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Improved health makes the Steelers the pick against the spread in Week 11

The Steelers welcome back two key cogs, which makes it easier to pick them against the spread for Week 11 Thursday Night Football.

James Conner of the Pittsburgh Steelers stiff arms Ken Webster of the Miami Dolphins on October 28, 2019 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night Football to open Week 11 in what could be an ugly one. There’s some quality talent on both sides, but with both quarterbacks struggling with consistency, the low point total (41.5) installed at sportsbooks across the country could be a tough one to hit.

The Browns enter the game as a 2.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. The Browns are -155 on the money line, while the Steelers are +135 on the money line. This marks only the fourth time dating back to 1984 that Cleveland has been favored against Pittsburgh. The last time was October 12, 2014 when the Browns were 2.5-point davorites and won 31-10. Prior to that, they lost as 2.5-point favorites on November 24, 2013 and lost as three-point favorites on November 23, 2003.

The Browns have historically struggled mightily against the Steelers. In their last 30 matchups, the Browns are 3-26-1 straight up and 12-16-2 against the spread. They are 0-7-1 ATS in the last eight contests between these two teams.

History aside, I’m still not comfortable laying points with the Browns at this point. They entered the season with all sorts of hype, but have come crashing down. They got a bit win over the Bills last week to snap a four-game losing streak, but is it enough to turn things around? Maybe this is the night OBJ breaks out in a big way. Maybe Baker Mayfield finally builds on his strong rookie season.

Or maybe, the Browns are just an inconsistent team that will be maddening all season. And that’s part of the reason I’m taking the points with Pittsburgh. Add in the return of running back James Conner and guard Ramon Foster, and I think we see the Steelers potentially spring the outright road upset. Either way, this should be a close game. You can get the Steelers as a full field goal underdog at some shops, so do some searching — but, I’m fine taking them at +2.5.

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