The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers gave us a thrilling, high-scoring affair on Thursday Night Football last week. It’s likely we won’t see the same type of game this Thursday with the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers set to kick off Week 3, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make some money on the matchup.
So, let’s check out the three players you should target in the first touchdown scorer market for Browns-Steelers tonight.
Pat Freiermuth +1300
If I’m targeting a Steelers pass-catcher to score the first touchdown on Thursday night, it has to be Pat Freiermuth. Dionte Johnson (22) is the only player with more targets than Freiermuth (17) through two games, and the tight end scored the only Pittsburgh touchdown in last week’s 17-14 loss to the New England Patriots.
Freiermuth is clearly Mitch Trubisky’s favorite red zone target, and I think he should be able to find some openings in the middle of the field against this unimpressive Browns defense.
Jacoby Brissett +2700
Nick Chubb is by far the most likely Browns player to find the end zone first, but I can’t justify betting on him as a +420 favorite. So, let’s go value hunting with the Cleveland offense.
Jacoby Brissett isn’t normally considered a dual-threat quarterback, but he’s actually scored 13 rushing touchdowns in just 39 career starts. The 29-year-old hasn’t been shy to tuck the ball and run early in the season. In two games, he’s taken off 10 times and racked up 53 total rushing yards, including 43 last Sunday against New England.
Brissett could easily scamper in the end zone from anywhere inside the 20 tonight, and there’s a decent chance the Browns could dial up a QB sneak if they move the ball right next to the goal line.
Pittsburgh Steelers Defense +3700
In a game that features two below-average offenses and two turnover-prone quarterbacks, it’s never a bad idea to take a shot on a defense to score the first touchdown. It’s a total dart throw when you’re betting on a defense to score, though, so I’ll take a shot on the team with better odds.
The Steelers defense is higher up on the odds board at +3700 to score the first touchdown, which surprises me considering Pittsburgh has a ball hawk in Minkah Fitzpatrick patrolling the secondary. Fitzpatrick has recorded four pick-sixes in his career, including one against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1. Let’s hope he makes it five Thursday night.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.
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