Pittsburgh Steelers were listed by the Las Vegas odds as 10-point underdogs against the Kansas City Chiefs.
A pair of touchdowns by Byron Pringle allowed Kansas City to race out to a 30-0 lead. A Chris Boswell field goal with 3:34 left in the third quarter got Pittsburgh on the board and Diontae Johnson’s 18-yard catch with 2:54 left to play was the only touchdown for the Steelers in the 36-10 loss. Pittsburgh fell to 2-4-1 in its last seven games.
Johnson’s TD put the game over the 44½-point total. It was the fifth straight Steelers game that alternated going over and under the total.
Offensive lineman Kevin Dotson (ankle), tight end Freiermuth (concussion), defensive lineman Chris Wormley (groin), punter Pressley Harvin and linebacker Buddy Johnson (foot) are questionable. Linebackers Marcus Allen and Devin Bush, offensive lineman Zach Banner, defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs and running back Anthony McFarland are on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Tight end Eric Ebron (knee) is on injured reserve.
Coach Tomlin said Pat Freiermuth (concussion), Kevin Dotson (ankle), Kendrick Green and Trai Turner all have a chance to get back this week including some guys on the Covid-19 List with the extra day before MNF.
— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) December 28, 2021
Betting on the Game
Cleveland is 19th and Pittsburgh 22nd in scoring offense so this isn’t projecting to be the highest-scoring game between these division rivals.That is indicated by one of the lowest totals of the NFL Week 17 games.
The Houston Texans and the New York Jets are the only AFC teams to give up more yards per game than the 368.4 Pittsburgh is allowing. Pittsburgh is last in the NFL in rushing defense giving up 142.7 yards per game. That could be a problem as Cleveland is one of five teams in the NFL to rush for more than 2,000 yards.
Something of note to those who bet online: The total has gone under in four of the last six games between Pittsburgh and Cleveland,
Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt leads the NFL with 17½ sacks while Myles Garrett of Cleveland is tied for third with 15 sacks. Watt (+105) has the best odds to win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award while Garrett (+750) is fifth. Both are dealing with injuries. A rib issue has slowed Watt in recent games while a groin injury led to Garrett working on the side at Wednesday’s practice.
Pittsburgh has won 17 of the last 18 games against Cleveland when playing at home.
Cleveland has failed to cover in 11 of its last 13 games against AFC North opponents.