The Pittsburgh Steelers are set to take on the Cleveland Browns in an AFC North matchup on Sunday. Pittsburgh (4-6) is on a two-game winning streak and is riding high after a big victory over the Detroit Lions in Week 11. Cleveland (4-6) is hanging in there, but fell to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 11, squandering an opportunity to get a leg up on the Steelers within the division.
Both teams are tied for second place with the AFC North, so this matchup has plenty of divisional relevance, despite the fact that both teams have losing records. Neither have been a good friend to bettors, though; Pittsburgh is 4-6 against the spread this year, and Cleveland is 5-5.
To get into more specifics, the Browns are 3-2 against the spread at home, while the Steelers are 1-4 on the road. That trend definitely favors the Browns in this matchup. The head to head, however, favors the Steelers when it comes to record. Pittsburgh is 8-2 against the Browns over the last 10 meetings.
Surprisingly, the Browns are actually 6-4 against the spread over the last 10 games against Pittsburgh.
This season is a lot different than previous years, however. The Steelers have been a force in the AFC North for some time, but are starting to see their window close. Many of the great veterans are regressing, and suitable replacements have yet to be found. Cleveland arguably has a better future ahead if they can find a quarterback.
Jason Campbell is that guy right now. He's been solid, with six touchdowns against three interceptions, but he's not the future in Cleveland. What Campbell does right now is give the Browns a much, much better chance to win football games than they have with Brandon Weeden under center.
The lines are pretty close for this one. Cleveland opened as 2.5-point favorites, according to OddsShark. The lines have narrowed on many of the top sites, however. Most have the Browns favored by a single point. In fact, odds makers might actually think the Steelers are the better team, but home-field advantage often accounts for a couple points in the lines.
The over/under for the matchup opened at 40 points and should remain around there. That total has gone under in four of Pittsburgh's last six games, but over in four of Cleveland's last six games. Further complicating things, the total has gone under in 12 of Cleveland's last 18 games at home.
OddsShark's prediction machine is going with the Steelers in a very narrow game, and believes the under is the smarter bet.