Steelers vs. Browns: Experts favor Pittsburgh but by smallest margin of the year

Tommy Jaggi
Benny Snell #24 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Benny Snell #24 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been favored by expert rankings in every game they have played so far, but here’s why this is their smallest margin in Week 6 against the Browns.

I don’t remember the last time the Steelers have been favorites in each of their first five games to open the season, and I wasn’t even born the last time Pittsburgh started the season 4-0. This week, Pittsburgh is hoping to make that five straight wins as they prepare to host the Cleveland Browns in what could very well be their most difficult matchup of the season to date.

To the surprise of many Steelers fans (who hoped this day would never come), Cleveland has finally started to live up to all the hype they have been receiving over the past few years. their wide zone rushing attack has been the most lethal in the league through the first five weeks, and defensive end, Myles Garrett, is playing out of his mind.

Fortunately, the Steelers are still favored by a majority of experts in this contest, but not by the landslide of votes like they have been in the past. According to NFL Pickwatch, just 75 percent of experts are taking Pittsburgh to win in Week 6.

While this seems like a solid percentage in favor of the home team, it’s worth noting that the Steelers have been favored by 85-97 percent of experts in every other game so far in 2020 – making this Week’s contest against the Browns the most divided of the season.

Should Steelers fans be worried?

So far, the overwhelming majority of experts have been correct in their predictions in every Steelers game of far, but this is the closest the experts have come to choosing the opposing team this year.

In addition to this, Pittsburgh is favored by its narrowest margin so far in 2020. Although the betting lines initially opened at -5.5 points, that has since shifted to as little as -3, according to The Action Network. Meaning that on an even playing field, this game would likely be a pick’em.

It’s also important to note that this Browns team does not look like the one we saw just a year ago. They have beaten some decent opponents in recent weeks, and their offensive line is really playing well this year. Because of this, their rushing attack and ball control have put them in a position to win games.

I don’t remember the last time the Steelers have played the Browns when Cleveland has had this hot of a start to the season. Sunday’s contest won’t be easy, but Pittsburgh is still capable of winning their fifth consecutive game.

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The experts have been correct in predicting the outcome in every other Steelers game so far this season. Let’s hope this holds true once again this week against the Browns.