Cleveland end their 18-year NFL playoff absence when they visit the Pittsburgh Steelers in an AFC wild card clash on Sunday (Jan. 10).
- Pittsburgh are six-point favorites (-275 to win)
- Browns win 11 games for first time since 1994 (lost to Pittsburgh in the playoffs)
- Most played fixture in either franchise’s history (137th meeting)
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers Game Info
- Date: Sunday, January 10
- Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
- Venue: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- TV Info: NBC
Browns @ Steelers Odds
- Cleveland Browns: +235
- Pittsburgh Steelers: -275
Browns @ Steelers Jan 10 Prediction
The Browns beat the AFC North winners 24-22 in their Week 17 regular-season finale, but Pittsburgh are tipped to repeat their Week 6 win in this fixture (38-7). Mike Tomlin rested certain stars in Ohio last weekend knowing top spot in the AFC North was secured, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger among those who watched his side’s loss from home.
Fellow captains Maurkice Pouncey, T.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward were also left in Pennsylvania; it says a lot about the Steelers’ depth that they still came up just two points short.
The Heinz Field hosts have lost three of their last four games but are -275 moneyline odds with Betrivers PA to reach the divisional playoff, where they will meet either the Buffalo Bills or Indianapolis Colts. Cleveland are +275 dogs after nearly two decades away from the post-season, with both teams offering sportsbook value in this rematch between division nemeses.
Pittsburgh to Win -6 Points, Under 47 Total Points (+295)
The Steelers went 10-6 against the spread this regular season while the Browns held that record in reverse (6-10), putting Pittsburgh in the driver’s seat to cover for a third straight game.
Cleveland’s chances have been hurt after head coach Kevin Stefanski and other staff tested positive for COVID-19 in the build-up, which is sure to affect training and Sunday’s performance:
Right now, the #Browns offense is currently down its HC/play-caller (Stefanski), OL coach (Callahan), OL asst. (Peters), WR coach (O’Shea) and TE coach (Petzing). How does CLE get through the week of practice offensively?— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) January 5, 2021
These teams have failed to hit 47 points in their last four meetings, and all but one of Pittsburgh’s last nine games (since Week 9) have featured an overall points total of 46 or less. The Steelers pass rush has a great chance of getting at Browns QB Baker Mayfield to limit his impact, but a lower-scoring affair also doesn’t mean an automatic blowout.
Cleveland Lead at HT, Pittsburgh Win at FT (+540)
Both the Browns and the Steelers have by and large started games stronger than they’ve tended to finish this season, although both started to turn the trend towards the end of the campaign. Pittsburgh in particular after they scored more second-half points Weeks 14 through 17, and the Browns are capable of storming early if Nick Chubb and the running corps get a head of steam.
Cleveland are 10-0 this season in games where they’ve led at half-time, but Tomlin’s men are one outfit capable of breaking the cycle.
Pittsburgh came back to win four of the seven games in which they trailed at half-time this year, with their second string almost pulling off the feat in Week 17. The +540 odds to finish the job this time around look a sensible pick.
Safety To Be Scored (+650)
The script looks written for Mayfield to lead a Browns revolution in their NFL playoff comeback, but there’s every chance this will end up more nightmare than dream for the Cleveland QB.
Pittsburgh have recorded more sacks this season than any other team (56), and the Browns’ communications are bound to be at least slightly disrupted by the absence of certain coaches this week. Mayfield, 25, is still young and relatively inexperienced heading into his first playoff appearance, and +650 odds on a safety scored doesn’t look bad all factors considered.