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Odds on When the Cleveland Browns Win their First Game of 2018?

Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns
Hue Jackson and the Cleveland Browns had every reason to be upset after their dismal 0-16 record in 2017. Will it be his last full season with the team? Photo by: Erik Drost (Wiki Commons) [CC License]
  • The Cleveland Browns didn’t win a game in 2017
  • Three different books have set the Browns O/U at 5.5 for 2018
  • BetOnline just released odds on whether or not the Browns will get their first win before Week 4

The Cleveland Browns haven’t won since 2016. December 24, 2016 to be exact, when they stunned the then-San Diego Chargers 20-17.

Despite 17-straight regular season losses and the sour taste of an 0-16 season still fresh in their mouths, Browns fans now have something to cheer for.

Free beer.

Ok, they have much more than that, but the beer fridges are a nice plus.

They have a quarterback for the future and maybe the present. They have Jarvis Landry leading a revamped wide receivers group. Their running back stable actually looks pretty formidable, and they have young, improving play-makers on a defense that can only get better after last year.

They also have a weird on-again, off-again romance with Dez Bryant.

But more than anything, the Browns, and their fans, have hope.

Early or late, books expect Browns to win in 2018

Recently, BetOnline released odds on when fans think the Browns will get their first win. You’ve got two choices: Anywhere between Weeks 1-3, or Week 4 or after.

When will the Browns get their first win? BetOnline Odds
Week 1-3 -160
Week 4+ +120

The idea that the Browns could pull out a win early in their season jives with what the books have been saying.

As of July 20th, the Browns are sitting at an O/U of 5.5 wins on Bovada, BetOnline and MyBookie. The Browns and Arizona Cardinals are the only two teams that any of those three sites have projected for less than six wins.

Team Bovada Win Totals & Odds BetOnline Win Totals & Odds MyBookie Win Totals & Odds
Cleveland Browns 5.5 (-140o/+110u) 5.5 (-145o/+125u) 5.5 (-115o/-115u)

Unfortunately, according to Bovada, Arizona has the toughest schedule this year based on projected wins, while Cleveland faces the sixth toughest. That strength of schedule is pretty evident early on.

Early schedule not doing Browns any favours

Cleveland kicks things off with a divisional game, at home, with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Even with a “rusty” Le’Veon Bell, it’s tough to see Cleveland knocking off Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and company.

That being said, the opening spread offers sneaky good value though. Three-straight games between these two have been decided by three points or fewer (even if two were meaningless Week 17 games).

Week Opponent Spread
1 vs Pittsburgh Steelers Steelers [-6]
2 @ New Orleans Saints Saints [-9.5]*
3 vs New York Jets Pick’em*
4 @ Oakland Raiders Raiders [-5.5]*

*Projected

The schedule doesn’t get any easier when they travel to New Orleans. An 0-16 team starting off with two playoff teams doesn’t seem fair. Unless something happens to Drew Brees, Cleveland will be outclassed here too.

But then we get to where the money can be made, and their Week 3 match-up with the New York Jets.

Without any lines available, this could be a pick’em.

Whoever wins the Browns’ QB battle will be better than who’s leading the Jets.

I think that whoever wins the Browns’ QB battle will be better than who’s leading the Jets. Baker Mayfield has outperformed his classmates this preseason, Sam Darnold included. And with New York reportedly exploring trades for Teddy Bridgewater, Tyrod Taylor gets the nod over Josh McCown.

Gang Green gets the nod on defense, but Cleveland’s play-makers (with or without Dez) could pose a pretty significant threat.

What about Week 4 or later?

The Browns have a lot of intriguing match-ups after that game against the Jets.

Oakland is a tough read. Last year was disappointing, but Derek Carr has thrown a total of four passes in preseason games. It makes it hard to know if he’ll come out of the gates slow or not, while the AWOL Khalil Mack is an entirely different issue.

Derek Carr has thrown a total of four passes in preseason games. It makes it hard to know if he’ll come out of the gates slow or not.

Baltimore won’t be easy with Joe Flacco’s revamped attack in Week 5, and the Chargers are another tough read. They’ve been decimated by injuries defensively, so the early weeks will be key for them.

Ultimately, games with the Buccaneers (Week 7), Bengals (Weeks 12 and 16), and Ravens (Week 17, rest could be a factor) could be the best bets for wins after Week 4.

When will the Browns win?

The safe play, because of the numbers is Week 4 or later. That’s obvious.

But that Jets game stands out. Offensively the two teams match up well, and if it’s two rookies under center, both will be motivated. The only thing that will stand in the Browns’ way will be the Jets’ defense.

But after two games against NFL elite to start their year, the Browns will have a great chance to win their first game in nearly two years. Before Week 4.

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