While the Pittsburgh Steelers will enter the 2018 NFL regular season with some legitimate Super Bowl hopes because of their familiar cast of characters, all eyes will be on the revamped Cleveland Browns when the longtime AFC North division rivals square off in their Week 1 regular season opener on Sunday. Let’s review all betting details for this game.

You see, the Browns will enter the regular season with some renewed hopes of their own for success after pulling off a series of smart offseason transactions that has given them more talent on both sides of the ball – and some veteran leadership at the quarterback position.

Now, with the longtime rivals set to square off in Week 1, let’s find out whether Cleveland can get the outright win or cover the chalk as home underdogs.

🏈: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns
⏰: Sun. Sep 9, 2018 1:00 PM ET
🏟️: FirstEnergy Stadium Cleveland, Cleveland, OH
📺: CBS
🎰: Pittsburgh Steelers -4 -110 | -200 | O 45½ -110

Pittsburgh went 3-1 in the preseason and topped the 30-point plateau three times along the way. While starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and fellow stars Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, saw very little, if any, action in the preseason, I believe the trio, plus wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, will be more than ready to answer the bell when the curtain comes up on Sunday.


The Steelers were elite on both sides of the ball last season as they ranked an impressive eighth in scoring (25.4 ppg) and an equally impressive seventh in points allowed (19.3 ppg). I see no reason why the Steelers won’t be as good as they were a year ago despite losing beloved linebacker Ryan Shazier to a career-ending back injury.

The Cleveland Browns failed to win a single game in 2017 – after winning just one game in 2026 no less. No matter, the Browns now have the look and feel of a team on the upswing. First, Cleveland replaced former general manager Sashi Brown with John Dorsey but kept head coach Hue Jackson for the upcoming season.


Dorsey then engineered a series of smart offseason acquisitions including their NFL draft where they nabbed quarterback Baker Mayfield with the top overall pick and cornerback Denzel ward with the fourth overall pick. The Browns also added veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor and Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry among other veterans. The Browns went 3-1 in the preseason and played well on both sides of the ball by scoring 35 points in one game and limiting their opponents to 19 points or less in every contest.

BettingLet me start by saying that I like the Browns to put up a really good effort in their regular season opener. Cleveland has looked solid throughout all four preseason games and I just don’t see them rolling over against their longtime division rivals. Having said that, I’m also expecting Pittsburgh to find a way to pull out the narrow road win in this contest.

Despite their roster improvements, Cleveland still has less talent and experience than Pittsburgh at almost every position and that will be the difference in this intriguing division battle. While I’m going with the Steelers for the win, I don’t like Big Ben and company to cover the chalk.


While the road team in this rivalry has gone 3-1-1 ATS in the last five meetings, Pittsburgh is just 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight games against their AFC North division rivals, 1-6 ATS in their last seven games overall and a discouraging 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in Week 1. Add it all up and I’ve got the revamped Browns covering the spread as 4-point home dogs!

Pick: Pittsburgh 24 Cleveland 21

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