Browns vs. Steelers Makes History in a “Wild” Weekend for Sports Betting

Written By Katie Kohler on January 11, 2021 - Last Updated on April 10, 2024
Browns vs Steelers Wild Games Breaks Sports Betting Records

The shock started with the first snap which Steelers’ center Maurkice Pouncey sent over the head of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Cleveland safety Karl Joseph recovered the loose ball in the end zone for a touchdown. The Browns went on to pick off Roethlisberger three times and headed into halftime up 35-10.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, and Roethlisberger did fight back. He threw for 501 yards (second-highest total in playoff history), on 68 attempts (third-most in NFL history), to try to rally a comeback. But the Browns balanced attack and opportunistic defense sealed a 48-37 win.

A rep from DraftKings said Browns vs. Steelers was the most bet NFL game by handle for the 2020/21 NFL season at DraftKings online sportsbook. By handle, it is second all-time to Super Bowl LIV in 2020. By bets, it is the single largest NFL game all-time.

Overall, it was a historic weekend at DraftKings. All six Wild Card Weekend games are now in the top 10 most bet NFL games in DraftKings Sportsbook history by handle and bets.

Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Wild Card betting splits

PA online sportsbook apps opened with the Steelers as 4.5-point favorites. However, on Tuesday, the Browns announced that head coach Kevin Stefanski, two members of the coaching staff and two players tested positive for COVID-19. By Sunday morning, the Steelers were 5.5-point favorites with the total points line at 47.5.

Sunday betting splits for Browns vs. Steelers:

At FanDuel:

  • 73% of the money was on the Steelers (-5.5) to cover the spread
  • 80% of the money was on the Steelers (-250) moneyline
  • 58% of the money was on the OVER (47.5)

At BetRivers:

  • 31% of the money was on the Browns (+5.5) to cover the spread
  • 43% of the money was on the Steelers (+225) moneyline
  • 60% of the money was on the OVER (47.5)

The largest wager at BetRivers came from an Indiana user who bet $20,000 on the OVER (47.5) which paid out $39,230. He didn’t have to wait long. The over was hit by halftime.

Steelers popular with bettors

The Steelers shot out of the gate with a franchise-best 11-0 record and won an AFC North title. It ended short of expectations. At Pennsylvania online sportsbooks, the Steelers odds peaked in Week 13 with their chances for a Super Bowl at +550 and AFC championship at +250.

In DraftKings’ 2020 season recap, the most money wagered in PA during the NFL regular season was on the Steelers. Across the nine states where the sportsbook’s app is live, the Kansas City Chiefs were the most bet NFL team, followed by the Green Bay Packers and the Steelers.

Betting review for Wild Card weekend

The most bet game at BetMGM, Pennsylvania’s newest sports betting app, was Ravens vs. Titans. The Ravens were 3.5-point favorites and won 20-13.

“Wildcard Weekend was a mixed bag for bettors and bookmakers. That said, the Browns upsetting the Steelers was big for the book and helped us have a winning weekend,” commented Jason Scott, VP Trading, BetMGM.

Notable winning bets at BetMGM:

  • $500K to win $454,545 on Browns +5.5
  • $330K to win $300K on Saints-Bears under 48
  • $240K to win $200K on Ravens -3
  • $210K to win $200K on Saints -10
  • $175K to win $160K on Saints -10.5

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Ron Schwane

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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist and Managing Editor at PlayPennsylvania. Katie especially enjoys creating unique content and on-the-ground reporting in PA. She is focused on creating valuable, timely content about casinos and sports betting for readers. Katie has covered the legal Pennsylvania gambling industry for Catena Media since 2019.

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