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Sharp money moves line on ‘Monday Night Football’ nightcap

The numbers are staggering. The Steelers have won 20 straight home games on “Monday Night Football,” and the Browns have lost 19 consecutive regular-season games in Pittsburgh.

But a sharp sports betting syndicate has wagered on Cleveland to end those losing streaks in the nightcap of a Monday night doubleheader.

According to Westgate SuperBook vice president of risk Ed Salmons, the syndicate — which he said is “probably the sharpest group going” — bet on the Browns at pick’em and -1.

The line climbed to Cleveland -2½ before settling at -2. Top Browns wideout Amari Cooper is questionable with a groin injury.

“The line is a product of how good the Browns’ defense looked in their first game against Cincinnati (in a 24-3 win),” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “It looks like they’ll be playing without Amari Cooper, which is why the number has come down a little bit.”

Steelers defensive lineman Cameron Heyward was placed on the injured reserve with a groin injury, and Pittsburgh wide receiver Diontae Johnson also has been ruled out.

The Steelers were manhandled by the 49ers in a season-opening 30-7 loss at home.

“You expect Pittsburgh to come to play this week,” Salmons said. “But the Browns certainly look like a team that can contend this year. Cleveland’s got a really good defensive front, and they run the ball well.

“If they can get anything from (quarterback Deshaun) Watson, they should be a playoff team.”

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is 15-5-3 against the spread as a home underdog and is 25-6-1 straight-up against the Browns. Also, the Steelers are 10-2 under Tomlin following losses of 20 points or more.

Pittsburgh is trying to avoid an 0-2 start at home.

“This is a huge game for Pittsburgh. AFC teams with two straight home games, if they lose both games, they only have six home games left with nine road games,” Esposito said. “That’s a tough spot to be in. We’re going to be Steelers fans when we kick off. But I think the value is with the Steelers.”

‘MNF’ opener

The Saints are 3-point road favorites over the Panthers in the first game of the twinbill. New Orleans beat Tennessee 16-15 in its opener but didn’t cover as a 3-point favorite. Carolina lost 24-10 at Atlanta and failed to cover as a 3½-point underdog.

Overs are 12-2 in Week 2 after unders went 12-4 in Week 1. The consensus total is 39½ for Saints-Panthers and 38 for Steelers-Browns.

The last five meetings between the Saints and Panthers have gone under, and New Orleans is on a 7-1 under run.

The Browns are on a 7-1 under streak, while the Steelers are on a 10-3 under run at home.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow tdewey33 on X.