It will likely be the end of an era when the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns at 8:15 p.m. Monday at Heinz Field. Ben Roethlisberger will probably be playing his final home game. The 39-year-old quarterback said Thursday that he is pretty much set on retiring at the end of the season. Many may use their wallets emotionally, which leaves plenty of Steelers betting opportunity for us.
It’s probably fitting he likely plays his final home game against a team he has owned throughout his career.
However, Roethlisberger won’t have much time to wax nostalgic. Despite their 7-7-1 record and coming off a 36-10 thumping by the Chiefs last week, the Steelers still harbor playoff hopes with two games remaining in the season.
The Browns (7-8) still have a shot at the postseason, too, despite falling under .500 with back-to-back losses.
The Steelers beat the Browns 15-10 on Halloween in Cleveland. Roethlisberger threw for 266 yards and a touchdown while the Steelers defense held Browns star running back Nick Chubb to 61 yards on 16 carries.
The Browns have lost 17 straight regular-season games at Heinz Field but beat the Steelers 48-37 in last year’s playoff there.
Here are the lines for Browns-Steelers at Barstool Sportsbook:
Spread: Browns -3.5 (-107), Steelers +3.5 (-114)
Moneyline: Browns -175, Steelers +140
Over/Under: 41 O (-108), U (-113)
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Steelers Betting Preview
Sentimentality aside, the Steelers need a win if they are to have any chance to make back-to-back playoff appearances. A big home finale by Roethlisberger would help the cause.
Roethlisberger certainly knows how to beat the Browns as he is 24-3-1 against them in his career after Cleveland bypassed him in the 2004 NFL Draft to select tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. The Browns have had approximately 731 quarterbacks in the interim.
Big Ben also has a 91-31 lifetime record at Heinz Field.
Yet dialing up a big offensive performance might be a little too much to ask. The Browns are seventh in the NFL in overall defense, eighth in rushing defense and 10th in passing defense. Cleveland has held opponents under 20 points in six of its last nine games.
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The Steelers have failed to score a first-half touchdown in five straight games for the first time since 1940.
Conversely, the Steelers defense might not be able to keep Chubb in check this time as its play against the run has deteriorated as the season has gone on. The Steelers are giving up 178.9 yards a game on the ground over the last eight games.
Chubb had 126 yards rushing in last week’s 24-22 loss to the Green Bay Packers and the Browns had a total of 219. Cleveland is averaging a league-high 5.2 yards an attempt.
Steelers Bets We Like
Steelers +3.5 (-114) Barstool Sportsbook
The Steelers have stumbled badly in the second half of the season and are 2-4-1 in their last seven games. However, the Browns aren’t exactly charging toward the finish line, either, going 1-3 in their last four games.
It might not make for a great game, but it should be a close one.
Nick Chubb to score a TD (-155)
The Steelers kept Chubb out of the end zone in October, but it is hard to imagine them repeating that feat in January. With quarterback Baker Mayfield struggling and coming off a four-interception game in Green Bay, look for the Browns to give the ball to Chubb plenty of times.
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The Steelers have long been a mortal lock whenever Monday Night Football comes to town. The Steelers are 28-5 all-time at home on Monday nights, including winning the last 19 games.
However, much like Roethlisberger’s 18-year career, all good things must eventually come to an end. That includes the Steelers’ Monday night home streak – in a squeaker.
Browns 24, Steelers 21
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