Cleveland Browns open as major underdogs in the season finale

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns are looking to avoid an 0-16 season, but that may be inevitable with the upcoming matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The post-Christmas hangover is setting in and the Cleveland Browns are here to make things worse.

A new year provides new hope in Cleveland, but the Browns are set to finish 2017 with a game in Pittsburgh against a Steelers team fighting for the top spot in the AFC playoffs. The Browns are fighting for something else.

An 0-16 record is within reach and the Browns are not exactly favorites in the game. OddsShark has the Browns listed as 14-point underdogs, and that could only go up as the week goes on. They also have the lovely final score prediction of 36-9 in favor of the Steelers.

The Steelers wouldn’t have had anything to play for if they weren’t wronged by the confusing catch rule a few weeks ago, but you won’t find anyone here feeling sorry for the team.

Now the Steelers are still fighting for the top seed in the AFC, and will be playing at the same time as the New England Patriots on Sunday. That means Browns fans can expect a full effort from Ben Roethlisberger and company, on what is sure to be a sad day to end the season.

As much as I like to avoid double-digit spreads, this may be an easy win to bet on the Steelers. The Browns got pummeled by the Chicago Bears, a team not playing for anything. The Steelers may not punt all day.

The Browns are also 3-12 against the spread this season which is almost impossible to do, but so is going 0-16.

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I’d personally stay away from betting on the Browns in this one, as they could be down 14 by the end of the first quarter. The only hope for even a cover is for the defense to force some takeaways, but that alone has been hard enough to do all season. When defenders are lining up offsides more than once per game, having any success is difficult.