The Pittsburgh Steelers did what they were supposed to do the last two weeks.
Can they now do something they are not supposed to?
That’s what Mountain State bettors want to know when the 3-3 Steelers, winners of two straight home games, invade the 4-3 Cleveland Browns on Sunday as a slight road dog.
This is Pittsburgh’s first underdog role in a month. The Steelers alternated between chalk and dog before toppling the Denver Broncos 27-19 three weeks back.
They were clear favorites before nipping the Seattle Seahawks 23-20 in overtime two weeks ago.
Then came the bye. No losses in three weeks means momentum is on their side.
And now they face a Browns team that may not have three of their stars (quarterback Baker Mayfield and running backs Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb).
Pittsburgh could not have asked for a better time to face the team that knocked it out of the playoffs last year.
Can it convert this chance?
Gamblers want to know that too, especially FanDuel West Virginia bettors who took the Steelers over 8.5 wins before the season. Pittsburgh has rallied from a 1-3 start to obtain equal footing but must still steal a game to help that ticket.
Is this the one?
There is no reason for the Browns to formally rule out Mayfield until absolutely necessary. He was not practicing as of early in the week.
Chubb and Hunt aren’t supposed to play either. But there’s also no need to rush that announcement.
Even without Chubb, Hunt and Mayfield, the Browns squirted past Denver 17-14 last week. Case Keenum did enough at quarterback, and D’Ernest Johnson notched 140 yards.
What does that tell the gamblers? The Browns offensive line is solid, and anyone the Browns put back there has a chance at numbers.
The Steelers, meanwhile, are healthy off of the bye. Ben Roethlisberger, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and Najee Harris should have an extra bounce in their stride.
Is the timing of this game right for Pittsburgh?
October has been a good month in the last two years for the Steelers. They have won seven of their last eight October games.
And they have been on the right side of fortune in recent weeks. They faced Teddy Bridgewater of Denver and Geno Smith, not Russell Wilson, with the Seattle Seahawks — and now, possibly, no Mayfield.
He missed Week 7 after having surgery on an injured shoulder. He suffered a torn labrum and a fractured left shoulder early in the season but was able to play with it until this past weekend.
With the 18-week season, there’s no need to rush him back. Injured players are rested longer because they will be needed longer.
The Browns have failed to cover in eight of their last nine games against the AFC North.
Pittsburgh Steelers Odds At WV Sportsbooks
Harris will probably be the heart and soul of the prop bets when they go up. He delivered 127 all-purpose yards and a touchdown against Seattle.
The Steelers’ No. 1 draft pick keeps opposing defenses honest, especially by catching the ball out of the backfield. This makes life easier for the receivers.
Johnson remains Big Ben’s favorite target. Roethlisberger threw him 13 passes last week. Nine were completed. Johnson is an excellent yardage and TD-prop player because he has emerged as a clear No. 1.
Claypool is a constant threat to tally on a deep ball and will always merit consideration. He’s expected to step up with JuJu Smith-Schuster lost for the season.
Pittsburgh total team touchdowns over 2.5 is +155 at DraftKings WV. Cleveland has a good defense, but this is a good price.
Here’s a strange number that will entice bettors, but it’s important to weigh the homework into it.
Will the first drive of the game result in a field goal? Yes is +600 at DraftKings.
This payout is a little higher than normal, leading to another variable: the wind.
Cleveland is notorious for its gusts, which affect the passing and kicking game. On Sunday, they are projected to be on the low side of difficult, 15 mph. Check on it in the final hour before the game.
We will soon hit the time when strong gusts affect kickers. It happens in the northeast by December. But it happens in Cleveland earlier.
Here’s a Caesars WV sample for bettors who want action right away:
First scoring play:
- Cleveland touchdown +170
- Pittsburgh touchdown +255
- Cleveland field goal +310
- Pittsburgh field goal +360
- Cleveland safety +2700
- Pittsburgh safety +2900
Another strange number is available for most punts. If one team is in plus numbers, the other is almost always minus.
That was the case until now.
Pittsburgh to notch the most punts is +100. Cleveland is +170. A tie is +295.
A Steelers bettor unhappy with the Steelers offense can benefit if they flounder.