The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns are slated to face off in Week 17 of the 2021 regular season, and there are a lot of narratives between these two teams. For the Browns, they are trying to keep themselves in the AFC playoffs in a must-win scenario, while the Steelers are a team trying to find a way to stay in both the AFC North race and AFC Playoff Picture.
For those who follow the current betting lines, the Steelers opened as 3.0-point home underdogs, and, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, that line has moved from 3.0-points to 3.5-point, for some reason.
(Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.)
At this point, it is time to check in and see who the pundits who call themselves experts like in this showdown in Pittsburgh this Monday.
For those new to this article, there are two types of experts when it comes to NFL picks. There are those who just pick the overall winner, and those who expound on their picks and give a reason for their prediction.
As for the former of the above types of experts, there are many sites who have their experts just plug in a winner and move on with their day. Of those sites, the majority, if not all, of experts at Yahoo!, ESPN and FOX feel very split on who they want to win, and this should surprise no one. Both of these teams have been extremely inconsistent, and this makes picking this game even more challenging.
As for the experts who actually put some thoughts, and explanation behind their picks, like Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, he likes the Steelers to find a way to beat the Browns in Week 17.
These two still have playoff hopes, but the loser is dead. The Browns will be getting a lot of guys back off the COVID list, which will help. The Steelers looked terrible last week in losing to the Chiefs, but being back home against a rival means they will play much better. The Steelers will find a way to win this one.
Pick: Steelers 24, Browns 20
As for Gregg Rosenthall of NFL.com, he sees the Steelers losing in what could be Ben Roethlisberger’s final game at Heinz Field.
A depressing season in Cleveland can get happy fast, even if it’s only for a week. The Browns only need the Bengals and Ravens — both underdogs — to lose Sunday in order to control their AFC North fate. Knocking out the Steelers in Ben Roethlisberger’s last home start would be almost as sweet as making the longtime Browns tormentor sadly sit on the bench during the playoff loss a year ago. Both teams are worse than a year ago, but the Steelers are way worse. It’s not just their offense, where every 4-yard catch is contested, but also Mike Tomlin’s defense, 30th in rush defense efficiency. Baker Mayfield can still hand off with the best of them.
Pick: Browns 21, 15
If you are looking for another black-and-gold view of the game, look no further than Vinnie Iyer of The Sporting News, who thinks the Steelers will find a way to win Monday.
The Steelers and Browns still have a shot at winning the AFC North, especially with the two teams in front of them, the Bengals and the Ravens, having their hands full in home games against NFC powerhouses. This will mark the likely last home game for Ben Roethlisberger in prime time, facing the team against which he has a 25-2-1 career record. Pittsburgh is still capable of grinding out games vs. other teams with limited offenses. That was the case in the first meeting in Cleveland, a 15-10 win. With plenty of emotions, the Steelers overcome their night underdog status to win straight up.
Pick: Steelers win 20-17
These are just a few sites who make weekly NFL picks. When you think about all those sites not listed above, this is when we turn to our friends at NFL Pick Watch, a site dedicated to tracking NFL expert picks by the week. They take all expert picks and put them into an easy-to-read graph for fans to enjoy. When it comes to the Steelers vs. Browns game, 64% of NFL experts like the Browns to go into Heinz Field and win on Monday.
What do you think about the upcoming game? Will the experts have it right? Or are they way off? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the Browns in Week 17.