Steelers vs Browns Thursday Night Football Picks Prediction

Steelers vs. Brown’s Chances

The Browns blew a 13-point lead over the Jets with 2 minutes left in the game. Nick Chubb inexplicably came in for a 12-yard touchdown when he could have slipped inside the bounds to ensure a win. It then led to a truly insane sequence of events leading up to their humiliating defeat.

I imagine the Browns like to play Thursday night football to get out of that game as quickly as possible.

Steelers vs. Browns Matchup Analysis

Check the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Steelers and Browns match statistically:

Steelers vs. Brown’s DVOA Breakdown
Overall DVOA 22 22
Pass DVOA 22 24
Rush DVOA 20 20
Overall DVOA 4 8
Pass DVOA 8 9
Rush DVOA 1 18

When the Browns have the ball

Jack Conklin has no injury rating ahead of Thursday’s game, meaning he will make his season debut. As one of the game’s main runblockers, his return couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Browns will likely lean heavily on Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in what should be a much easier ground matchup with reigning Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt on the injured reserve.

The Patriots were able to average 4.9 yards on the ground last week in the Steelers’ first Watt-less game. I expect the Browns to continue to use Jacoby Brissett as a “game manager” quarterback. He has attempted only one pass all season, 20 or more yards downfield.

In a game where we could see winds of 15-20 mph making it more difficult to throw the ball to the field, the Browns offense was specifically designed to thrive in this game.

When the Steelers have the ball

The Steelers offense is currently in shambles and it is likely to be a mixture of offensive coordinator Matt Canada, Mitch Trubisky and the fault of the offensive line. It’s unlikely to be resolved in a week when they only have three days to prep for the game, so I expect their struggle to continue.

Pittsburgh has an average of just 21.4 yards per drive (third-lowest) and is unlikely to take advantage of the Browns’ weakness in defense at this point, passing more than 20 yards downfield. Trubisky has always been one of the worst downfield passers in the league, and has remained so this season, as he is only 3-for-11 (27%) on passes over 20 yards downfield.

I’m leaning towards the Under for tonight’s game. The Steelers are last in explosive playing speed at 7.5% and have an average of the third fewest yards per drive (22.2). They are unlikely to solve their problems in the short week and given that they will struggle to score points here, this will add to the Browns’ heavy, ultra-conservative attack.

The Browns attack should dominate the time of possession in this game as it relies heavily on the run game. However, Cleveland is due for some regression when it comes to scoring points. The Browns have scored on 52% of their drives, which equals the Bills and Chiefs for the league lead. Based on their underlying metrics, we expect them to score closer to 39% of their drivers going forward.

On the other side of the ball, the Browns defense have allowed a score on 39% of their checkers, but the underlying data suggests it should be closer to 30%. So I think we can see some value in Brown’s unders in the near term.

Unfortunately, this total has dropped from 40.5 to 38.5, so I’m only going to lean towards the bottom. I’m going to wait and see if this number goes back up to 40.5 before possibly betting on it. However, I cannot imagine that we will see the number drop any further.

Make sure to follow me on the Action app to get notified if I bet on this or anything else in this game. I would consider betting this again if it gets to 39 or 39.5.

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