Thursday NFL Preview and College Pointspread Stats

Gotta admit that we don't often "buy into" these odds to make the playoffs on a week-to-week basis but we just saw a stat that said the 5-and-4 Pittsburgh Steelers now sport a 67.5 percent chance of making it to the post-season.

Hey, can someone tell us what those playoff odds were for the Steelers following that dreadful 0-and-3 SU (straight-up) start? Egads!

The bottom line is the Steelers roll into Cleveland for the NFL Week 11 Thursday Night Football tilt riding a four-game SU winning streak and let's be reminded that Mike Tomlin's team is a heady 5-1-1 ATS (against the spread) since Sept. 22nd. So there!

PITTSBURGH (5-4) at CLEVELAND (3-6) - 8:20 p.m. ET, Fox and NFL Network

Better believe these next-door neighbors will be getting to know one another quite well the next few weeks - they'll play again at Heinz Field on Dec. 1st in Week 13 action - but first things first as the 3-point underdog Steelers (ranked 27th rushing / 29th passing / 28th overall on offense) rely on "game manager" QB Mason Rudolph and a born-again defense starring DB Mitzah Fitzpatrick who seemingly scores a touchdown every week.

The Browns, meanwhile, rank a lowly 27th in rush defense (allowing 135 ground yards per game) and so the possible return to action of Pittsburgh RB James Conner is big news here. Cleveland's 0-3-1 vig-wise in its home games this year but last weekend's 19-16 win / push against Buffalo may give Freddie Kitchens' crew a little jolt after QB Baker Mayfield aired the go-ahead TD strike from seven yards out with only 1:44 left. Any life here, Brownies?

Spread Notes - Pittsburgh's 5-3-1 ATS (against the spread) overall this year but did you know the Steelers are an electric 9-1-1 vig-wise as underdogs since the start of the 2017 campaign? Cleveland enters this prime-time tussle at just 2-6-1 against the odds overall and the Brownies are just 7-16 ATS versus fellow AFC North foes the past four-plus seasons.



Last week the College Football Underdogs really rock-n-rolled with a 30-17-0 ATS mark (that's a .638 winning rate) but - for the 2019 season - the chalk still leads the way. As we head into Thursday night's college tilts - that's Buffalo at Kent State and North Carolina at Pittsburgh - the College Football Betting Favorites are 276-259-14 with 3 Pick 'Em games tossed into the mix (a .516 winning percentage for the favs).

In other College Football pointspread-related items, note the following (all figures below are ATS, of course) ...

Akron is a rotten-to-the-core 0-10
Arkansas has failed to cover its last five games in a row
Boston College is 5-1 as an underdog side
Central Michigan is a tasty 7-2-1 on the year
Clemson is 7-3 as a double-digit betting fav
Florida is 5-1-1 in its last seven games
Illinois has copped five consecutive spread verdicts
Kansas State is 7-2 under first-year coach Chris Kleiman
Liberty is 6-1-1 since mid-September
Louisiana Tech has covered six of its last seven games
Michigan is 5-1 since late September
Michigan State's failed to cover its last five in a row
Minnesota has covered its last six games
Navy is 6-2 on the year including two-of-three as dogs
Nebraska is 1-8 for the '19 season
Northwestern's failed to cover seven of its first nine games
Ohio State is 8-0 since a season-opening spread setback
Oklahoma State's covered seven of its first nine games
Purdue is 5-1 since early October
San Jose State is 6-1-1 since mid-September
Syracuse has dropped seven of its last eight spread decisions
Tennessee has covered five in a row
Tulane is 6-1 since Sept. 14th
UCF's failed to cover six of its last seven games
UL-Lafayette is 8-1 this year
UMass is 1-9 in 2019
Vanderbilt's dropped eight of its first nine games
West Virginia is 2-5 as a dog
Western Kentucky is 6-1 the last seven weeks and
Wyoming's covered six of its first nine games this year.