Cleveland Browns 2014 NFL Betting Preview

 

The Browns have failed to win more than five games in any season since 2007 and last reached the playoffs in 2002. That didn’t keep them from becoming the biggest story in the NFL this off-season when they drafted Johnny Manziel. For the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, turning around Cleveland is a big job. The Browns were 4-12 last season and 6-10 against the spread. Browns games went over eight times, under on seven occasions and pushed once in 2013. Two years ago Cleveland went 8-7-1 against the number.

The Browns have failed to win more than five games in any season since 2007 and last reached the playoffs in 2002. That didn’t keep them from becoming the biggest story in the NFL this off-season when they drafted Johnny Manziel. For the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, turning around Cleveland is a big job. The Browns were 4-12 last season and 6-10 against the spread. Browns games went over eight times, under on seven occasions and pushed once in 2013. Two years ago Cleveland went 8-7-1 against the number.

Cleveland plays the 26th toughest schedule in the NFL this season. Their most difficult games are stacked at the start and end of their slate. The Browns open at Pittsburgh, and host New Orleans and the Ravens. They conclude the year with home games against Indianapolis and Cincinnati and road games in Carolina and Baltimore. In between they face just one playoff squad from October 5 thru November 30. They take on every team in the weak AFC South plus four opponents from the NFC South.

Mike Pettine is the third Cleveland coach in three years. Between Manziel and everything that he brings to the table plus Josh Gordon and his off field issues, things aren’t exactly stable for the first time head man. The Browns were aggressive in free agency adding Karlos Dansby, and Donte Whitner. Perhaps committing to Alex Mack and Joe Haden long-term were franchise building moves. In addition to Maziel, corner Justin Gilbert was added in the draft’s first round. And oh by the way, for all of the Manziel discussion, it is likely to be Brian Hoyer under center during week one.

The Browns are 75-1 to win the Super Bowl and 32-1 to capture the AFC. Six wins, continuity with the coaching staff and roster, and positive growth with momentum towards 2015 would make for a successful campaign.