Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday Night Football Pick -- Week 14

Oops I'm doing it again.

Just a couple of days after declaring positively that picking the Thursday night game the past few weeks is clearly not working for me here in the second half of the season, I am once again including the Thursday night game in my Week 14 picks. I don't know what to say. As with the past few weeks, the Thursday game just seems like one of the better picks of the week and it's not one that I want to let go by without getting in some action. This Thursday features the Pittsburgh Steelers visiting the Cleveland Browns, whom the Steelers already handled 27-14 at home in Pittsburgh in Week 3 of this season. The line on the game is Browns +10.5 according to Bodog, and try as I might I just cannot find a way to like the Steelers here. It's actually pretty simple: these two teams played earlier in the year in Pittsburgh, and the Steelers won by 13 points. That game, in Week 6, happened to come smack in the middle of the season-best five-game winning streak for the Steelers, who are playing decidedly worse today after four straight losses in all crucial games from a playoff perspective. Meanwhile, the Browns were in the middle of their own season-worst streak back in Week 6, when the team scored a total of just 29 points over a five-game span. The Browns are clearly playing better than that now, as Brady Quinn has shown some life since returning to the starting quarterback position after the team's bye week, putting up the team's two best offensive performances of the year in terms of yardage and points scored over the past three games. So when the Steelers were at home, playing better than they are now, and the Browns were on the road playing worse than they are now, Pittsburgh won by 13 points. Now the game is in Cleveland, with the Browns unquestionably on their best streak of the season and the Steelers unquestionably on their worst, and the Steelers are still giving up 10.5 points? What's more, take a look at the Steelers' schedule this entire season and you will see that they have only won two games by more than 10 points all season long, both again during that five-game win streak earlier in the season. In the end I feel like the Steelers will find a way to pull this one out, but I would not be surprised to see the Browns hang around as the Steelers' defense has been a shadow of its former self without Troy Polamalu patrolling the backfield to set the defensive pace for the defending superbowl champions. Cleveland Browns +10.5 vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home