Stay tuned for the Steelers-Browns shootout and other top bets for Thursday

Hi, it’s Tom Fornelli, and after being away for the past week, it’s nice to be back in your inbox. I also enjoyed walking the dog this morning because not only is today the first official day of fall, but the weather has been kind to me where I live. When I took my dog ​​outside this morning after weeks of humid 80 degree days, it was mostly cloudy with temperatures in the mid 50’s. A strong wind was blowing, it smelled like autumn.

It was glorious. Autumn is my main season. You have the best sports and the best weather. I’ll hear the argument in the spring, but that’s about it. If you’re trying to argue summer or winter here, you’re either still in school (summer) or antisocial (winter).

Give me autumn 365 days a year. Oh, and give me more of those stories. Honestly, I’ve missed so much in the world of sports over the past week that I have a lot of reading to catch up on.

Okay, let’s make some money

All Eastern times and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook

🔥 Hot ticket

Steelers at Browns, 8:15 p.m. | TV: Amazon

  • A key trend: Under is 5-2 in last seven meetings.
  • Selection: up to 38 years (-115)

Last Thursday’s simple stuff worked for us, and I won’t be changing the formula this week. Neither of these teams showed us much offense. The Steelers were particularly anemic, ranking 28th in the league in rushing yards and 26th in points per drive. I don’t expect Mitch Trubisky and company to come together tonight against a Cleveland defense that has been great to start the year. Especially with a bad offensive line.

The Browns offense has been better than Pittsburgh’s and ranks sixth in the league in points per drive, but that number will likely drop if it doesn’t improve down the stretch. Their 42.4% offensive success rate ranks just 16th, and they’ve struggled to finish drives, scoring touchdowns on 55.6% of their red-zone possessions.

Another factor is how the clock runs when the Browns have the ball. They put together long drives, running 54.7% of the time, third-highest in the league. In other words, Pittsburgh’s offense can’t score and Cleveland’s offense never allows the clock to run out. Put these two powers against solid defenses (both ranked in the top 10 in passing yards) and we’re unlikely to see a shootout tonight.

Here’s what SportsLine had to say about the game: SportsLine’s Emory Hunt is 11-3 in his last 14 picks with the Cleveland Browns and could play the spread in tonight’s game.



🏈 Another one for Steelers at Browns

Pick: Nick Chubb Anytime TD (-145) — That’s a steep price to pay, but as I mentioned, Cleveland’s offense is one of the toughest in the league. With Jacoby Brissett at quarterback and the Browns favored, I don’t expect that to change much tonight. This only increases the chances of Nick Chubb getting a red zone and goal line carry. While he hasn’t had much success against Pittsburgh in his career (he’s averaged just 4.37 yards per attempt and scored one touchdown in seven career games), I like his chances to win tonight.

The Browns have already scored three rushing touchdowns in the red zone and broken six fumbles this season. Their 3.57 yards per carry in the red zone is the fourth best mark in the league. Kareem Hunt could be on us, but I think that price for Chubb’s output is kind.

Key trend: Cleveland has already scored three red-zone rushing TDs this season.

🏈 Student football

West Virginia at Virginia Tech, 7:30 p.m. Television: ESPN
Choice: less than 50.5 (-110) —
West Virginia is scoring 46 points per game, but trust me, that fools you. First, the Mountaineers scored 65 points against Towson. In two games against Pitt and Kansas, the Mountaineer is averaging 36.5 points per game. That’s still pretty good, but Kansas’ defense was pretty bad, and Pitt’s defense didn’t look great either. This Virginia Tech defense will be the best West Virginia has seen. He ranks 9th in the nation in passing rate, 13th in points allowed per drive and 10th in EPA per game. It’s good.

What’s not so good is Virginia Tech’s offense. If I had to use adjectives to describe it, I’d say “depressing” or maybe even “disgusting.” He ranks 100th in passing rate, 116th in passing rate and 95th in EPA per game. The listed total for tonight’s game puts too much emphasis on West Virginia’s offense against a poor defense. We count this if the total exceeds 49.

Key trend: Under is 5-1-1 in the last seven meetings.

🔒 SportsLine’s Pick of the Day: There’s more college football tonight as SportsLine’s Micah Roberts breaks down the game between Illinois and Chattanooga.

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