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Steelers at Browns Picks, Predictions & Betting Preview NFL Week 8

Eytan Shander for Bookies.com

Eytan Shander  | 8 mins

Steelers at Browns Picks, Predictions & Betting Preview NFL Week 8

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Suddenly the Steelers look like they may have figured this thing out on offense, as they’ve won two straight with an improved offensive line. The Browns lost half of their offense to injury and may be without Baker Mayfield again, although they should see the return of Nick Chubb.

After putting up 42 in a loss to the Chargers three weeks ago, the Browns have failed to score 20 points in back-to-back games. We already see the impact with sportsbooks setting a low total of 42.5. We also see one of the few shorter NFL spreads of the week, where the home team is still the favorite despite potentially starting a backup QB.

Case Keenum did plenty to pace the Browns past the Broncos last week, but the Steelers also dismantled Denver. Pittsburgh has a star running back of their own, rookie Najee Harris, but overall their offensive numbers are still struggling. Their defense continues to be a strength, 15th against the pass and 12th against the run.

The Browns are dominant, 7th against the pass and 2nd against the run. Turnovers are huge in NFL betting – as the Browns defense is 29th in the league in causing turnovers.

The Browns are 3.5-point home favorites against the Steelers. Pittsburgh is +160 on the ML, while the Browns are -175. The total for this game is 42.5 points.

Check out the latest Browns vs. Steelers odds ahead of the matchup in Week 8.

Steelers vs. Browns Key Matchups

Harris vs. Browns Front: Despite having Harris, the Steelers are still 29th overall in rushing offense. The Browns stop the run better than nearly everyone else in the NFL.

Steelers Pass Rush vs. Browns QB: Whether it’s Keenum or a pieced-together Baker Mayfield, the Steelers pass rush has been huge in keeping them in football games. The Browns OL will be in for a long afternoon.

CLE Pass O vs. Anyone on PIT: The Browns were terrible throwing the football before Mayfield went down, not having Jarvis Landry or Odell Beckham Jr. only solidifies how difficult it will be to throw on Pittsburgh.

RELATED: NFL Week 8 Odds & Betting Lines For All Games

Steelers vs. Browns Key Stats

170.4: The Browns lead the league in total rushing offense with 170.4 RushYPG. Even without Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb last week, they still rushed over 100 yards.

239.9: Be it Keenum, Mayfield, or anyone else, the Browns are 27th in the NFL in throwing the football. Add the Steelers pass rush and it’s not a great equation for Cleveland.

12: The Steelers rank 12th in the NFL in stopping the run. They have plenty of talent up front, but is it enough to slow down the best rush attack in the league?

1: Of the top targets for Ben Roethlisberger, only one – Najee Harris – has started and played all six games.

0: It may have only been one start, but Case Keenum didn’t throw a single interception against Denver last week.

RELATED: NFL Week 8 Picks & Best Bets For Every Game

Steelers at Browns Player Props

Dionte Johnson Over 22.5 Long Reception

Odds: -115 at DraftKings

Johnson will be the best deep threat for Big Ben. There’s a great chance if he grabs one past the sticks, it will be over that number.

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Najee Harris Over 18.5 Rush Attempts

Odds: -110 at DraftKings

Harris is the workhorse on a team that should be playing Cleveland tight, plus the Steelers OL has been much better in the past few weeks.

Pat Freiermuth Over 2.5 Reception

Odds: +100 at BetMGM

The Steelers TE comes off a seven-target, seven-catch game. Regardless of Eric Ebron’s health, Freiermuth has established a connection with Big Ben.

Steelers vs. Browns Moneyline

Two huge keys in weighing any NFL picks are injury and who has the edge on the lines. Both teams are solid up front and do a great job stopping the run.

The difference is that even through injury, the Browns were able to establish dominance on the ground. Neither of the QB options for Cleveland will be asked to win the game in the air, and the return of Chubb tips the scales for the Browns.

Feel free to wait and see if any betting sites drop this to -160, then pounce on the Browns.

Steelers vs. Browns Point Spread

The hook only comes into play here if you think Pittsburgh’s offense can score more than 20 points. Neither team should go over 24, with the losing team – Pittsburgh – struggling to get past 17. The more likely scenario is the Steelers are playing from behind and manage to cut a lead down to 7 or 4, ultimately eliminating the benefit of the hook.

Once the Browns get up, expect a heavy dose of Chubb and D’Ernest Johnson. The Steelers pass offense isn’t what it used to be, but their OL has stepped up in recent weeks. Cleveland is just too good on defense. Grab the Browns -3.5 (-110) at FanDuel.

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Steelers vs. Browns Total

The total seems sharp when looking at both teams and their potential to hit over 24 points. They rely on their defenses to make things incredibly difficult for opponents, but neither have been able to separate from their opponents.

Pittsburgh won’t be able to get north of 21 points, which leaves the Browns and their ceiling. Cleveland isn’t going to find some magic fountain of offense, but they should be able to hit 24 points. Grab Over 42.5 (-110) at BetMGM.

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About the Author

Eytan Shander for Bookies.com
Eytan Shander
Eytan Shander writes about the NFL, NBA and more for Bookies.com. A 15-year radio veteran, he has worked nationally for Mad Dog Radio & NBC Sports Radio.