Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Prediction – Monday Night Football, Week 17, 2021

| December 31, 2021 3:01 pm PDT

The Browns and Steelers are facing off for Monday Night Football for this week. This AFC North matchup has playoff implications, even though they are the 3rd and 4th seeded in their division.

The Steelers have a slightly better record (7-7-1) due to their tie with the Lions, but the Browns (7-8) can pull ahead of them with a win this week.

The playoffs won’t be the only major storyline for this game. Ben Roethlisberger is calling it a career and this will be his last start in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ home stadium. Next week he faces off with the Ravens one more time before he rides off into the sunset (if the Steelers don’t make the playoffs).

Let’s get into the odds preview and matchup breakdown.

Odds for Browns vs. Steelers

Cleveland Browns -3.5-105
Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5-115
Over 41.5-105
Under 41.5-115

Looking at the odds, the Browns are coming into this game as favorites on the road. The Steelers are 3.5 point underdogs as Big Ben is making his final start in Heinz Field ever. The point total for this game is set a bit low for this game, but a lot of that has to do with their last meeting. The last time they played they scored 25 combined points in a 15-10 Steelers’ win.

For these exact odds, head over to BetOnline to place your bets.

Let’s get into why each team can win and my final prediction for the game.

Why the Browns Will Win

The Browns have a good matchup on paper this week. They love to run the football and the Steelers have been absolutely terrible at stopping the run. They have a chance to dominate on the ground offensively and control the pace of this game.

The Steelers are a very beatable team. They often look like tough competitors but then fall apart at other times. It won’t be super easy to beat them, but the Browns have a high chance of winning as favorites.

In their last game against Pittsburgh, the Browns did not play well. Baker Mayfield was sacked 4 times and they also lost a Jarvis Landry fumble as well. They ran the ball 23 times for 96 yards, so improving in those categories will be key to a Cleveland win.

That was a bit unusual for the Steelers’ rush defense. They actually give up the most yardage per game and per carry to opposing teams on the ground (142.7 per game, 4.8 per carry). I would expect the Browns to be a lot better on the ground in this one, giving them a better chance at winning.

The Browns did very well against the Steelers last time out and have a solid chance to do so again. Cleveland’s defense is tough and Pittsburgh’s offense is prone to struggling by themselves.

The Steelers average 27.8 yards per drive, which ranks 27th in the entire league. If they put up a bunch of duds in this one, the Browns should be able to get and hold the lead.

Why the Steelers Will Win

Although the Browns are favored to win, the Steelers have a chance at an upset. In fact, they already beat them once this year in Week 8 (15-10), so they could very well do so again.

A win at home would also be a fitting end to Big Ben’s career as a Pittsburgh Steeler. He has had an incredible career for them and they could be extra motivated to get a win for him. Ben has been a bit unreliable and inconsistent this season, but he might play his best game due to the circumstances.

The Steelers offense is capable of having a good game. Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and Pat Freiermuth are all capable of being productive.

If they can keep Ben clean, he could orchestrate the offense effectively like he has done so many times in his career.

Defensively the Steelers can have another big day. They were able to get to Mayfield 4 times and shut down the run. They need to do that again in order to give themselves another chance to win.

The toughest part will be repeating their success against the run last time out. The Steelers weren’t so bad at stopping the run in the first half of the season, but the second half is another story.

They held their opponents to under 145 team rushing yards in every game up to Week 9. Since then, they have only done that two more times in 7 games. They have also given up efforts of 229, 198, 242, and 201 during that span. That really hurt their rush defense standings as they now rank as the worst team against the run.

If they can get back to the way they played earlier this season, the Steelers can come out with a win. Big Ben would get his storybook ending in his home stadium and a happy ending to his career in Pittsburgh.

My Prediction for Browns vs. Steelers

Both of these teams are pretty unreliable when it comes to betting. The Steelers’ record against the spread is 6-9, while the Browns aren’t much better at 7-8. Steelers and Browns games typically hit the under, but I am not dying to bet that either.

With the Steelers recent incompetence stopping the run, I think the Browns can put up some decent points. Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and D’Ernest Johnson can all run the ball effectively and the Browns have a top tier offensive line.

The Steelers have had some pretty high scoring games despite typically hitting the under. They aren’t the most consistent team, but I have a feeling they will put up 20+ points in Big Ben’s last home start.

Give me the over in a rather interesting Monday Night Football game. Head to the best NFL betting sites to place your bets with me.

Also be sure to check out our NFL picks page for more recommended bets.

Pick
  • Over 41.5
    -105
Anthony Haage

Anthony is a sports writer for GamblingSites.com covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and more. He also covers other various topics such as entertainment, general sports betting tips, and more.

His favorite teams are the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Cubs, and Blackhawks. He also will be a temporary fan of any team if it means winning him bets.

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