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TNF player props: Bear market for the Steelers and Browns?

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Last season, we rock and rolled our way to the Super Bowl with music-themed Thursday Night Football player props, joyfully celebrating the start of a new NFL week. This year, we'll use an episode from "Must See TV" cornerstone "Seinfeld" each week to remind us that betting is supposed to be fun, even when an absurd series of events leads to a losing bet.

"You shrunk it. You know you shrunk it. Just tell me you shrunk it."

"I shrunk it."

Like the dry cleaner midway through "Seinfeld's" first season finale, Kevin Stefanski at least admitted what went wrong after an absurd series of events led to the Browns' loss to the Jets.

When it came to win probability - they shrunk it.

Of course, days after suffering a defeat that cost many of us our survivor pool, it's only fitting that Cleveland's elf is waiting for us on Thursday night.

"The Stock Tip"

Unlike the stock tip George received from a friend of a friend in the Season 1 finale, betting against Mitch Trubisky to have an explosive offensive performance isn't exactly a tip to keep hush-hush. However, we'll hopefully make enough money to buy our friends a dinner at Monk's, with a generous tip, by finding the best way to fade the beleaguered quarterback.

The Steelers have just two receptions longer than 30 yards this season, with both coming from a tight end on coverage breaks. Trubisky's 8.62 yards per completion suggests he's struggling to find receivers downfield.

One of the many reasons the Browns collapsed last week was their issues covering receivers deep. Personnel-wise, Cleveland has Grant Delpit and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who should be able to handle Pat Freiermuth.

Fading Trubisky will allow us to enjoy his failure in the same way Kramer took a sick pleasure in Jerry losing money on George's tip. If those around us Thursday night see us smile at Trubisky's struggles and ask, "Why does it please you?" at least we'll have a good answer.

Pick: Mitch Trubisky under 31.5-yard-long pass completion (-115)

A TD that's definitely going to happen

"They're cleaning our clothes, but they're not getting anything wet."

We may end up thinking of Jerry's take on dry cleaning as we watch a game that might not even feature a touchdown. However, we'll show some faith and lean on the favored Browns for this week's tongue-in-cheek guarantee.

It's not quite as risky as a weekend away with a new girlfriend, but we'll take an RB2 to score. Kareem Hunt had two touchdowns in Week 1. Before he got hurt in Week 6 of 2021, he scored five times. A healthy Hunt is dangerous in the passing game as well, as he had five receiving touchdowns in 2020. So, while Nick Chubb will get the first goal-line look, Hunt can score from further out. He's closer to a 50/50 probability to score than this price suggests.

Pick: Kareem Hunt anytime touchdown (+160)

A TD that probably won't happen ... but maybe it does

Last week, we hypothesized that the Chargers would have negative expected value if they ran the football with Austin Ekeler. With Ekeler averaging 2.8 yards per carry, we were right.

This week, we'll bet on a rare score for Trubisky. With his struggles throwing the ball, he should be more aggressive using his mobile skill set.

Pick: Mitch Trubisky anytime touchdown (+550)

How to bet: The first two bets should be single-unit wagers - to win a unit on minus prices and more than a unit on a plus-money bet. The last wager should be smaller, trying to win back your standard unit size.

Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.

TNF player props: Bear market for the Steelers and Browns?
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