NFL Week 17 odds: Cleveland at Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh Steelers saw their playoff hopes vanish with last week’s loss to the Bengals, so Sunday’s game against Cleveland has no significance.
The Browns were beaten 34-12 by Denver last week. Brandon Weeden left the game in the third quarter with a right shoulder injury, having completed 12-of-19 passes for 104 yards for the Browns (5-10), who hit double- digit defeats for the fifth straight season and 11th time since returning to Cleveland in 1999. Colt McCoy finished 9-of-17 for 79 yards and Cleveland’s lone end zone excursion, a six-yard pass to Greg Little.
Pittsburgh lost 13-10 to Cincinnati. Ben Roethlisberger was picked off twice, with Leon Hall returning the first 17 yards for Cincinnati’s lone touchdown of the game back in the first quarter. He finished just 14-of-28 for 220 yards and one touchdown in the loss, the third straight and fifth in six games for the spiraling Steelers (7-8).
The Steelers have enough talented backs who are able to pound the rock and also field capable targets in the passing game. The Browns have been inconsistent defensively, yielding 120.5 rushing yards and 253.5 passing yards per contest. In Cleveland’s Week 12 win, the Steelers managed only 242 total yards. Look for Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Todd Haley to design a game plan with high-percentage passes as well as a physical ground attack between the tackles to control tempo.
Back on Nov. 25, Cleveland beat Pittsburgh 20-14. The Browns forced an NFL-high eight turnovers.
WAGERWEB.COM OPENING ODDS: TBA Check our current lines.
BROWNS NOTES: QB BRANDON WEEDEN (5) has most wins ever by Browns rookie QB. Weeden (3,385) has most pass yards by rookie in club history & has 2nd-most among NFL rookies in ’12 (ANDREW LUCK, 4,183). Has 9 TDs & 87 rating on road. Needs 115 passing yards to become 5th rookie QB in NFL history to reach 3,500. QB COLT MCCOY had 1 TD vs. 0 INTs & 85.2 passer rating last week … RB TRENT RICHARDSON has most rush yards (950) & rush TDs (11) by Browns rookie in franchise history. Has 3 games with 100+ rush yards, tied for most ever by Browns rookie. Totaled 112 scrim. yards & rush TD in last meeting vs. Pit. … WR JOSH GORDON ranks 2nd among NFL rookies with 766 rec. yards. WR GREG LITTLE (609) needs 101 rec. yards to surpass rookie total in ’11. TE JORDAN CAMERON had TD rec. in last game vs. Pit. … Cle. forced 8 turnovers (5 FRs, 3 INTs) in last game vs. Pit…LB D’QWELL JACKSON had 9 tackles, FF & FR in last game vs. Pit…K PHIL DAWSON has made 28 of 29 FGs in 2012, 2nd-best pct. in NFL.
STEELERS NOTES: Have won past 8 at home vs. Cle. … For career vs. Cle., QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER is 14-1 (.933), incl. 7-0 record at home vs. Browns. Has 29,710 pass yards, most in Steelers annals. RB JONATHAN DWYER has career-best 571 rush yards in ’12. RB RASHARD MENDENHALL (29) needs rush TD to join HOFer FRANCO HARRIS & JEROME BETTIS as 3rd Pit. RB to reach 30 career. … For career, WR MIKE WALLACE averages 20.8 yards per catch vs. Cle. (16 rec., 333 yards) … WR ANTONIO BROWN aims for 4th straight game with TD catch. In past 2 vs. Cle., Brown is averaging 120.5 receiving yards per game … TE HEATH MILLER has career-best in receiving yards (816) & TD catches (8) in ’12 … Defense allows NFL-low 272.9 yards per game…LB LA MARR WOODLEY has 3.5 sacks in past 4 vs. Cle. LB LARRY FOOTE leads team with 104 tackles. LB LAWRENCE TIMMONS tied career-high with 2 sacks last week … S TROY POLAMALU aims for 4th straight game with INT vs. Cle. … CB CORTEZ ALLEN had career-best 2 INTs last week. WAGERWEB.COM TRENDS: Over is 8-2-1 in the last 11 meetings in Pittsburgh. Browns are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings. Underdog is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings.