Cleveland Browns Predictions

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The Cleveland Browns got off to a slow start in 2012, but they showed flashes of greatness as the season progressed.  They started the season going 0-5, but won five of their next eight games in a stretch that could have easily been seven out of eight wins.  Cleveland lost on the road against the Colts by just four points and they took Dallas to overtime in a 23-20 game.

The season ended with the Browns going 0-3 but they had to face the Redskins, Broncos and Steelers in that stretch.  Cleveland had three losses come by four points or less and they could have easily finished the season with an 8-8 record.  The biggest problem last year was not the Brown’s defense, it was their inability to find the endzone.  Trent Richardson has just three games where he was able to rush for over 100 yards.

The Browns have won five or fewer games in five straight seasons and they made all the right moves to surpass that number this year.  Richardson is going to have to get the running game going for the Browns to take some of the pressure of quarterback Brandon Weeden.  Richardson is a dual threat out of the backfield and he was second in receptions last year with 51.

Last Season
AFC North
Record
ATS Record
Home ATS
Road ATS
Over/Under
4th
5-11
8-7-1
5-3
3-4-1
6-10
Offense Rank
Defense Rank
Turnover Margin
Points For
Points Against
25th
23rd
+3
18.9
23
2013 Roster Changes
Draft Picks
Barkevious Ming (DE/OLB), Leon McFadden (CB)
Additions
Brian Hoyer (QB), Jason Campbell (QB), Dion Lewis (RB), Davone Bess (WR), David Nelson (WR), Kellen Davis (TE), Paul Kruger (DE), Shayne Graham, (K), Rashad Butler (OT)
Losses
Colt McCoy (QB), Mohamed Massaquoi (WR), Ben Watson (TE), Sheldon Brown (CB), Phil Dawson (K), Joshua Cribbs (KR)
Key Numbers for 2013
Draft Grade
Preseason Power Ranking
Strength of Schedule
C
24th
1.77
21st
Head Coach Rob Chudzinski
*Records for regular season only.
Overall
ATS
Home
Home ATS
Road
Road ATS
0-0
0-0
0-0
0-0
0-0
0-0
Off of a Bye
Off of a Bye ATS
Off of a Loss
Off of a Loss ATS
0-0
0-0
0-0
0-0
Schedule
2013 Cleveland Browns Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
9/8 Dolphins
+1.5
0.47
9/15 @ Ravens
+7.5
0.22
9/22 @ Vikings
+6.5
0.28
9/29 Bengals
+3
0.41
10/3 Bills
-1.5
0.53
10/13 Lions
+1
0.49
10/20 @ Packers
+7.5
0.22
10/27 @ Chiefs
+2.5
0.45
11/3 Ravens
+3.5
0.36
Week 10 BYE
11/17 @ Bengals
+6
0.29
11/24 Steelers
+3
0.41
12/1 Jaguars
-4.5
0.67
12/8 @ Patriots
+8.5
0.20
12/15 Bears
+1.5
0.47
12/22 @ Jets
+3
0.41
12/29 @ Steelers
+7.5
0.22
Estimated Wins: 6.10

The schedule for the Browns is very favorable this year.  They have a total of eight games where they are either favored, or are underdogs by a field goal or less.  It will be a tough stretch to open the season when they face the Dolphins, followed by the Ravens and the Vikings on the road.

I like Cleveland’s chance to pick up wins against the Bills and Lions since they are playing on their home field.  They will also have a chance to beat the Jets on the road this year.  In their first division home game the Browns will face the Bengals.  I think the Bengals are a very undervalued team this year, but I expect to see Cleveland play well in their second home game of the season.

Prior to facing the Bengals for a second time the Browns will be coming off a bye week.  They are on the road against Cincinnati in that matchup, but the bye week should help Cleveland prepare for that game.  They should also be able to pick up a win against the Jaguars since they are playing at home.  Preaseason odds have Cleveland favored by 4.5 points in that game.

Cleveland’s strength of schedule ranks 21st in the league this year.  They face a lot of teams that will not be as good as they were last season.  In particular, the Ravens, Steelers and Bears.  If Cleveland can pull off a 3-3 division record, they will have a great chance to surprise many and finish ahead of Pittsburgh in the AFC North.

Odds
Regular Season Win Total
to Win the AFC
to Win Super Bowl XLVIII
6
40 to 1
100 to 1
Odds Courtesty of Bovada
Predictions

There are not a lot of high expectations for Cleveland this year.  If any team in the AFC is a sleeper it is definitely the Browns.  Brandon Weeden passed for 3,385 yards and had 14 touchdowns.  Unfortunately for Browns fans he also had 17 interceptions.  However, Weeden is not getting the credit he probably deserves.  He showed a lot of poise in the pocket and there are no unanswered questions about his impeccable arm strength.  This year Weeden will have Devone Bess and David Nelson to throw the ball to so I fully expect him to show some improvement over his rookie season.

Cleveland’s defense was mediocre last year and much like the offense, they will be an improved unit in 2013.  They picked up linebacker Paul Kruger from the Ravens and added cornerbacks Kevin Barnes and Christopher Owens to the roster.  Kruger had a big year for the Ravens with nine sacks during the regular season and 4.5 sacks in the playoffs.  The only unanswered question around Kruger is, can he deliver those same results without Terrell Suggs providing pressure from the right side.  I picked the Browns to finish fourth in the AFC North this year, but I would not be surprised at all to see them exceed my expectations and knock the Pittsburgh Steelers into the division gutter.

Projections
AFC North Finish
Division Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
4th
3-3
7-9
Over 6
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About the Author: Jimmy Boyd is known for his consistency. He's a proven winner in college and pro football, college and pro basketball and pro baseball. He finished as the No. 1 ranked MLB handicapper in 2007 by earning $1,000/game bettors $50,050. He also finished as the No. 1 ranked basketball handicapper in the 2008-09 season, profiting $1,000/game bettors 38,530. His basketball plays have banked $1,000/game bettors nearly $80,000 the last five years. Check out Jimmy's premium picks for tonight!
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