Nover’s View: Steelers-Browns Free Sunday Play

On November 18, 2023, in Free Picks, NFL, by Stephen

Browns minus $1.25 (money line) hosting Steelers

The Vikings were the luckiest team in the NFL last season going 11-0 in one-score games during the regular season. This season it’s the Steelers who are the luckiest team going 6-0 in one-score games. 

But that’s not the big reason why Pittsburgh has been so fortunate. The Steelers are 6-3 despite being outgained in EVERY game. That’s never happened in NFL history. 

I see Pittsburgh’s luck running out here. 

The major storyline all week is Cleveland forced to start rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson with Deshaun Watson out for the season. Thompson-Robinson may have had the worst performance of any quarterback all year – which is saying a lot – when he made his NFL debut on Oct. 1 throwing three interceptions in a 28-3 loss to the Ravens. 

But now Thompson-Robinson has had all week to practice with the first team. Kevin Stefanski has had time to coach him up, which wasn’t the case against Baltimore. It’s not like Watson was playing well for the Browns either. He’s been a major disappointment since signing with Cleveland. 

The combination of the Browns being home, having an elite defense and Kenny Pickett being a low-tier QB puts me on Cleveland in this short price range. 

Cleveland is 4-1 at home this season with its average winning margin being 18.5 points. Not only do the Browns give up the fewest yards per game, but they’ve allowed the fewest yards through 10 games in 15 years. 

Pickett and his incompetent offensive coordinator, Matt Canada, aren’t going to dent this caliber of defense on the road. 

The Browns still have an excellent running attack without Nick Chubb. They’ve rushed for more than 150 yards in four of their past five games vaulting to No. 2 in the NFL in rushing yards per game. Thompson-Robinson brings one thing to the table – his legs. He’s an effective runner out of the pocket. 

It doesn’t receive nearly the publicity of Watson being out, but the Steelers have a number of key injuries on defense. Out are star free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Strong safety Keanu Neal won’t play either. He’ll be replaced by Trenton Thompson, who has never started in the NFL. Pittsburgh also has multiple linebacker injuries having lost Cole Holcomb and Kwon Alexander in each of the last two weeks. 

(Editor’s note: Stephen Nover is beating the NFL for the 26th time in 31 years. He has one of his strongest Sunday packages of the season going with five premium plays, in addition to this free selection, headed by his Non-Conference Game of the Year. If you are interested in Stephen’s sports service please email him at, or message him via X (Twitter).)


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