Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers 9/18/23 Free Pick, NFL Odds, NFL Predictions

Cleveland Browns (1-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1)

Game Info: Monday, September 18th, 2023 at  8:15 p.m. EST (Acrisure Stadium)

Betting Odds: Browns -2 (-110) - Over/Under (38)

Pick: Browns -2 (-110)

Monday night takes us to Pittsburgh, or one of the most historic and interesting rivalries in all of football will take place. As the Cleveland Browns head east to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in a rivalry that is known for being one of the most physical and hate fueled rivalries in the entire National Football League. This is also a huge AFC North divisional matchup and a divisional victory will be crucial for both teams early on in the season. 

The Cleveland Browns opened up their 2023 season with a dominant victory over the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday at home. They limited Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow to under 100 yards passing, and they did not allow the Cincinnati Bengals to score a single offensive touchdown. They will be looking to replicate that performance against Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, Kenny Pickett here on Monday night, on the road in Pittsburgh as they look to pick up their first 2-0 start to the regular season since the early 1990s back when Bernie Kosar was playing quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. 

Right now Cleveland has Deshaun Watson playing quarterback, and last weekend after he settled down, he looked like the Deshaun Watson of all that they traded for and paid 240,000,000 dollars guaranteed over the offseason. The Cleveland Browns defense also looked solid in the opening game of the season last week and they will be looking to replicate that performance here on Monday night as well. As Cleveland looks to pick up their first victory on the road in Pittsburgh during the regular season since 2003, after last beating Pittsburgh in 2020 in the wildcard round of the playoffs.

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The Pittsburgh Steelers will be looking to bounce back after they were blown out by the San Francisco 49ers to open up the season last weekend at home. Pittsburgh has had control of the series with Cleveland when they are playing in Pittsburgh and they will be looking to keep that tradition going with a victory here on Monday night over the Cleveland Browns to pick up their first victory of the season. They will certainly have to play better on offense despite missing their top receiver, Diontae Johnson, and potentially their number two wide receiver, George Pickens as well. 

Pittsburgh is dealing with several injuries on both sides of the football as superstar defensive tackle Cam Heyward will likely not feature in this game either. It will be a lot for Pittsburgh to overcome if they want to prevent Cleveland from getting their first regular season victory on their field since 2003 here on Monday night. It almost feels like a must win game for Pittsburgh if they want to match the rest of the division after the Baltimore Ravens picked up their second consecutive victory of the season as well. Quarterback Kenny Pickett will have to play a lot better in this game on Monday night if Pittsburgh wants to pick up the victory.

Betting trends to consider in this matchup:

- Cleveland is averaging 3 points per game allowed 

- Cleveland is 1-0 against the spread this season

- Pittsburgh is 0-1 as a home underdog this season

I look for the Cleveland Browns to pick up their second consecutive victory of the season and clinch their first 2-0 start since the early 1990s, as well as grab their first regular season victory in Pittsburgh since 2003, and arguably their biggest victory, since they defeated Pittsburgh in the postseason back during the COVID season of 2020. As I look for Cleveland and quarterback Deshaun Watson to pick up a massive victory for this franchise to open up the year with two consecutive, AFC North divisional victories.

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