The Cleveland Browns have a lot of question marks entering the 2023-24 campaign, but they can surprise many people this NFL season.
It should be no surprise that the AFC North is once again stocked up with quality football teams. All four teams have win totals listed at 8.5 or higher. In 2022, Cleveland put together a 7-10 record but spent most of the season without their top quarterback Deshaun Watson, serving his suspension. Watson is going to be the key to whether or not the Browns are able to get back over the .500 mark and be a double-digit win team.
With Watson missing a lot of football over the last few seasons, it wasn’t a surprise that he ultimately underachieved when he did start for Cleveland to close out the 2022-23 campaign. Whether Watson can find the Houston Texans version of himself again is a big question mark. The talent level has always been there for him, and that certainly didn’t disappear overnight. It’ll be interesting to see how he responds in September and October, which will be key months if the Browns want to go over their win total of 9.5.
On defense, Myles Garrett still gives the Browns an elite disrupter, and he can be one of, if not the best, player at his position. The Browns wanted to fix their defense in the offseason and they’ve done that, but we’ll need to see it from them on the field, not just talk about how much stronger it looks on paper.
At the end of the day, it will come down to whether Watson can be the quarterback the Browns imagined he would be after they traded a king’s ransom for him, and signed him to a $230 million deal. Cleveland sits in the middle of the pack regarding their strength of schedule, which factors into how we view them as a whole.
Some people will bet on Watson’s talent to win outright, but we’re not planning on being one of those people. This football team has a lot of talent, but we’re turning our attention here toward the under 9.5 wins at its juiced price tag of -134.
Verdict: Under 9.5 Wins (-134)
All odds courtesy of the FanDuel Sportsbook.
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