This season’s Monday Night Football finale pits the Cleveland Browns against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns have recently evened the score to a degree in this bitter rivalry. Matchups between these AFC North foes are often of the blue-collar, punch-you-in-the-mouth, grind-it-out variety. And online sportsbooks are painting the picture of this type of primetime affair.
The point spread jumped the fence in the wake of Cleveland being eliminated from playoff contention Sunday. Priced as a favorite of a field goal or more most of the week, the Browns were adjusted to 2.5-point underdogs at both FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook. The total moved up from 41 to 43.
The following are player props FanDuel and DraftKings are offering for Monday’s contest.
Nick Chubb, RB, Browns
Anytime Touchdown -115 (DraftKings)
Chubb has nine touchdowns in 12 games this season, including one in each of the last two. He’ll never be confused for an Austin Ekeler or Alvin Kamara type in terms of his receiving prowess. He has one receiving score in 2021 and three for his career. Chubb has big-time game nonetheless and is a solid bet to receive the volume necessary to break the plane at least once.
90-plus Rushing Yards +108 (FanDuel)
Chubb has eclipsed 90 yards rushing in two straight games, four of his last six, and seven of 12 overall. The Steelers traditionally present a curtain of impenetrability against opposing running backs. It hasn’t been the case this season. They’re allowing 4.8 yards per carry — tied for most in the league. They’ve also surrendered 2,141 rushing yards overall — most in the NFL heading into Week 17. Chubb has rushed for over 90 yards against the Steelers only twice in seven tries, but this version of the Pitt D appears to have a few more holes through which opposing offenses will run.
Najee Harris, RB, Steelers
Anytime Touchdown -105 (DK)
Harris has nine total scores on the season, and his most recent two — one rushing, one receiving — came against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 14. It hasn’t been a dream rookie season for Harris behind the ghost front masquerading as an offensive line. However, while efficiency has eluded Harris (3.7 yards per carry), volume has been a constant. His 335 touches lead the team by a staggering margin and account for 46.4 percent of the total pie. He has six scores on the ground and three receiving, so he provides the added benefit of a versatile skill set when it comes to punching in the rock in for six.
Over/Under 70.5 Rushing Yards -113 (FD)
The Browns have been relatively stingy against the run, allowing a modest 4.1 yards per carry — eighth fewest in the NFL. Harris, meanwhile, has hit 71 rushing yards in three of his last four. This 70.5 over/under is modest, and he’s been on a solid run in recent weeks, but there are several reasons to be hesitant, too. Primary among them may be the fact that receiving yardage has accounted for 30.0 percent of his production. Harris could be bottled up on the ground but still finish with a great overall game.
Diontae Johnson, WR, Steelers
Anytime Touchdown +125 (FD)
Plus-money on Johnson to score is an intriguing proposition for bettors to weigh for Monday night. Johnson’s 144 targets account for a 25.6 percent slice of the team’s passing-game pie, and his seven touchdowns are tied for second on the team. He scored last week and has three over his last four contests. While Johnson has just five carries on the season — and zero rushing scores in his career — that the Steelers utilize designed wide receiver runs with a degree of regularity is always worth consideration when it comes to Johnson and the lines he’ll draw at sportsbooks.
Over/Under 71.5 Receiving Yards -115 (DK)
Johnson has been kept under wraps on the yardage front over the last two games — 87 total receiving yards — but has hit the 72-yard plateau in nine of his 14 contests this season. He isn’t the most prolific receiver in terms of catch average, but he routinely dominates target share, and his 11.7 yards per grab would set a career best in that department. Johnson was dominant from Weeks 10-14, a five-game stretch in which he earned 10-plus targets and reached at least 76 yards receiving each week. He went for 98 when these two teams met earlier in the season.
Pat Freiermuth, TE, Steelers
Anytime Touchdown +280 (DK)
Freiermuth returns to action after missing last week’s game with a concussion, and that’s great news for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has taken a liking to his rookie tight end. He’s tied for second on the team with seven touchdowns, and will be a primary read whenever the Steelers venture into the red zone. He’s scored in three of his last five games, and it probably won’t take long for him to become reacquainted with targets in the painted area.
It’s not often the quarterbacks in a contest take a second seat to the rest of the team. While Roethlisberger and Baker Mayfield still make plenty of headlines, many would argue their production doesn’t warrant the attention. Be that as it may, both signal-callers have passing yardage totals for prop bettors to look into Monday night.
We’re inclined to anticipate modest offensive output in this matchup based on the total set for the game and the typical nature of these contests. Big Ben’s O/U on passing yardage is 235.5 at FanDuel (-113). Mayfield’s yardage total is 227.5 at DraftKings (-115). Mayfield reaching 228 yards on Monday appears less likely on paper than Roethlisberger reaching 236, but bettors should consider what type of game they expect from two proud organizations.
The Browns have been eliminated from postseason play, while the Steelers currently hold a 4 percent shot at crashing the party. Whether by hook or by crook, the Browns will most definitely like to be the ones barring their entrance.
Read more: MNF odds and pick