NFL Week 3 Thursday Night Football: Our Best Picks for the Steelers vs. Browns Game

kareem hunt cleveland browns running back nfl
Kareem Hunt #27 of the Cleveland Browns rushes for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images/AFP

The Steelers will meet the Browns in Cleveland for the first of two regular-season meetings between these two AFC North rivals.

Let’s check out the NFL odds and determine which side is the right side on Thursday night!

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns 

Thursday, September 22, 2022 – 08:15 PM EDT at FirstEnergy Stadium

About Last Week

The Steelers entered last week after knocking off the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals by the score of 23-20. But the euphoria of that victory over a divisional rival was short-lived after they bowed to the Patriots, 17-14, in front of their rabid fanbase.

Mitch Trubisky had another pedestrian effort, connecting on 21-of-33 passes for 168 yards with one touchdown, a pick, and three sacks.

The Steelers’ ground attack was equally underwhelming with their leading rusher, Najee Harris, garnering only 49 yards on 15 carries for a team total of 94 rushing yards.  

There Might Still Be Hope

The silver lining for Pittsburgh was that the defense responded fairly well after the devastating injury to T.J. Watt, the team’s leader, and defensive captain.

Despite the absence of Watt, the Steelers held the Patriots’ offense largely in check throughout the afternoon. New England tallied 124 rushing yards while amassing 252 yards through the air and managed just 17 points. However, they failed to register a sack of New England’s Mac Jones after recording seven sacks the previous week against Joe Burrow. 

“We need that spark,” said Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson. “We have to bring that spark each and every week. We’re going to be fine. We have to come off the ball with a purpose and we’ll be good.” 

Speaking of spark, the chants for rookie first-rounder, Kenny Pickett, were heard loud and clear during Sunday’s loss and they are not about to go away unless Trubisky can rekindle the magic that made him the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Browns Can’t Catch Jets

The Browns defeated the Panthers, 26-24, in the opening week of the season before they welcomed the Jets to FirstEnergy Stadium last Sunday.

The chalk-eaters were happily laying the 6 ½ points on the Browns in their NFL picks, which was probably more of a fade on the Jets than an endorsement of the Browns. However, the oddsmakers had the wrong favorite as Cleveland bowed, 31-30, to their guests from New York.

Jacoby Brissett managed just 229 yards for a touchdown and an interception, but the tandem of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt did most of the heavy lifting for the Browns’ offense, piling up a combined 145 of the team’s 184 rushing yards against the Jets. 

An Unstoppable Opponent

The biggest problem the Browns encountered was being unable to stop veteran Joe Flacco from slicing and dicing the Cleveland secondary. Flacco recorded 307 passing yards and four touchdowns, the last two occurring in the final two minutes of the game to stun the Browns after being down 16 points with 1:55 to play.  

“This league is funny,” Brissett said. “This one was tough. It just shows you can’t take anything in this league for granted. Not even talking about the end of the game, a bunch of plays early on, miscues, and things of that nature.” 

Steelers vs. Browns: Pick and Prediction 

The Browns imploded and there is no excuse for that. However, there were several mental miscues in the last few minutes of the game that caused Cleveland to watch their lead vanish and endure the gnawing feeling of letting one slip away, especially to a lousy team like the Jets.  

They won’t get fooled again this week, especially to a divisional rival like the Steelers. At least the Browns produced offense while their defense did a decent job up until they didn’t.

Pittsburgh, on the other hand, was lifeless on both sides of the ball against the Patriots last week and I don’t believe they will be able to contain the punishing ground attack led by Chubb and Hunt.  

Although Pittsburgh has dominated this series in recent memory, winning and covering five of their last six over Cleveland, this is a good spot for the Browns to exact their revenge against a less-than-stellar offense and a marginal defense without T.J. Watt.  

This is also an excellent opportunity to cash by betting under the posted total according to the following trends. 


  • Under is 4-0 in Steelers’ last 4 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game. 
  • Under is 5-0 in the Steelers’ last 5 games in September. 
  • Under is 4-0 in Steelers’ last 4 vs. AFC North. 
  • Under is 5-1 in Steelers’ last 6 games following an ATS loss. 
  • Under is 6-1 in Browns’ last 7 Thursday games. 
  • Under is 5-1 in Browns’ last 6 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game. 

Scoring Prediction: Browns 21 – Steelers 13 

NFL Pick: Browns -3 ½ (-106) at FanDuel

NFL Pick: Under 40 ½ (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook is your sports betting command center. Read featured betting strategy compiled from a panel of leading sports betting experts.

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