Monday Night Football | Browns vs Steelers Predictions

A critical Monday Night Football matchup between AFC North rivals puts a bow on the betting week and the MNF schedule for the season. With their playoff hopes hanging on the outcome, the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers will battle to stay relevant. Pittsburgh won the first meeting between the clubs, 15-10, back in Week 8 and has won four of the last five series games.

However, the Steelers are just 2-4 in their last six and were ambushed by the Chiefs last week failing to cover the 10.5 point spread in a 36-10 defeat. Cleveland dropped two in a row, each by two points, and has moved to a 3.5-point favorite on the NFL betting line.

Browns vs Steelers Date & Time

The Week 17 Monday Night Football game between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers will take place at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA at 8:15 p.m. ET on January 3 and will be televised on ESPN.

Browns vs Steelers Odds

Cleveland Browns -3.5 | Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5 [BET NOW]

Over/Under 40.5 [BET NOW]

Odds Analysis

Trying to figure out where the line is going is about as easy as getting a handle on the teams. Pittsburgh hit the board as a slight 1-point favorite with the betting public quickly forcing the number to jump the fence. Plenty of early action on the Browns had oddsmakers scrambling with the number moving all the way up to Cleveland -3.5. The Browns are 0-3 ATS in their last three games when laying points.

They rallied in Green Bay last week nearly pulling off the upset covering the 7.5-point line in the 24-22 loss. Each of their last five games have been decided by six points or less with the UNDER 4-1 in those games. The total was bet down a half point after opening at 41. One week after beating Tennessee, the Steelers were overmatched by the Chiefs. They’ve allowed at least 36 points in each of their last four losses.

Cleveland Browns

It hasn’t quite been what the Browns expected, but their season isn’t over yet. Difficulties closing out games have been a theme and are something the club will lament should it not reach the postseason. There were a number of times when a successful drive or defensive stop could have changed the outcome of a game leaving the Browns in a better spot.

But that’s how the game goes. One of those instances was last week with the Browns rallying against Green Bay. Down 24-12 late in the third, the Browns scored the next 10 points and had the ball with just over two minutes left in the fourth. They got to midfield before Baker Mayfield ended any chance of a comeback with his fourth interception of the game.

That the Browns even had a chance despite three earlier Mayfield picks was impressive. But the fact that their star QB turned it over that many times was a concern. The team was hit hard by COVID with a number of players out in the Week 15 loss to the Raiders, another game that could have gone either way.

Vegas hit a late field goal handing the Browns a 16-14 loss. Cleveland’s last three defeats have come by a combined 10 points. And they lost earlier to the Steelers turning the ball over on a fumble and downs on their final two possessions with a chance to win.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Neither team looks worthy of the postseason the way they’re playing down the stretch. While the Browns have been unable to finish games, the Steelers have been inconsistent. They beat Tennessee, 19-13, in Week 15 and then were destroyed by the Chiefs last week. The good news is that this is a home game and the Steelers have been unbeatable in their last six games at Heinz Field.

They are 5-0-1 SU and 3-3 ATS with the only blemish being a tie with Detroit in Week 10. That could end up being a critical outcome for playoff purposes. And we’ve seen different teams at home and on the road. The Steelers surrendered at least 36 points in each of their previous four road games while allowing an average of 19 points over the last five home games.

With Ben Roethlisberger hinting at retirement, this could be the final home game of his career. It’s been a struggle at times for Big Ben, but he’s owned the Browns during his career. He tossed a touchdown pass in Pittsburgh’s 15-10 win at Cleveland on Halloween improving his record as a starter against the division foe to 24-3-1. Ben had been undefeated at home against the Browns until last season’s wild card playoff loss.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5 and OVER 40.5

Browns vs Steelers Prediction

It’s an all too familiar script with the Browns coming up with ways to lose games. And they haven’t enjoyed a lot of success in Pittsburgh, which is why I’m leaning toward the Steelers. Roethlisberger would like nothing better than to go out with a bang in what is likely his last home game, and his mates will do what they can to make that happen. Besides, the playoffs are still a possibility and the Steelers have been a good home team. Getting points is an added bonus.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5 and OVER 40.5

View NFL Week 17 betting lines.