Browns Season Win Total Prediction
For the Cleveland Browns, there's no where to go but up following their 0-16 season. That said, have oddsmakers set Cleveland's win total too high for the upcoming 2018 season?
Cleveland Browns Betting Odds
According to oddsmakers, the Browns' win total has been set at 5.5 for 2018. The team is also a 90/1 long shot to win the Super Bowl, is 55/1 to win the AFC title, and is 12/1 to win the AFC North Division behind the Steelers (1/3), Ravens (17/4) and Bengals (10/1).
After head coach Hue Jackson yo-yo'd rookie DeShone Kizer in and out of the starting lineup a year ago, new GM John Dorsey set out this offseason to upgrade the quarterback position. Dorsey acquired Tyrod Taylor in a trade with the Bills and then selected Oklahoma signal-caller Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick in April. While Taylor is expected to start, Jackson has proven to have an itchy trigger finger when it comes to quarterback changes so Mayfield could wind up seeing starts at some point in 2018.
One other thing Dorsey set out to accomplish this offseason was to upgrade the secondary. With the fourth overall pick in the first round, Dorsey nabbed Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward and also acquired E.J. Gaines, Damarious Randall, Terrance Mitchell and TJ Carrie this offseason. In a pair of other moves, the Browns traded for former Miami wideout Jarvis Landry and signed former 49er running back Carlos Hyde in free agency.
Also in the draft, the Browns selected Nevada guard Austin Corbett in the second round, as well as Georgia running back Nick Chubb. In the third round, the team selected Miami defensive end Chad Thomas and in the fourth, the Browns took troubled but talented Florida receiver Antonio Callaway.
Long-time left tackle Joe Thomas retired, which is a huge blow to the Browns offensive line. The team also traded cornerback Jason McCourty to the Patriots along with a 2018 seventh-round pick for New England's sixth-round pick in 2018.
Win Total Prediction
There's really no debating that the Browns are talented. Taylor has long been underrated and the Browns pose one of the best wide receiving corps in the league thanks to Landry, Josh Gordon, and Corey Coleman, not to mention tight end David Njoku. Defensively, Ward joins a defense that also features Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers, Jamie Collins, Emmanuel Ogbah and a revamped secondary.
That said, even the best talent can be spoiled by an incompetent coaching staff. How Jackson was able to survive not only an 0-16 season but also a 1-15 campaign in 2016 is beyond me. The way he handled Kizer's development was one of many examples that Jackson didn't have a clue when it came to having a long-term vision for the season. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams also employed a scheme that left the Browns exposed to too many short passes as the Browns defenders experienced death by a thousand paper cuts.
Going back to the start of this section, there's no question that the Browns are talented but I don't trust this coaching staff to cash in. It's not like Cleveland was completely devoid of talent a year ago; the team should have never finished 0-16. But the Browns were dreadful in the second half of games (specifically in the fourth quarter), as the coaching staff routinely put players in position to fail. I write all of this to say that while the Browns look decent on paper, I'm taking the under because of their coaching staff.
Cleveland Browns 2018 Win Total Prediction: Under 5.5