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Browns open as 3-point favorites against the Steelers

The over/under opens as 43.5 for the game.

Wild Card Round - Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns have opened as early 3 point favorites over the Pittsburgh Steelers ahead of their Week 8 divisional clash, according to Draftkings Sportsbook. The over/under on the game is currently 43.5.

The Browns (4-3) are coming off of a 17-14 victory over the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football. They will have had 10 days to rest in between games, giving them a bit of a mini bye week to get a little healthier. That will hopefully give some players time to heal up a bit, but the status of key players like QB Baker Mayfield, RB Nick Chubb, and RT Jack Conklin will be determined as the week goes along.

The Steelers (3-3) got off to a 1-3 start, but have rallied the past two weeks with tight victories over the Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. Last week, Pittsburgh had a true bye week — reminiscent of when their key players having “rest” when facing the Browns last year. Cleveland beat the Steelers 24-22 at home in Week 17 last year to make the postseason, although that was with several of Pittsburgh’s backups playing. In the first round of the playoffs, the two teams met in Pittsburgh, where the Browns got off to a stunning 28-0 start in the first quarter before holding the Steelers off 48-37.

If I was a placing a bet on this game, I would take the Browns (-3) and the over (43.5). Cleveland’s odds could get better as the week goes along if Mayfield, Chubb, and/or Conklin are listed as being ready to play. Although the Steelers are coming off of a bye, the Browns will have had a similar amount of time to rest. Pittsburgh’s run defense isn’t as stout this year, and they can control the clock that way while getting to a non-mobile Roethlisberger lacking arm strength. The over should hit as Roethlisberger goes pass-happy and adds some points down the stretch in trying to rally Pittsburgh.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.