When the clock ticked down on the early afternoon games from Week 10, Pittsburgh Steelers fans had to have been a bit nervous. As Mike Tomlin's squad narrowly found a way to hold onto a win at home against a now 3-6 Green Bay Packers team, the Cleveland Browns had just upset the Baltimore Ravens with a 33-point showing on the road.
Despite the Ravens possessing the number one DVOA defense in the NFL, the Browns were able to put up an impressive in Baltimore (which did include a defensive score), and QB Deshaun Watson looked strong down the stretch to mount the game-winning drive.
Unfortunately for Browns fans, the team confirmed that Watson requires shoulder surgery that will place him on IR and effectively end his 2023 season. Though Watson has been up and down this year, this is a catastrophic blow to a 6-3 football team with a terrific defense, and Cleveland was looking like they finally had a chance to contend in the AFC this year.
The Deshaun Watson news comes just in time for the Steelers vs. Browns game in Week 11. Now fans should be rushing to cash in on their bets for some easy money.
Fans should bet on the Steelers in Week 11
Prior to the injury news, the Browns were 4-point home favorites over the Steelers for this Week 11 AFC North matchup. Immediately, this line shifted to +2.5 for Pittsburgh when news of Watson's season-ending surgery was released.
Since then, bettors have already shifted this line by taking the Steelers to win. Pittsburgh is now just 2-point underdogs. By kickoff at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday, it's possible that Mike Tomlin's team could be favored in this contest.
I'm not oblivious to the Kenny Pickett and Matt Canada problems in Pittsburgh right now. This team is scoring a mere 15.5 offensive points per game on the season. But as bad as this has been, Browns' backup QB situation has been even worse.
P.J. Walker was listed as the backup prior to the injury and was initially expected to take the reigns. Sadly, the results have been anything but desirable. Because of minor injuries to Watson, Walker has appeared in 5 games this season. In these contests, the former XFL quarterback and NFL journeyman completed just 48 of 98 passes (49.0 percent) for 1 touchdown and 5 interceptions, per Pro Football Reference.
Walker's 4.2 adjusted yards per attempt is a cringeworthy statistic, as is his dismal 51.3 passer rating and 24.4 QBR. Recently, however, NFL reporter Jordan Schultz claimed that the Browns are expected to start rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson. DTR was even worse than Walker in his lone NFL start. Thompson Robinson has played one game this year and threw 0 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in a 28-3 blowout loss against the Ravens back in Week 4.
To make matters worse for Cleveland, they could be without their starting offensive tackles this week. This could allow Steelers pass rushers T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith to feed on a quarterback who is prone to making mistakes.
While we can never expect the Steelers to win comfortably, they manage to find a way to pull out victories in close games. I still have my questions about how Kenny Pickett and Pittsburgh's offense will perform against an uber-talented Browns defense and DPOY candidate Myles Garrett in Week 11. But at the same time, I love Pittsburgh's chances of pulling off a win on the road this week.
The Steelers have a moneyline of +110 and the over/under point total for this game is set at just 34.5, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. We are taking the Steelers in this contest. You better get them while the payout is still good.