Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns will close the action in the NFL 2021 Week 17 on Monday evening. Both teams are fighting for a place in the playoffs, and a victory in this match could bring them much closer to that goal.
Pittsburgh hopes to continue its excellent run at the home ground, as they haven’t lost five times in front of their fans. The hosts want to continue that streak and remain in the game for the post-season ticket. On the other hand, Cleveland struggles on the road, and they need to improve their game to keep their playoffs chances alive.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Will they continue their good home streak?
Despite failing to tie two wins since November, the Steelers still hope to secure a post-season spot. They sit in 3rd place in the AFC North with a 7-7-1 record, and that draw against the Lions might cost them a chance to challenge for the Lombardi Trophy. Pittsburgh goes to this game after losing away to the Chiefs 36-10, where they made three turnovers despite generating 303 yards in the offense. The Steelers simply couldn’t stop inspired Mahomes, who managed to find the end zone three times.
Ben Roethlisberger has gone 3,373 yards through the air so far, with 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions, while he has been sacked 35 times. Najee Harris is Pittsburgh’s leading rusher with 984 yards and six TDs, but no other player managed to carry the ball for more than 74 yards. Diontae Johnson is the Steelers’ best receiver with 1,079 yards and seven touchdown receptions, while Chase Claypool has chipped in with 806 receiving yards and a score. Pat Freiermuth and Najee Harris have generated 422 receiving yards each and have combined for ten TDs. On the other hand, Minkah Fitzpatrick dominates the defensive corps with 114 total tackles, while T.J. Watt sacked the opponent’s quarterbacks 17.5 times.
Expected Line-Up (Offense): Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, Ray-Ray McCloud, Zach Gentry, Derek Watt, Dan Moore Jr., Joe Haeg, Kendrick Green, Trai Turner, Chukwuma Okorafor
Expected Line-Up (Defense): Carlos Davis, Henry Mondeaux, Cameron Heyward, T.J. Watt, Ulysees Gilbert III, Joe Schobert, Alex Highsmith, Joe Haden, Terrell Edmunds, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Cameron Sutton
Quarter Back: Ben Roethlisberger
Kicker: Chris Boswell
with best odds
Cleveland Browns – Can they finally celebrate on the road?
The Browns booked only one victory in the previous four rounds, which saw them declining to the bottom spot in the AFC North. They go to this game after losing twice in a row while they’ve been searching for an away victory for the previous three games. Cleveland was close to surprising the Packers last weekend, but they suffered a 24-22 defeat. Despite outplaying Green Bay in the offense by posting 408 yards, four turnovers made them pay for their mistakes. The Browns outrushed the Packers by gaining 219 yards in the ground game, but that wasn’t enough to win the match.
Cleveland’s first-choice QB Baker Mayfield has thrown for 2,825 yards this season, with 15 scores and 11 interceptions. Nick Chubb is one of the NFL’s best rushers with 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns, while D’Ernest Johnson and Kareem Hunt have gained 385+ rushing yards each and combined for seven TDs. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Jarvis Landry, and David Njoku have 430+ receiving yards each, while Austin Hooper chipped in with 317 receiving yards and three touchdown receptions. On defense, Anthony Walker has a team-high 97 total tackles, while Myles Garrett logged 15 sacks.
Expected Line-Up (Offense): Nick Chubb, Jarvis Landry, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Rashard Higgins, Austin Hooper, Andy Janovich, Jedrick Wills Jr., Joel Bitonio, Nick Harris, Wyatt Teller, James Hudson III
Expected Line-Up (Defense): Myles Garrett, Malik Jackson, Malik McDowell, Jadeveon Clowney, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Anthony Walker, Sione Takitaki, Denzel Ward, Grant Delpit, M.J. Stewart Jr., Greedy Williams
Quarter Back: Baker Mayfield
Kicker: Chris Naggar
Expert Pick #1 – Pittsburgh Steelers +3 @+100
Although the Browns are a stronger team on the paper, I believe there is a bigger value backing the hosts ATS in this one. We shouldn’t neglect the fact that Pittsburgh hasn’t lost a home game in the past three months, and backing them on the plus money odds at the free field goal seems a reasonable choice. Give me the Steelers ATS as the first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 40.5 @-110
Pittsburgh has been involved in some high-scoring matches lately, as four of their previous six games went over the margin. I expect the visitors to produce some points as well, and both teams should drive this game over a 40.5 margin. I’m going to take this one as the second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Steelers Over 18.5 @-110
The Steelers managed to score more than 18 points in five of their last six home games. The Browns allowed 24 or more points three times in their previous five outings, and the hosts could go over the margin in this one. Therefore, I’ll back Pittsburgh to score at least 19 points.