- The Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) are 2.5-point home favorites over the Cleveland Browns (7-9)
- Mike Tomlin’s club is 6-2 in their past eight games and in the hunt for an AFC playoff spot
- The Week 18 game on CBS will kick off from Acrisure Stadium on Sunday, January 8 at 1pm ET
With a win over Cleveland on Sunday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin will finish above .500 for the 16th consecutive season. A victory could also land Pittsburgh a playoff spot if the Dolphins lose to the Jets and the Patriots fall to the Bills this weekend.
Steelers vs Browns
|Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Cleveland Browns||+2.5 (+100)||+130||Ov 40.5 (-110)|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||-2.5 (-120)||-150||Un 40.5 (-110)|
Pittsburgh’s playoff push
Pittsburgh came back from a 13-3 deficit on Sunday night to down the rival Ravens 16-13. The Steelers are 6-2 since Week 10, overcoming an ugly 2-6 start to preserve Mike Tomlin’s 15-year streak of finishing over .500. Next up is a date with the Browns, who they lost to 29-17 in September
With Deshaun Watson back in the fold and Jacoby Brissett on the bench, this is obviously a much different Cleveland team than Week 3’s version. Having looked terrible since his return, Watson recaptured some of his old magic on Sunday, throwing three second-half touchdowns in a 24-10 victory over Washington.
Kenny Pickett has led season-saving TD drives in back-to-back weeks for the Steelers pic.twitter.com/XC3u077BqK
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) January 2, 2023
Kenny Pickett delivers
In the Week 17 triumph over Baltimore, Kenny Pickett became the first rookie to toss game-winning touchdowns in the final minute of the fourth quarter in back-to-back games. Even though it was his only TD pass of the night, the 24-year-old showed impressive poise in keeping Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes alive.
Sophomore running back Najee Harris also looked good in the win, racking up 123 combined yards and a score. He’s still only the second-best RB in this game though. Nick Chubb’s 1,448 yards put him behind only Josh Jacobs (1,608) for the NFL rushing crown with one week to go.
Pittsburgh vs Cleveland
Pittsburgh is a 2.5-point home favorite over Cleveland, and the over-under is set at 40.5. Already eliminated from the postseason, Kevin Stefanski’s crew has a chance to play spoiler for the second week in a row. Last Sunday’s win ousted the Commanders from the playoffs, to the surprise of head coach Ron Rivera.
After a tumultuous year, the Browns organization could benefit from building some positive momentum heading into the offseason. Knocking the rival Steelers out of the playoffs would certainly help in that regard. But Watson will be in tough against a T.J. Watt-led defense that hasn’t allowed an opponent to score more than 17 points since Week 11.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 1, 2023
Like every Steelers game of late, points will be at a premium. This will be a close, low-scoring game but Pittsburgh should prevail. If Miami loses to the Jets and New England falls to the Bills in Week 18, Mike Tomlin’s squad will be among the more unlikely teams to make the playoffs in recent years.
Final Score Prediction: Steelers 19, Browns 14
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