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Cleveland Browns Betting Odds – NFL Football Futures

Cleveland Browns Betting Odds – NFL Football Futures

With new management in place, the Cleveland Browns finally showed signs of progress last season. Sure, they only won five games, but the club was competitive and has some interesting players to work with. They’ll be looking to take more steps forward in 2011.

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A look at the numbers:

Last season – 5-11
Projection this season – 6-10
Browns Super Bowl XLVI Odds – +6000
Browns 2011-12 AFC Odds – +3000
2011 Browns AFC North Lines – +700

Pat Shurmur takes over as the new head coach after Eric Mangini was let go. Shurmur is an offensive guru who helped the Sam Bradford and the Rams nearly reach the playoffs last season. His work with Bradford is promising, as second-year quarterback Colt McCoy will once again be under center. McCoy was rock-solid as a rookie, appearing in eight games and showing a lot of poise. He’s undersized and many observers don’t believe McCoy has the stuff to be a regular starter in the NFL, but he’s certainly capable of being a “caretaker”-type quarterback.

Still, McCoy’s growth could be stunted by a lack of talented pass-catchers. Tight end Benjamin Watson led the team with 763 yards and three scores through the air. Beyond that, the Browns are counting on a mishmash of youngsters and underwhelming veterans.

That means the offense will once again rely heavily on running back Peyton Hillis. Hillis was an absolute beast last season, rolling up 1654 yards from scrimmage and 13 total touchdowns. The explosion practically came out of nowhere, though, so there are some lingering doubts as to whether or not Hillis can duplicate the feat. There was absolutely nobody to ease pressure off Hillis last season—McCoy was second on the club in rushing with 136 yards—but former Packers back-up Brandon Jackson has signed on to steal a few carries.

Defensively, Cleveland was respectable by allowing 20.8 points per game, good for 13th in the NFL. There is still plenty of room for improvement, however. The club ranked just 25th in sacks. The Browns tried addressing that in the draft by adding some talent up front Baylor’s Phil Taylor was the best nose tackle in the draft, and the Browns nabbed him with the 21st overall pick. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

At No. 37, Cleveland snapped up Pittsburgh defensive end Jabaal Sheard, who should provide a nice push after opposing quarterbacks. The best part of Cleveland’s draft, of course, was shipping off the No. 6 overall pick for two firsts and five picks overall.

There are a few other promising youngsters on “D.” Cornerback Joe Haden had a solid rookie season, racking up 65 tackles and leading the Browns with six interceptions. Saftey T.J. Ward—a pending free agent—led the team with 123 tackles. Second-year linebacker Marcus Benard, a former undrafted free agent, paced Cleveland with eight sacks. Still, there’s a ton of work to be done here.

HOW IT STANDS NOW:

The Browns aren’t ready yet. Yes, they took some steps forward last season, and there’s a new culture in the building. But these things take time, especially when you share a division with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. The Browns simply don’t have the talent to compete—yet.

Season Win total Prediction: 6-10

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About Ian Van Den Hurk

Ian Van Den Hurk has covered amateur and pro sports for years, including a successful run handicapping anything from football to mixed martial arts. Looking for more sports betting tips and expert sports handicapping articles from Ian V? We've got your back...


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