Moving on from yesterday, which was one of the worst days I’ve had in college football. All of the variables I noted that could ruin my wagers came true. Rutgers didn’t take Eastern Michigan seriously and Stanford looked like they had no energy left in the second-half, perhaps a result of the trip to Australia. FAU and Wisconsin didn’t do anything offensively in the second-half, and then Michigan was a flat-out miss, as they looked hungover from the Florida game.
I hit a bet on the OVER in the Stanford-USC game, but that was all for me on Saturday. Hopefully the NFL is kinder to us on Sunday. This is the second of three NFL picks from me today. As will be the case all season long, I will have my top three picks at The Sports Geek on Sunday.
We head to Cleveland where the Steelers and Browns meet up in Week 1. This is supposed to be a rivalry, but I mean, come on how lopsided can a rivalry get. The Steelers-Browns rivalry may be the most lopsided of the last, well, decades. Pittsburgh have dominated the Browns, and have the accolades in their trophy case to show for it. The Steelers have had the same starting quarterback for over ten years, while the Browns have had a carousel of losers go through their starting post.
Brock Osweiler is the latest casualty to get the axe in Cleveland, as the Factory of Sadness continues their search for a starting quarterback. In the early 2000’s, Tim Couch was supposed to be the savior of the Browns, but it’s now 2017 and they still can’t figure it out. Could this be the year that they do actually find a quarterback?
DeShone Kizer may be the answer. Kizer, the former Notre Dame product, showed some flashes of potential in the preseason. It was enough for the Browns to hand the keys over to the student in Week 1. Kizer opens against a whopper of an opponent, as the Steelers start their quest to get back to the Super Bowl. Ben Roethlisberger isn’t going to be playing for very much longer, so the time is ticking on him to win another Super Bowl. We’ll see how they do on the road in Cleveland. Get the free pick below.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns Betting Odds:
vs. Browns +9(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Steelers vs. Browns Pick:
Roethlisberger hinted that this may be his last season in the NFL. He mentioned it at the conclusion of the 2016 season, and he confirmed his statement over the summer. If this is going to be it for him, what a way to go out would it be to win another Super Bowl. Peyton Manning went out as a champion, and Roethlisberger, if they do in fact win, you will probably see him hang up the cleats. It’s up in the air right now, but a Super Bowl would make his decision that much easier. It isn’t a matter of talent level slipping, because Roethlisberger is still one of the best in the NFL. I don’t expect to see any regression from him in 2017, either.
Big Ben threw for 29 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, with a 95.4 QB rating in 2016. Those are numbers that don’t usually evoke talks of retirement. Roethlisberger will be surrounded by lots of talent around him once again in 2017. Martavis Bryant is back after a year-long suspension, getting back a threat to take attention off Antonio Brown. Brown still hauled in 1,284 yards and 12 touchdowns a season ago. Look for another monster year from him. Additionally, Le’Veon Bell decided to come back to the NFL instead of working at Dairy Queen. I assumed he was holding out just to avoid training camp, and sure enough he said that was the case.
Kizer hopes to get a rhythm going with Corey Coleman and Kenny Britt early and often against the Steelers. I applaud Britt for keeping a job in the NFL, but he shouldn’t be a main target, especially for a rookie quarterback with zero experience. Britt did eclipse 1,000 yards a year ago with the Rams, but it was his first season going over 1,000.
Don’t expect him to go wild against the Steelers or this season. This is a lot of points for a team playing on the road, but can I really go with the Browns under a rookie quarterback? There is a ton of dysfunction all over the place on this roster, including offense and defense. Steelers come out on fire, and take care of the Browns for a two touchdown win in Cleveland.
PICK: STEELERS -9 (-110)