2023 Cleveland Browns: NFL Betting Odds and Offseason Notes

Apr 12, 2023
2023 Cleveland Browns: NFL Betting Odds and Offseason Notes

Sure, it's early, but sportsbooks are already giving us an early look at divisional betting odds and win totals, so we can't ignore them. The new league year has started, and free agent signings and subsequent roster moves have been rolling in non-stop over the past few weeks. We're unpacking the NFL Draft weekly on Move The Line, and we're still awaiting the schedule release, which should come in mid-May, though we do know who each team plays.

As of this writing, we have a partial picture of what's to come and how to handicap each division, but there are impactful data points still to come over the coming months. So with that said, let's look at each team's current status and how to bet on them.

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Cleveland Browns

Schedule Notes

All AFC North teams face the AFC South and NFC West this season, with their additional three games coming against teams that finished in the same place in their respective division (two in conference, one non-conference), which I'll list below.

2023 Divisional Odds: +400 (PointsBet)

2023 Win Total: 9.5

2022 Record: 7-10

2022 Offensive EPA Rank: 12th

2022 Defensive EPA Rank: 25th

Effective Cap Space (per OverTheCap.com): $6.5 million

First-Round Draft Pick: n/a (first pick in Round 3, 74 overall)

Total Draft Picks: 8

3 Unique 2023 Opponents: Chicago, New York Jets, @ Denver

Carson Wentz, Davis Mills, Zach Wilson, and Baker Mayfield. Out of 34 quarterbacks that took at least 220 snaps last season, those are the only quarterbacks with a worse EPA per play than Deshaun Watson last season. The Browns made a huge commitment to Watson, both in terms of assets to acquire him and money to keep him. The future of the Browns, both in 2023 and beyond, hinges on Watson's return to one of the game's best.

Free Agency Notes

The Browns' defense was a massive disappointment in 2022. It was one of the league's worst, particularly up the middle in the front seven. New defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's unit was upgraded with Dalvin Tomlinson on the first day of free agency, and edge rusher Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and safety Juan Thornhill should be starters on next year's club. The Browns ran through linebackers last season, mostly due to injury, and they resigned two of them, Anthony Walker and Sione Takitaki, for 2023. The offense is returning all 11 starters, but the receiving core was upgraded with the additions of Elijah Moore and Marquise Goodwin.

Remaining Roster Priorities

The Browns are not in a position to make a splash in this year's draft, but General Manager Andrew Berry will likely try to move some of this year's picks for higher spots on the board in 2024 since they'll be without a first-round pick again. Defensive depth remains the priority, with the remaining cap room and 2023 draft capital. With Kareem Hunt looking likely to move on in free agency, the Browns could look to add a running back behind Nick Chubb and Jerome Ford.

How To Bet On The Cleveland Browns

The betting markets expect Deshaun Watson to bounce back. They're priced as the third-best team in the division behind the Bengals and Ravens, but interestingly, their win total at 9.5 is slightly above the Ravens at 8.5. Of course, that speaks more to the uncertainty surrounding Lamar Jackson, but at 9.5, the Browns are priced like a playoff contender in the loaded AFC. Under 9.5 wins is available at -130, but optimistic Browns backers are better off taking the division price at +400. The range of outcomes for Watson feels wide, but with the offensive continuity and the offseason focus on improving the talent on defense, double-digit wins aren't out of the question.

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