Leading up to the 2022 NFL season, Post Action Betting will release a gambling preview for all 32 teams in the National Football League, covering the schedule, predictions, win total, over/under picks and prop bets for every team. Today, we will cover the Cleveland Browns.
Cleveland Browns (+2500 to win Super Bowl, BetMGM)
2021 record: 8-9, 3rd in AFC North
After ending a 17-year postseason drought in 2020, the Cleveland Browns were back to their old ways as they went 8-9 last season en route to another playoff absence.
That disappointment brought on a massive change in the Browns organization as they sought an upgrade at the quarterback position.
In March, the Browns sent three first-round picks (2022, 2023, 2024), a third-round pick (2023), and two fourth-round picks (2022, 2024) to the Texans in exchange for Deshaun Watson and a sixth-round pick (2024).
New customers only. Must be 21+. AZ, CO, IA, IL, IN, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY only. (Welcome Offer not available in NY & PA) Full T&C apply.
New users only, 21 or older. NY, CO, DC, IA, IN, IL, MI, NV, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV only. Full T&Cs apply.
21+. New customers only. AZ, CT, IA, IL, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, TN, WV, WY only. T&C apply
However, Watson’s arrival rendered Baker Mayfield surplus to requirements. In July, the Browns traded Mayfield to the Panthers for a conditional 2024 fifth-round pick.
In this preview, we’ll highlight the other off-season moves by the Browns and assess their prospects for the upcoming season.
Browns offseason moves: Draft, trades, free agent signings, injury report
- Notable free agency departures include WR Jarvis Landry and QB Baker Mayfield.
- Added QB Deshaun Watson, WR Amari Cooper, and DE Chase Winovich via trade.
- After signing Jakeem Grant Sr., the wide receiver suffered a torn ACL in practice this week and is out for the season.
- Drafted Mississippi State CB Martin Emerson (68th overall), UAB DE Alex Wright (78th overall), Purdue WR David Bell (99th overall), Oklahoma DT Perrion Winfrey (108th overall), LSU K Cade York (124th overall), Cincinnati RB Jerome Ford (156th overall), Oklahoma WR Michal Woods II (202nd overall), Oklahoma DE Isaiah Thomas (223rd overall), and Texas Tech C Dawson Deaton (246th overall).
Cleveland Browns 2022 schedule
Week 1: @ Carolina Panthers
Week 2: vs. New York Jets
Week 3: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 4: @ Atlanta Falcons
Week 5: vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Week 6: vs. New England Patriots
Week 7: @ Baltimore Ravens
Week 8: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Week 9: Bye
Week 10: @ Miami Dolphins
Week 11: @ Buffalo Bills
Week 12: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 13: @ Houston Texans
Week 14: @ Cincinnati Bengals
Week 15: vs. Baltimore Ravens
Week 16: vs. New Orleans Saints
Week 17: @ Washington Commanders
Week 18: @ Pittsburgh Steelers
NFL betting lines: Browns win total
O/U 8.5 wins
The Browns are likely to start the season without Watson as the league seeks a suspension after nearly two dozen women brought forth lawsuits of sexual allegations and misconduct against the quarterback.
Initially, Watson received a six-game suspension from NFL Disciplinary Officer Judge Sue Robinson. However, after public outrage, the league office is appealing for an even lengthier punishment for actions it describes as predatory behavior.
Despite all this, sportsbooks still have the Browns’ win total on the board at 8.5 games. Whether the suspension is increased to eight, 10, 11 or the entire season, winning nine games seems like an uphill battle for Cleveland.
Perhaps one reason this number’s still a bit high is that the Browns could turn around and decide to bring in Jimmy Garoppolo as a stopgap. However, Garoppolo was only recently cleared to practice again after undergoing surgery to repair a capsule injury in the back of his shoulder.
The problem with signing Garoppolo is that training camp is already well underway, which means he’ll have even less time to learn a new offense if he’s traded or released. If Watson is suspended and the team doesn’t go after Jimmy G, that leaves journeyman Jacoby Brissett as the Browns’ starter.
Cleveland has a talented roster overall but given all the issues the Browns are facing at the quarterback position, I think the only play here is taking the under with their win total.
Browns O/U 8.5 Wins: The Pick
Under 8.5 wins
Betting on Sports?
Expert best bets, futures, and props
Nick Chubb over 1,199.5 rushing yards (FanDuel)
Good luck finding a season-long future on either Watson or Brissett. However, the quarterback position’s uncertainty could provide some valuable insight if you’re considering a prop on Browns running back Nick Chubb.
I’d expect the Browns to lean more on their rushing attack this season, particularly with Watson’s looming suspension. Chubb rushed for over 1,200 yards in 14 games last season and he’s been relatively healthy over his career, missing just seven games over a four-year span.
Cleveland’s other running back, Kareem Hunt, requested a trade as he enters the final year of his contract. Thus, there’s always a chance that Hunt’s trade request could result in some friction within the team. If he’s dealt, there is even more value on over Chubb’s rushing yards.
Last season, Cleveland ranked sixth overall with a run play rate of 46.02 percent. I think they’ll continue to maintain that pace or run the ball even more in 2022.
It’s plausible there’s an inverse correlation between Cleveland’s quarterback situation and the running game shouldering more of the offensive load. Take the over in Chubb’s rushing yardage prop with all the uncertainty surrounding Watson.