Cleveland Browns Betting Odds Preview
For the fifth straight year in 2012, the Cleveland Browns finished with over 10 losses, going 5-11 SU. While the team showed some signs of improvement last year, there still seems to be some work to do before the Browns will be able to compete in the competitive AFC North.
Despite finishing among the league’s worst teams with a 5-11 SU record, the Browns actually turned their backers a small profit with an 8-7-1 ATS mark in 2012. The close games were a testament to Cleveland’s improvement, but the team still hasn’t quite figured out how to turn small steps forward into wins.
While the offense finished 24th in the NFL with just 18.9 PPG, it was actually a fairly impressive showing considering how young and inexperienced the team was. Starting quarterback Brandon Weeden, starting running back Trent Richardson, and leading wide receiver Josh Gordon were all rookies. Weeden showed flashes of brilliance amongst rookie mistakes passing for 3,385 yards and 14 touchdowns with 17 interceptions, while Richardson looked like a star in the making with 950 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground.
Wide receivers David Nelson and Devone Bess have been brought in to give Weeden more to work with, and veteran backup Jason Campbell should help with his development as well.
On defense, the Browns struggled on both sides of the ball, allowing 363.8 total yards per game. Defensive end Barkevious Mingo was the sixth overall pick, and should make an immediate impact as a dynamic playmaker out of college.
Cleveland’s relatively quiet offseason seems to indicate that the Browns know what they are, and that is a work in progress. The pieces are slowly starting to come into place, but in the brutal AFC North, there just isn’t much wiggle room. This will be an important season for Brandon Weeden, who will turn 30 this year. As a late-starting rookie last year, Weeden will need to prove that he can be the guy in Cleveland soon, or the Browns may go in a different direction.
AFC North Odds at Bovada as of July 26
Baltimore Ravens +190
Pittsburgh Steelers +190
Cincinnati Bengals +200
Cleveland Browns +700