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NFL Expert Picks, Week 3: Experts see an uphill battle for the Steelers on the road

Time to check in and see who the experts like in Steelers vs. Browns Thursday in Week 3.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns are slated to face off in Week 3 of the 2022 regular season, and there are a lot of narratives between these two teams. For the Browns, they are trying to show they can win with Jacoby Brissett at the helm while Deshaun Watson continues to serve his suspension. On top of that, the Browns are trying to beat the Steelers for the first time since 2020. As for the Steelers, they turned the page to a new quarterback, and a new era of Steelers football, and it hasn’t been smooth sailing thus far. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the team, and there remain huge question marks surrounding the team heading into the regular season.

For those who follow the current betting lines, the Steelers opened as 3.5-point road underdogs, and, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, that line has changed since the opening line this weekend. The line has gone all the way to Browns -5.5, and is now set at Browns -4.0.

(Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See 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 Cincinnati this Sunday.

The vast majority of websites, everywhere from ESPN, FOX Sports and even the haters here at SB Nation are pretty split on the game between the Steelers and Browns. There are those who are leaning towards Cleveland at home, and very few expert panels who are leaning the Steelers’ way. It’s to be expected when the Steelers have been struggling on offense and have to take their show on the road with a short week. For the sites who pick with the spread, most are taking the Steelers to cover.

Those are sites where people just check a box on a website and move on with their lives. However, there are some who spend more time pouring over these picks, and provide some analysis than just a winner and loser.

This from John McKechnie of Rotowire:

This is a far cry from last week’s Chiefs-Chargers Thursday nighter but hey, it’s still football. Both of these teams are coming off of rough Sundays; Cleveland forgot how to play defense against checks notes Present Day Joe Flacco and the Jets while Pittsburgh’s offense is clearly still in search of its identity in the post-Ben Roethlisberger era. This line has moved two full points in Cleveland’s direction since Sunday while the total is down 2.5 points. Pittsburgh’s offense does look woeful, but trusting Jacoby Brissett to cover nearly six points on a short week – even against a T.J. Watt-less defense – is too much for me.

Spread Pick: Steelers +5.5

The Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer had this to say about the upcoming Thursday night game:

The Steelers are getting below-average QB play from fill-in Mitchell Trubisky before they decide to turn to rookie first-rounder Kenny Pickett. The Browns are seeing Jacoby Brissett play well while they wait for Deshaun Watson. Nick Chubb has been the driving force of the offense and can succeed vs. Pittsburgh’s front seven. Trubisky, a Cleveland native, won’t be able to generate enough points in a hostile road environment.

Pick: Browns win 20-17 but fail to cover the spread

CBS Sports NFL writer Pete Prisco’s thoughts on the upcoming game:

The Browns are coming off a terrible home loss to the Jets, while the Steelers did little on offense in losing to the Patriots. These division road games can be tough on a team on a short week. But the Browns haven’t looked great so far this season. They will win it, but it’s close.

Pick: Browns 24, Steelers 23

As for the New York Times, they like the Steelers getting points on the road.

The Browns lost a heartbreaker to the Jets, who made an improbable comeback Sunday. But Cleveland had looked capable for three and a half quarters, especially in the running game, which was led by Nick Chubb’s three touchdowns (though he probably wishes he had that last one back).

Pittsburgh struggled against the Patriots’ rushing attack Sunday, and the Steelers’ offense has put up only two offensive touchdowns so far, leading fans to chant for the backup quarterback Kenny Pickett to replace Mitch Trubisky. Weather in Cleveland could be cold and wet Thursday night. There’s a reason this is the lowest total this week. In a low-scoring game, half-points are all the more valuable.

Pick: Steelers +4.5

As for the “experts” at BTSC, and I use that term extremely loosely, here are our game picks for the Thursday Night Football game in Week 3 both Over/Under, and vs. the spread.

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, 59% of NFL experts like the Browns to hold serve and win on Thursday night.

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 3.