July 19, 2021
2021 Cleveland Browns Betting Odds, Predictions, Preview
After years of mismanagement, disappointment and a carousel of coaches and general managers, the Cleveland Browns finally got it right in 2020. They ripped off 11 regular-season wins, came within a whisker of winning the AFC North, and they won a road wild-card game against their bitter rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, before just coming up short in the AFC Divisional Round in Kansas City, 22-17.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski has a plan in place, and that plan is working, and he has an embarrassment of riches on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. QB Baker Mayfield was legit, throwing for 3,563 yards, 26 touchdowns and just eight interceptions, and the run game was fire with RB Nick Chubb gobbling up 1,067 yards with 12 scores, and RB Kareem Hunt, who would start most anywhere else, going for 841 yards with six scores on the ground, and 304 receiving yards and six more scores through the air.
COVID reared its ugly head late in the season, decimating the receivers corps, but they trucked through and were able to withstand the late issues. WRs Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins are back, and WR Donovan Peoples-Jones was a find. Oh yeah, and they get this guy WR Odell Beckham Jr. back from injury. It's an All-Star cast.
On the defensive side of the ball is where the Browns paid close attention to upgrade, helping out DE Myles Garrett. They added EDGE rusher Jadeveon Clowney to help get to the quarterback, and it's a huge move if he can stay healthy. In the draft, they picked up secondary help with Greg Newsome II out of Northwestern, and LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. And WR/KR Anthony Schwartz joins the mix, and will likely be a big add on special teams. CB Troy Hill and S John Johnson III will also bolster the secondary, while DTs Malik Jackson, Damion Square and DE Takk McKinley provide nice depth.
Looking ahead to the schedule, it starts out rough. A trip to Kansas City is not where you want to be in Week 1, but if they could get a win, confidence would be sky-high. Home games against Houston and Chicago in the following weeks are very winnable, however. In fact, this team has nine home games schedule with the extra 17th game added, and they should at least be able to get six or seven wins there. The road schedule is a bit daunting, especially after the holidays with trips to Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Green Bay in the cold months. This team overachieved in 2020 a bit, and I think a 10-win season is order, still making the playoffs, and they'll be battle tested and a tough out again in the postseason. I'd lean UNDER 10.5 (-121) wins, though, only because of the schedule.
2021 Cleveland Browns Schedule
Win Total Odds
Cleveland Browns Odds to Win AFC North
The Browns are slight underdogs, or Dawgs, if you will, to win the division. It's a three-horse race, and once we get underway, injuries could change things, age on other teams and decline in production, etc. However, I think Baltimore is still the class of this division, and the Browns will come in just on their heels.
Cleveland Browns Odds to Win AFC Championship
It's amazing to see the expectations so high in Cleveland after years of mostly being eliminated from playoff contention by Halloween. The Browns are legit Super Bowl contenders now, even though they're one of a few organizations who have never been to the big game. At this price, they're worth a roll of the dice. Just don't get carried away. They have the stars on both sides of the ball to make a legit push.
Cleveland Browns Odds to Win Super Bowl 56
Can the Browns win the Super Bowl? I'm not saying that. But at this price, what's a few dollars to potentially multiply your investment by 16 times? Hell might freeze over before you can cash your tickets, and it will be hard with all of those flying pigs in the way. It's worth a shot, though, but again, just use couch cushion money. Not a lot.
Cleveland Browns 2021 MVP Contenders & Odds
Baker Mayfield +3300
Nick Chubb +10000
Odell Beckham Jr. +20000
Mayfield is a good quarterback, and he has a lot of weapons at his disposal, but I don't think he is elite. Therefore, save your pennies on an MVP play. The same goes with Chubb, who is a great back, but he has to share the load with Hunt. As far as OBJ, there are a lot of mouths to feed in Cleveland, and I don't think he is targeted much more than the other wideouts and backs. So his numbers will be good, but not MVP level.
Cleveland Browns Preseason Betting Odds & Markets
Make Playoff?: Yes -225 No +180
I think the best bet here is taking the Browns to make the playoffs, although I don't really like risking more than two times my potential return on any singular wager. Still, of this group, it's the best bet, with a few dollars played on Stefanski to win the Coach of the Year. Of course, he won The Associated Press' Coach of the Year in 2020. We've seen winners of this award several times, but it's been since 1982-83 when Joe Gibbs of the then-Washington Redskins, win it in consecutive seasons. So it would be super rare.
2020 Cleveland Browns Betting Results