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Game Preview - Browns underdogs vs Steelers at Pittsburgh

Cleveland BrownsPittsburgh Steelers
4-11December 29, 2013, 01:00 | Heinz Field7-8

After an 0-4 start to this season the Pittsburgh Steelers have rallied and still have a chance to make the playoffs.

They'll need a win Sunday in the season finale at home against the Cleveland Browns and help from elsewhere, but at least they're still breathing.

Pittsburgh has won five of its last seven games, after hanging on to beat Green Bay Sunday 38-31. At 7-8 the Steelers need a win and losses by the Dolphins, Ravens and Chargers to nab that six seed in the AFC.

Cleveland, on the other hand, is playing out the string once again, having lost its last six games after falling to the Jets Sunday 24-13.

As of early this week Pittsburgh, which has won six of the last seven meetings in this regional rivalry, was favored by a touchdown over the Brownies at Bovada.

They battle the Browns, currently with a 4-11 mark (6-9 ATS). The over under records, important for totals bettors, are 8-7 for the Steelers and 8-6-1 for the Browns.

View Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers Odds and Stats.

Sportsbooks such as Bovada had the Steelers pegged as -6-point favorites in this matchup. The total, meanwhile, was listed by books like TopBet at 44.

The Steelers sit at No. 14 in the current NFL Power Rankings here at OddsShark, while the Browns are at No. 28 on that chart. Math models have concluded that the Steelers will win this game 21-16.

Cleveland was a 24-13 loser in its last match on the road against the Jets. They failed to cover the 2.5-point spread as underdogs, while the total score of 37 sent UNDER bettors to the payout window. The Browns suffered a Week 16 loss against New York in their last game, falling 24-13 at MetLife Stadium. Green Bay was unable to contain Le'Veon Bell in its last action Sunday and the result was a 38-31 Week 16 loss against the Steelers.

How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up Pittsburgh's No. 17-ranked offense (23.93 PPG) against a Browns defense that ranks No. 23 at 25.73 PPG. The Steelers passing attack has averaged 256.33 yards per game, more than the Browns give up through the air (224.4 YPG on average).

In comparing defenses, the Browns own the league's No. 22-rated front 7 in terms of stopping the run, allowing 124.86 yards per game when on the road. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, rates No. 27 this week in generating rushing yards at home.

A few Browns at Steelers trends to consider:
Cleveland is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
Cleveland is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Cleveland's last 6 games
Cleveland is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games on the road
Pittsburgh is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games
Pittsburgh is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Pittsburgh's last 6 games
Pittsburgh is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home

Next up:
Cleveland home to , Wednesday, December 31st
Pittsburgh home to , Wednesday, December 31st