The Pittsburgh Steelers secured the third seed in the AFC North by securing a comeback victory against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 16, but fell short of rising a spot because of their Week 17 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Pittsburgh will return in a week to face the Browns in the Wild Card round of the 2021 NFL playoffs.
Here’s a look at the opening odds of this matchup between Steelers and Browns in the first round of the 2021 NFL Playoffs. Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Point spread: Steelers -4
Point total: 47.5
Moneyline: Browns +150, Steelers -182
Pittsburgh finished 2019 with an 8-8 record and missed the playoffs but the return of Ben Rothlisberger, who missed most of last season with an elbow injury, brought life back to the offense. Roethlisberger’s rapid-fire passing to JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, and Chase Claypool helped the Steelers put up plenty of points but their sturdy defensive front gave made them well-rounded enough to get off to an 11-0 start. Pittsburgh seemed poised to go undefeated but then lost three straight games to the Washington Football Team, Buffalo Bills, and Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers ended the year with a loss because they rested Big Ben in the season finale but will have to get back to their winning ways soon.
The Browns are back in the playoffs for the first time in 18 years and the pressure was on until the very end in their two-point victory over the Steelers. Baker Mayfield was able to bounce back from his sophomore slump despite not having Odell Beckhmam Jr. — who tore his ACL in the middle of the season — for most of the year. Cleveland leaned on its dynamic running backs — Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt — to move the chains. Cleveland barely edged out Pittsburgh with Mason Rudolph under center and will have to step things up a notch if it hopes to advance to the second round of the postseason.
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