Cleveland Browns (2022: 7-10 SU, 8-9 ATS)
Deshaun Watson will become the permanent quarterback for the Browns in 2023. This comes after missing more than half of the games in the previous season. Watson was a great player in Houston and is expected to show significant improvement after shaking off the rust from last season. The Browns have a fantastic offensive line, a defensive line, and several dependable running backs. Nick Chubb is considered the top pick for RBs in all fantasy drafts. The team's passing game is expected to improve with the return of Amari Cooper and the additions of Marquise Goodwin, Elijah Moore, and third-round draft pick Cedric Tillman.
The Browns' defense will also see new faces, including Edge rusher/OLB Za'Darius Smith and ball-hawking Safety Rodney McLeod. Their special teams are poised to improve this season. The Browns were ranked No. 14 last season, according to Football Outsiders. Their schedule is quite favorable as they will be playing four out of the first five games at home and have their bye week during this period. In week one, Cleveland will be facing the Bengals, who must rely on backup Trevor Siemian as Joe Burrow will most likely not be able to play due to a calf injury. Assuming he can play, I anticipate less chemistry between him and his receivers in the first few games. Under the impressive guidance of head coach Kevin Stefanski, the Browns have a strong chance of earning their second playoff berth within four years.
Of all 32 NFL teams, only the Browns and Eagles are ranked in the top six for their offensive and defensive line play to begin the season. Two very crucial metrics that most professional bettors consider when betting on the NFL. These teams tend to exceed expectations, as the Eagles and 49ers did last year. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Cleveland has the second-best offensive and sixth-best defensive lines. The Browns will play the 16th most manageable schedule, right at the league average.
Jeff’s Cleveland Browns Prediction: 10-7 SU & 11-6 ATS
Good Luck this Football Season!