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NFL Expert Picks, Week 18: Experts like the Steelers, but it isn’t a slam dunk

Time to check in and see who the experts like in Steelers vs. Browns Sunday in Week 18.

Cleveland Browns v Washington Commanders Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns are slated to face off in Week 18 of the 2022 regular season, and there are a lot of narratives between these two teams. For the Browns, their season is over, after being eliminated from the playoffs, but the future with Deshaun Watson at quarterback has fans wanting the team to finish their regular season strong.

As for the Steelers, they are hoping to not just win the Week 18 game, but to get the necessary help to make the AFC Playoffs. It still seems crazy this once 2-6 team has rebounded to be on the cusp of a playoff berth. Nonetheless, this game is going to be big considering if the Browns beat the Steelers there are no playoffs to speak of for the home team.

For those who follow the current betting lines, the Steelers opened as 3-point road underdogs, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.

(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 Pittsburgh this Sunday.

As you can imagine, the experts are leaning the Steelers way, but it is far from a slam dunk. Every possible outlet, from ESPN, SB Nation, Yahoo! Sports, FOX Sports and CBS Sports alike are majority on the Steelers’ side, but many like the Browns to upset the Steelers and win on Sunday.

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.

For those type of experts, one which is talked about a lot is Pete Prisco of CBS Sports. Prisco predicts a Browns win in Week 18.

The Steelers still have an outside shot to make the playoffs, but they have to win here and get help. The Browns are playing consecutive road games, but you know they would love to close out their season beating their rivals. I think they do. It’s an ugly game, but Cleveland will end Pittsburgh’s playoff chances.

Pick: Browns 21, Steelers 20

Like Prisco, Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News also goes in-depth on every one of his picks heading into Week 18 Sunday. Iyer sees a Steelers win, with the Steelers barely covering.

The Steelers have a chance to have another winning season under Mike Tomlin. They also know the Patriots and Dolphins are in tough spots with their division games, opening the door for repeat trip to the playoffs. Trust them at home with the defense playing well vs. Deshaun Watson with Kenny Pickett continuing to come through in the clutch.

Pick: Steelers win 20-17 and cover the spread

As for the experts at Pro Football Network, they like the Steelers to win straight up, and the cover the current spread.

I was 10-3 on moneylines Sunday. The Steelers’ dramatic win over Baltimore was one of my misses. Pittsburgh has been one of the surprising stories in 2022. Although they’ll need some help to reach the playoffs, they’re set up nicely to overpower the Browns.

I’m still not clear why Cleveland started Deshaun Watson in a meaningless game. An ACL tear could set back this franchise another year while making their $250 million (guaranteed) investment an even bigger on-the-field liability in 2024 and beyond.

Against-the-spread prediction: Steelers

Moneyline winner: Steelers

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, a whopping 83% of NFL experts like the Steelers straight up, and 75% of the experts like the Steelers to hold serve and cover the 3-point spread on Sunday.

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 18.