As always, we are beginning Week 11 with free Thursday Night Football predictions as the Cleveland Browns (3-6) host the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4) at FirstEnergy Stadium with kickoff slated for just after 8 PM local time.
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Steelers vs. Browns Betting Prediction Week 11
The line opened with Cleveland as three-point home favorites according to NFL betting lines from William Hill NJ, but the odds have since settled in at Browns -2.5 (-110) with the total currently sitting low at 40 points.
Rivalry games like this one in the AFC North can be hard to predict, especially when you're dealing with teams going through up-and-down seasons. With both groups coming off big wins, so which way do we go with our Week 11 TNF picks?
Steelers Betting Preview Week 11
Pittsburgh is now over .500, squarely in the AFC playoff race, and 6-3 against the spread in 2019. The Steelers have now won four in a row and four of the five games QB Mason Rudolph has played this season.
After scoring 24+ points in three straight games, the Steelers won the last game with defense, forcing four turnovers in a 17-12 win as home underdogs versus the Rams. Two of those were interceptions from the sixth-ranked pass defense in the NFL according to DVOA metrics from Football Outsiders.
Combine the Pittsburgh pass defense with the fact that Browns QB Baker Mayfield has thrown the second-most interceptions in the league (12). It's clear that stopping Nick Chubb and the Browns' running attack will be key, as will establishing its own run game with John Conner set to return from injury.
Browns Betting Preview Week 11
From a betting standpoint, the Browns have been an untrustworthy bunch at 2-6-1 against the spread. The good news is that a four-game losing streak was snapped with a 19-16 win and many narrowly covered the -2.5 spread (others at -3 were not as lucky).
Once again, Cleveland thrived by running the ball with Nick Chubb, who went over 100 yards for the fourth time this season and the third time in the past four games. He has exactly 20 attempts in five of the last six games, so expect Pittsburgh to see a healthy dose of him once again.
Cleveland had the ball on the Buffalo one-yard line on consecutive possessions and couldn't manage a touchdown, which highlights some of the offense's issues once they're close to the goal line. Against a strong red-zone defense like Pittsburgh, this should be another thing to remember when making Thursday Night Football picks.
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Steelers vs. Browns Prediction
These two teams are playing one another twice in a three-week span beginning with this game in Week 11, which can make for interesting theatre if Cleveland propels itself back into the playoff race. In order too that, a win in this game is key.
The Browns opening as three-point favorites at home tells us oddsmakers rate these teams about even, so how do we decide where to place our bet? For us, there are a few key factors to consider that lead to us taking the underdog Steelers to win outright at +125.
We'd expect the Browns will be able to run the ball with success, but they have issues translating yards into points. This team owns one of the worst turnover differentials in the league (-8) while Pittsburgh has the second-best (+13) and in a cold-weather game with some wind expected, we like the team that takes care of the ball.
Cleveland also has its own problems as a mediocre defense facing James Conner's return to the Steelers' backfield and an efficient, low-risk passing offense led by Rudolph. Look for +3 somewhere to be safe, or just take the moneyline at plus-money.
Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers ML (+125) - Place TNF Bets at William Hill NJ
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NFL Week 9 Picks: Thursday Night Football Props
In addition to conventional spreads and totals, the best NJ betting sites each offer a wide range of prop markets to bet on for every NFL game including Thursday Night Football. After getting a look at the William Hill NFL odds, we've settled on looking at the first half lines.
We've mentioned they'll be some pretty cold weather as the temperature will be in the 30s and some wind is expected in Cleveland. We already know the Browns will try to keep the ball on the ground and the Steelers play to a pretty slow pace.
Considering the weather and the short week, don't expect too many points on the board early on in this one. Taking the under 20 (-110) in the first half might be a worthy investment as long as you get some field goals instead of touchdowns.