NFL Week 17 and we will see the Cleveland Browns travel to the Steel city to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. The game is scheduled for a 1:00 PM (Eastern) start time and it will be televised live on CBS. Currently the odds for the game have Pittsburgh favored by 10 points, while the total sits at 34.5. Check out Sportsbook Spy to find out what side the Public is taking on all today's games.
Free Analysis: The Browns (5-10) can't avoid their 11th 10-plus loss season in the last 14 years after Sunday's 34-12 loss at Denver. A victory on Sunday would be Cleveland's first in Pittsburgh since a 33-13 win on Oct. 5, 2003, and would give coach Pat Shurmur a two-win improvement in his second season with the team. It might not be enough to give Shurmur another year, as new owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner have promised to revamp the organization, which has reached the playoffs twice since 1990. Thad Lewis took first-team snaps on Wednesday with Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy missing practice due to right shoulder injuries. Weeden was hurt in Sunday's game and McCoy followed suit after coming on in relief. A start would mark Lewis' NFL debut, though Shurmur hasn't ruled out Weeden or McCoy. Josh Johnson could serve as the team's backup after being signed as a free agent on Wednesday. The Browns may also have to play without running back Trent Richardson, who was carted off the field Sunday because of a left ankle injury. Richardson, who is tied for second with 11 rushing TDs, also sat out Wednesday's practice. Richardson ran for 85 yards and a TD and the Browns forced eight turnovers in a 20-14 home win against the Steelers on Nov. 25. That was only Cleveland's second victory in the past 18 meetings.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are in unfamiliar territory under coach Mike Tomlin: eliminated from postseason contention. The Cleveland Browns have become too accustomed to missing out on the playoffs, and mass changes in the organization could be on the way as a result. Pittsburgh (7-8) will miss the playoffs for the fourth time since 2001 after Sunday's 13-10 loss to Cincinnati marked its third straight defeat. It's the second time the Steelers won't be in the postseason since Tomlin took over in 2007. But Tomlin said he won't coach any differently this week. The only changes to Pittsburgh's lineup will be by way of injury, not to get a look at younger players with the future in mind. One Steeler with a particularly sour taste in his mouth is Ben Roethlisberger, who threw interceptions that led to the opponents' game-winning field goals in each of the last two games. Often considered one of the league's most clutch quarterbacks, Roethlisberger shouldered much of the blame for Pittsburgh's struggles in close games this season. Roethlisberger's eight interceptions are the second fewest of his career, but four have come in the last three games since he returned from shoulder and rib injuries sustained against Kansas City on Nov. 12, leading some to believe he still shouldn't be playing. He's thrown six touchdowns during the same span. Roethlisberger tallied 17 TDs and four picks in his nine games before being injured. Roethlisberger will play without one of his favorite targets, as Pro Bowler Heath Miller will have surgery on Thursday to repair a torn ACL and MCL suffered in Sunday's loss. Miller's 19 red-zone targets are tied for the NFL's fourth-most and his eight receiving touchdowns are tied for third among tight ends. Pittsburgh has allowed a league-low 272.9 yards per game and safety Troy Polamalu has recorded an interception in each of his last three contests against Cleveland.
Free Pick: Boy we have to go with the Under in this one. Cleveland will be missing most of it’s key offensive personnel in this one and you have to think how will they score vs the number 1 defense in the league. I don’t see them getting much more than 10 points in this one. Pittsburg will not be looking to go all out on offense after they were knocked out of the playoff chase last week. I look for them to be a bit flat on that side of the ball. The Cleveland defense has been struggling of late, but they did hold a more focused Pittsburgh offense to 14 points in the first meeting and should hold that unit down again. I look for this one to be played in the 20’s. KEY TRENDS--- Under is 20-5-2 in the Browns last 27 games in December, while the Under is 9-1 in Steelers last 10 home games.
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