The downside is that the Browns went a pathetic 1-15 straight up in 2016 and an abhorrent 3-12-1 against the spread for their backers. The plus side is that there is some semblance of a football team here and there is nowhere to go but up in 2017!
The epic disasters known as “2015” and “2016” in Cleveland have led us to where we are today: a semi-overhauled roster that could be the start of something good. The offensive line was addressed with the signings of JC Tretter and Kevin Zeitler and that should help both the running game, anchored by the already excellent Isaiah Crowell, and quarterback play, which has been awful. Led by the fantastic Joe Thomas, this unit has the chance to be one of the very best in the league.
Gregg Williams was brought in as defensive coordinator to improve the NFL’s second-worst defense in 2016 (measured by total yards). Williams will have plenty of interesting pieces and young players to mould in his attempt to rebuild the Browns into, at the very least, a contender in the AFC North.
Both Myles Garrett and Jabrill Peppers in the first round of the draft were great additions to the defensive side of things and these two could contribute immediately. Throw Garrett into the mix with existing pieces like linebackers Jamie Collins and Christian Kirksey and the run defense should be improved. The secondary is a bit of a question mark and a lot depends on Joe Haden, but Peppers could be a big addition.
Look, we know Cleveland is still a year or two away from being a year or two away. I might be crazy, but after some of the worst football we’ve ever seen, I think this team is headed in the right direction and building something to be, at the very least, proud of.
Let’s take a look at some of the season-long futures, props and their win total for the 2017 NFL season:
Super Bowl +30000
I don’t really need to fill this spot up with words as to why this won’t hit. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t know already.
The Browns haven’t been to the postseason since 2002 and won’t be in the postseason for a while. Hell, they are one of the 13 franchises to have never won a Super Bowl. This is a wager reserved purely for Browns diehards and family members.
To Finish Third in the AFC North +300
Cleveland to finish fourth is priced at -325 so there’s zero value there. Why not take a shot at +300 to finish third? It’s possible, right?
Yes, it will take a massive injury and/or epic regression from either the Cincinnati Bengals or Baltimore Ravens for the poor Browns to leapfrog either into third place in the competitive division, but stranger things have happened.
As far as season-long props are concerned (Super Bowl, AFC North, AFC), there’s no chance in any of those. But this little prop here at +300 is about as good as it gets for the Browns and their backers.
Win Total – 4.5
The Browns have a decent schedule to look forward to and while five wins would be a great leap for the team, it’s not that crazy. They lost their 15 games last season by an average of just under 13 points, so even a baby step to being competitive would be great progress.
Winnable home games against the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars are in there, as well as potential road wins at the Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Chargers and Chicago Bears. I know that’s optimistic, but still, give me the OVER here.
The last team to go 1-15 was the St. Louis Rams back in 2009. Do you know how many games they won the next season? Seven.
DeShone Kizer to win Offensive Rookie of the Year +1200
It looks as if Kizer has played his way into the starting quarterback job in Cleveland so a little sprinkle on this wager wouldn’t be completely amiss. As stated ad nauseam in this piece, the Browns’ stellar offensive line could give Kizer the Dak Prescott treatment in his rookie season, providing fantastic protection to help him distribute the ball and improve his decision-making.
With Terrelle Pryor now out of the picture, Kizer doesn’t have a ton of weapons at his disposal. Corey Coleman is there and they went out and signed Kenny Britt, who is coming off his best season as a pro in a bad Rams offense. Still, not the greatest group of targets in the league, but with the prospect of great pass protection, Kizer might be able to make a little hay like Prescott one year ago.
Odds as of August 27 at [custom:bodog-link]
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