The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns had exactly opposite experiences in Week 1. The Steelers came in with a ton of hype and got bulldozed, while the Browns came in with a lot of doubts and stomped the favorites for the division. Those results have more than likely colored the betting odds for the matchup between these division rivals on Monday night, with the Browns coming in as slight moneyline favorites on most NFL betting sites and betting apps.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns NFL Betting Odds
- The Cleveland Browns go on the road on MNF as -145 moneyline odds favorites
- Cleveland is favored on the spread, but not by much, sporting a -2.5 point spread
- Browns running back Nick Chubb has the shortest odds to score at -105
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns NFL Betting Odds - Monday, September 18th
The Pittsburgh Steelers had a perfect preseason, but that did not translate in Week 1, as the San Francisco 49ers absolutely demolished them 30-7 in Pittsburgh at Acrisure Stadium. The Cleveland Browns, meanwhile, took care of business convincingly 24-3 at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. All odds provided by Sports Interaction.
|Pittsburgh Steelers||+119||-2.5 (-110)||O38.5 (-110)|
|Cleveland Browns||-145||+2.5 (-110)||U38.5 (-110)|
It sucks to look at a game through the lens of who’s not playing, but it’s hard to ignore when you consider the major contributors not available to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night. Firstly, their top wideout, Diontae Johnson, will be out for some time with a hamstring injury, which is a massive loss for second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett.
Not only is Johnson athletically gifted, he’s also one of the best route runners in the NFL, which means he gets open very often, which allows Pickett to make quick decisions. But without Johnson and his short routes, the Steelers might have to wait a tad longer for other types of routes to develop, which is not good considering they gave up five sacks last week.
They’ll also be without defensive end and veteran leader Cameron Heyward, who was placed on IR after undergoing groin surgery earlier this week. Heyward’s absence at the heart of the defense is arguably the most impactful on the team apart from Pickett and T.J. Watt. Not only has he turned into an elite pass rusher, but he’s crucial for clogging up running lanes in the ground game.
His absence will be even more stark against a power running team like the Cleveland Browns, who ran all over the Bengals for 206 yards and 5.2 yards a carry in Week 1. We’re not sure it will be 200+ again, but we expect Nick Chubb and company to find success at Acrisure Stadium on Monday night.
Deshaun Watson still did not quite look like the Watson we saw in Houston before all of his issues, completing just 55 percent of his passes while also tossing a pick. His shaky performance was luckily overshadowed by the stench of what Joe Burrow put out there in the same game.
The Bengals were able to run when they tried it against the Browns, and the Steelers actually ran the ball pretty well before they gave up on it against the 49ers. If Najee Harris can get going, the Steelers should be able to stay in this one.
Another reason Steelers fans should take heart is that one of Cleveland’s few weak spots last week came in pass protection, as they allowed three sacks on the night. Watt was the lone bright spot for the Steelers in Week 1 with three sacks.
In terms of the point spread, we would tend to lean slightly to the Browns as long as the spread stays under three points, but a bet we like a lot more is the under on this one’s 38.5 point total. At the end of the day, neither of these offenses is going to put up a ton of points, and if they both run the ball effectively it should be a low-scoring one. It’s going to rain on Sunday in Pittsburgh as well, so the field could still be a bit mucky come Monday night.
Player Props To Consider
In terms of player props, we love the players with the shortest odds to score a touchdown—Chubb and Harris—to find the end zone. This could very well become a running back duel, and we think both of the lead guys will find pay dirt, Chubb at -105 odds and Harris at +140. The over on Chubb’s 75.5 rushing yards prop is also a great play here at -130.
The way the offensive lines of the Steelers (five sacks allowed) and Browns (three) played in pass protection last week should be a worry for both. On the other hand, it means feasting time for the two best pass rushers in football. T.J. Watt is offering -170 odds to get a sack, while Myles Garrett is offering -165. The odds could be better, but they’re pretty close to sure things.
With Johnson out, it’s a little bit surprising to see Steelers receiver George Pickens with such a low receiving yards prop. But hey, we’re not complaining. His over/under sits at just 41.5 despite having 36 yards against a much tougher 49ers defense and with Johnson playing most of the game last week. His -118 odds to hit the over on that prop look really good right now
Alex is a recent graduate of Ryerson's Sport Media program in 2019 and has been contributing to BettingTop10 since 2020. He has worked in the field of sports and sports betting for several years, including stops writing for theScore and daily fantasy sports website FantasyPros as one of the lead NBA news writers. A dedicated sports fan and experienced sports bettor, Alex has the knowledge to provide you with the best betting advice and the sneakiest props no matter what the sport may be.