Steelers vs. Browns Week 17 Betting Preview: Public Leaning Toward the Steelers Covering As Big Underdogs

Posted By Katie Kohler on December 28, 2020 - Last Updated on January 11, 2021

It was a tale of two halves as the Pittsburgh Steelers rallied from a 21-7 halftime deficit to beat the Indianapolis Colts 28-24.

The Steelers stopped a three-game losing streak and kick-started a stalled offense to outscore the Colts 21-0 over the final 18:16. The comeback win clinched the AFC North and gave the Steelers (12-3) less to play for in Week 17 when they visit the Cleveland Browns (10-5).

The Bills hold the tiebreaker over the Steelers and could finish as the No. 2 seed in the AFC if they end up on top in their final two games. In that case, Pittsburgh would end up as the No. 3 seed.

The bookmakers seem to think the Steelers will go with their backups. PA online sports betting apps list the Browns as 7-point favorites, with the total points line at 42.5. It puts the Steelers as the biggest underdog versus the Browns in over 30 years of their matchups.

On Wednesday, Mason Rudolph was named the starting quarterback, which moved the Browns to 10-point favorites.

Pittsburgh Steelers Week 17 inactives

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns Week 17 betting splits

Betting splits from FanDuel for Steelers vs. Browns as of Sunday morning:

  • 63% of the money is on the Steelers (+9.5) to cover the spread
  • 79% of the money is on the Browns (-500) moneyline
  • 58% of the money is on the over (44)

Notable big bet: A FanDuel user wagered $20K on Browns -9.5 @ -106.

The one sizable underdog that is getting support at William Hill is the Steelers. The majority of William Hill bettors are taking the points (Steelers +9), as Pittsburgh is collecting 66% of the total number of tickets and 55% of the total dollars wagered.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns odds

Here are the opening odds at FanDuel Sportsbook, followed by the latest Steelers game odds.

TeamSpreadMoneylineOver/Under
Pittsburgh Steelers+7 (-115)+235O 42.5 (OTB)
Cleveland Browns-7 (-105)-290U 42.5 (OTB)

Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 odds tracker

(Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook)

 Sept. 1, 2020Oct. 1 (Week 6)Oct. 20 (Week 7)Oct. 27 (Week 8)Nov. 3 (Week 9)Nov. 10 (Week 10)Nov. 17 (Week 11) Nov. 24 (Week 12) Dec. 3 (Week 13) Dec. 8. (Week 14)Dec. 15 (Week 15)Dec. 22 (Week 16)Week 17Wild Card (Jan. 5)
Super Bowl +2500+1300+1200+950+600+600+600+550+550+750+1300+2000+2000+2000
AFC Championship+1300+750+600+470+300+300+250+270+250+370+600+1000+1000+1000
AFC North +340+220+150+120-320not listed-800-2500-2000-3000-10000-340n/an/a

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns betting preview

The Steelers offense had been sputtering for about 18 quarters of football. They failed to score over 20 points since Nov. 22, when they visited the one-win Jacksonville Jaguars. In Week 16 against the Colts, Ben Roethlisberger spurred the Steelers’ second-half revival, tossing for 244 of his season-high 342 yards and three touchdowns in the second half.

The defense held the Colts to only a field goal in the second half. TJ Watt recorded his 14th and 15th sack against the Colts. He is the first Steeler with more than 14 sacks in multiple seasons.

The comeback win gave the Steelers their first AFC North title since 2017. It is head coach Mike Tomlin‘s seventh division title in 14 seasons. Due to COVID-19 schedule changes, the Steelers lost their Week Eight bye. A report surfaced yesterday that Roethlisberger hyperextended his knee in Week 13.

Without a bye and with the Kansas City Chiefs having wrapped up the top spot in the AFC, Tomlin could choose to rest some starters. Roethlisberger will rest, and Rudolf will rest. As for others, Tomlin said on Wednesday that “given an opportunity to airmail a player or two to the postseason, we will.”

The Cleveland Browns were without seven players due to COVID-19 issues, including four wide receivers, for their Week 16 game against the one-win New York Jets. However, quarterback Baker Mayfield took the blame for the 23-16 loss. He fumbled three times, losing two. The backbreaker happened on the potentially game-tying drive late in the game on fourth-and-1.

In his postgame interview, Mayfield answered one question:

“I failed this team. I put three balls on the ground, two of them that they recovered and the other on fourth down — just hold onto the damn ball. Plain and simple. I have to hold onto the damn ball.”

The Browns control their playoff fate, needing a win against the Steelers in Week 17 to get in.

Steelers vs. Browns betting stats and info from DraftKings

  • The Steelers are 9-6 ATS, and the Browns are 6-9 ATS.
  • Seven of the Steelers’ 15 games have gone over; eight for the Browns.
  • Steelers’ win probability is 27%.
  • 3-1: Steelers record as underdogs.
  • The Steelers defense ranks second in the league for fewest number of yards allowed per game with 302.3. Also, they have surrendered the second-lowest ppg (19.2).

Week 17 promos at PA sportsbook apps

BetMGM:

  • Risk-free $500 bet for new users.

DraftKings:

  • New user deposit bonus: Get a 20% bonus, up to $1,000.

FanDuel:

  • Risk-Free $1,000 bet for new users: New users at FanDuel can get up to a $1,000 free bet. Register, make a deposit and place a wager on the FanDuel sportsbook app. Then, if the first wager loses, FanDuel will refund losses in the form of a free bet up to $1,000.

BetRivers Free NFL Profit Boost every week:

Fox Bet:

  • Risk-free $500 bet: Place your first bet, and if it loses, the Fox Bet sportsbook app will match it as a free bet up to $500.
  • $1 bet pays $50: New users only. $1 bet pays $50 in free bets if the Steelers score.

Unibet:

  • Beat the Spread Bonus: $1 bonus for every point your team beats the spread by.
  • Pigskin Parlay: Instant 50% cash boost when creating an eight-team parlay.

Steelers vs. Browns Week 17 Bet Boosts

Fox Bet

  • Nick Chubb and Diontae Johnson to combine for 200 scrimmage yards or more boosted from (+300) to +350
  • Kareem Hunt 75 yards or more rushing yards and to score a TD boosted from (+400) to +500
  • Chase Claypool to score a TD in the first quarter boosted from (+800) to +900
  • Final score: Steelers 23, Browns 22 boosted from (+8000) to +10000

BetRivers

  • Steelers and Bears to win (yes) -106

Complete Week 17 NFL odds at PA sportsbooks

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist. She is the Managing Editor at PlayPennsylvania and covers the Pennsylvania gambling industry with an emphasis on sports betting, online casino/poker and the lottery.

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