This article originally appeared at FanDuel Research. Click for predictions and betting insights for the other half of Week 2’s MNF doubleheader between the Panthers and Saints.
Get set for an AFC North showdown with a big Browns vs. Steelers prediction, plus the latest prop betting insights from our friends at FanDuel.
Player props can be useful in a variety of ways — from taking advantage of them straight up to measuring a player’s potential to produce in daily fantasy football on FanDuel. Here, we’re going to focus on the former.
Let’s get into the best bets, plus a Steelers vs. Browns prediction.
Please note that betting lines and numberFire’s game projections may change throughout the day after this article is published. Also, the weather may be an issue in some locations.
Browns WR Elijah Moore Any Time Touchdown (+260)
The second of the two Monday Night games gives us a classic AFC North rivalry where both teams are dealing with a few injuries.
For the Browns, they are expected to be without their top wide receiver, Amari Cooper, who is dealing with a groin injury. His final status is yet to be determined, but even if he plays, a less than 100% receiver is never a spot that offers any safety.
This should lead to Elijah Moore stepping into the top receiver spot, and we’ll turn to him for an any time touchdown tonight.
For the Steelers’ defense, they got torched in Week 1 by the San Francisco 49ers‘ wide receivers, who went for 184 receiving yards and a pair of scores. A lackluster secondary should allow Moore to have a large impact tonight with extra usage.
In Week 1, Moore finished with a 24.1% target share, which was tied for the highest on the team with Cooper. Moore played on 62.9% of the snaps while running a route on 78.1% of drop-backs, both of which were higher than Cooper.
While Cooper is viewed as the top receiver for the Browns, Moore is seemingly challenging him for that spot, albeit in a one-game sample size.
Regardless, in the event Cooper doesn’t play, Moore should have a clear role in the Browns’ passing game tonight.
Browns RB Nick Chubb OVER 18.5 Rushing Attempts (-102)
As noted above, Amari Cooper isn’t expected to play tonight, and that impacts the Browns’ play-calling plan.
While I like Moore for a touchdown, I expect the Browns to lean on the running game for the majority of their offense.
If the Browns are missing a top receiver in Cooper, passing the ball won’t be their first option, which leads to plenty of carries for Nick Chubb. Once they get to the red zone, that is where I expect Moore to play a large role as explained above.
In Week 1, the Browns had a 44.44% pass play percentage, which was the second-lowest in the league. A one-game sample is nothing to write home about, but this is par for the course when it comes to the Browns’ play-calling tendencies. They like to run the ball early and often.
In each of the last three seasons under head coach Kevin Stefanski, the Browns have finished in the top eight of the league or higher when it comes to rushing play percentage.
Chubb has been one of the most consistent running backs in the league over this stretch and didn’t waste any time in Week 1, where he picked up 18 carries for 106 yards. numberFire’s projections have Chubb going for 20.95 carries and 108.14 yards this week.
Given the health status of Amari Cooper, a run-first offense should be no surprise for the Browns, leading to a big night for Chubb.
Steelers WR George Pickens OVER 42.5 Receiving Yards (-110)
With Diontae Johnson out for the Steelers, they will need a pass-catcher to step up.
That leads us to George Pickens and over 42.5 receiving yards tonight.
Pickens is looking to build on a modest rookie season and got off to a decent start in Week 1, as he ended with seven targets, five receptions, 36 yards, and no scores.
Those are modest box score numbers, but what’s good to see is that he had a 15.6% target share, which was the second-highest on the team, along with a team-high 25.7% air yards share and 90.2% routes run on drop-backs.
Pickens did *a lot* within the Steelers’ offense, but it just didn’t translate to massive box score numbers. That’s totally fine because we know he is on the field a ton and is their primary downfield target.
numberFire’s projections have Pickens going for 4.65 receptions and 60.16 receiving yards. That is a strong differential and very much worth targeting tonight.
— Tom Vecchio
Steelers vs. Browns Prediction: NFL Week 2
The numberFire projection model gives the Browns a 53.3% chance to win.
A spread of 2.5 points and a total of 38.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook implies a final score projection of approximately 20.5-18.
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