Cleveland Browns 2019-20 NFL Postseason: Odds and Predictions

For the first time in decades, the Cleveland Browns are expected to play in the postseason, thanks to a two-year roster turnaround orchestrated by general manager John Dorsey that was actually five years in the making.

Expectations for this Browns team are extremely high, with second-year rifle-armed quarterback Baker Mayfield confidently leading the way, surrounded by newly acquired offensive and defensive talent along with some high-level players who more than proved themselves last season.

2019, more than ever, could be the season where the hapless Cleveland Browns shake their ‘pitiful loser’ image and become a team to be reckoned with, so we take a look at the odds and predictions of this surging Cleveland franchise’s postseason chances and briefly analyze each wager.

The 2019 Cleveland Browns are:

  • Owners: Jimmy and Dee Haslam
  • General Manager: John Dorsey (Hired December 2017)
  • Head Coach: Freddie Kitchens (Promoted January 2019)
  • Offensive Coordinator: Todd Monken (Hired January 2019)
  • Defensive Coordinator: Steve Wilks (Hired January 2019)
  • Quarterback: Baker Mayfield (2nd NFL season)
  • Offensive Stars: Wide Receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry
  • Defensive Stars: Defensive End Myles Garrett, Cornerback Denzel Ward

2018 Franchise Records:

  • Overall 7-8-1
  • Home: 5-2-1
  • Road: 2-6-0
  • Divisional: 3-2-1
  • Conference: 5-6-1

2019-20 Schedule: 23rd toughest

Week 1 Matchup: vs. Tennessee Titans @ home

How did the Cleveland Browns do in 2018?

The 2018 Cleveland Browns’ final record, 7-8-1, is unimpressive at best until you compare it to the prior two seasons when the team went a combined 1-31, and only then does seven wins (with four or those losses by a single score or less plus that tie) seem at all remarkable.

Especially when you consider the fact that halfway through the season after a Week 8 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, general manager John Dorsey changed head coaches and switched offensive coordinators.

Despite all that chaos, rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, who hadn’t practiced with the starters in training camp and didn’t start in the regular season until Week 4, broke the NFL rookie record for touchdown passes by throwing 27 of them in just thirteen and a half games.

What major offseason moves happened in Cleveland?

First, a lot of good players left through trades and free agency: quarterback Tyrod Taylor went to the Los Angeles Chargers, wide receiver Breshad Perriman to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, cornerback Brian Boddy-Calhoun to the Houston Texans, safety Jabrill Peppers, who was part of the OBJ trade, went to the Giants and linebacker Jamie Collins, who was released by the Browns in March signed with the New England Patriots.

However, the biggest offseason news for the 2019 Cleveland Browns was the trade for Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants, arguably one of the top three wide receivers in the NFL, and this was despite Beckham having just signed a five-year, $90 million extension in August 2018.

The Browns defense (ranked 30th last season) was greatly improved with the addition of defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, defensive end Olivier Vernon and safety Morgan Burnett.

The other big change to the Browns organization this offseason was in leadership.

Who are the new Browns head coach and coordinators?

Head coach: Freddie Kitchens, who has gone through quite a promotion-filled two seasons, first going from being the running backs coach at the start of 2018 to getting promoted as the offensive coordinator after Week 8.

Kitchens was selected (out of many candidates) to be the Browns head coach in 2019 based on the success he had as the offensive coordinator developing rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield in the second half of the season as well as the success that his offensive game plans resulted in, with the team going 5-3 under his offensive guidance.

Offensive coordinator: Todd Monken, who was the brains behind the number one passing offense last year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an otherwise struggling team that (with rotating quarterbacks) averaged 320 yards through the air per game resulting in 36 total passing touchdowns.

The hope is that Monken can further develop Mayfield in his second year under center and use the new and prior weapons at his disposal – receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt (after Week 8) and tight end David Njoku – to improve on a Browns passing and rushing attacks, both ranked 14th last season.

Defensive coordinator: Steve Wilks, who spent last season head coaching the Arizona Cardinals to a 3-13 record using a rookie quarterback (Josh Rosen) along with a fourth ranked passing defense attempting to make up for a 32nd ranked rush defense.

Word on the street, though, is Arizona fired the wrong guy and for some reason didn’t give Wilks more than one season to fully convert the Cardinals’ defensive scheme from a 3-4 to a 4-3 as planned, which the Cleveland Browns are already set up for and so should shine under Wilks’ new leadership.

How was the Browns’ offense improved?

First, because it is now run by a second-year quarterback, Baker Mayfield, a talented leader who (as opposed to last offseason) has been practicing with the first team and who has had an entire year to learn and digest the playbook.

Second, the offense has better talent, starting with the newly acquired Beckham, who as a deep threat will typically attract a double-team leaving the other targets a better chance to be open, something that didn’t happen last season.

Finally, the offense is now being run by Monken and Kitchens, two offensive-minded coaches who have both been proven to be highly capable of taking the players they’ve been given and using their strengths to develop an effective game plan around.

The biggest offensive question right now is with the line (right guard, in particular), but newly acquired veteran Eric Kush seems to have that spot all locked up.

How was the Browns’ defense improved?

Adding Richardson, Vernon and Burnett alone would make this defense a whole lot better than last season, but they were ranked 30th so that’s not such a big accomplishment.

Then add the already effective Myles Garret in his third season and his buddy on the line Larry Ogunjobi plus healthy linebacker Christian Kirksey and talented rookie cornerback Greedy Williams, then suddenly you’ve gotten way better on this side of the ball.

Then put them all under a defensive-minded leader like Wilks and this defense looks potentially impressive.

How was the Browns special teams improved?

The kicking game is considered one of the biggest weaknesses of this roster, with Greg Joseph and Austin Seibert competing for the starting kicker role, though neither has been impressive enough in training camp or in preseason to run away with the job just yet.

The punter will most likely be Britton Colquitt again, but Jamie “The Scottish Hammer” Gillan is giving him a run for his money, plus he’s proving he can kick long field goals, as well.

Though backup running back Dontrell Hilliard is on the roster as kick returner, walk on receiver Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi is giving him a run for his money, already running back a preseason punt for a touchdown this offseason.

When was the last time the Browns made the playoffs?

The Cleveland Browns have been absent from the postseason for the last sixteen seasons in a row, their most recent appearance being in the 2002 Wild Card Playoffs when they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 33-36.

Despite the fact that the Browns are historical winners (four NFL Championships prior to the invention of the Super Bowl), their recent history of postseason-free seasons has become their identity.

But given all the high-level talent that’s part of the Browns’ newly beefed-up roster, it is only a matter of time before this team will finally see the postseason once again, however it seems that many of the teams’ fans will feel disappointed if it doesn’t happen in 2019.

Why WILL the Browns make it to the postseason in 2019?

Take a look at the talent on this roster and the answer becomes obvious.

When a team has a talented franchise quarterback with exceptional targets plus an outstanding run game and a quarterback-hungry defense like the Browns do right now, there is no reason to doubt their ability to play football in January.

This team is geared up and ready to go, and against just the 23rd toughest schedule this season (only nine teams have it easier), this seems like the perfect time for the Browns to finally regain their NFL dominance.

Why WON’T the Browns make it to the postseason in 2019?

The easiest answer is: because they’re the Cleveland Browns, and you can never count on them to do what you expect.

These Browns have all new leadership, and their head coach has never been a head coach before, and their roster has so many new pieces that finding the ‘gel’ might be difficult this first season together.

These Browns won’t be bad – and they’re going to just keep getting better – but they most likely won’t go from awful to best this quickly.

What are the current odds and predictions for the Cleveland Browns’ 2019 NFL postseason?

According to the odds makers, the 2019-20 Cleveland Browns have the best chance to win their division, have a somewhat decent chance to win the AFC, and are tied with the Indianapolis Colts as the fifth most likely team to win the Super Bowl next season.

Not bad for a team that was literally horrible just two seasons ago.

Except however good their current roster looks on paper right now, it will take rookie head coach Kitchens being able to manage a locker room full of dynamic (and sometimes dramatic) personalities and new coaches and create game plans that utilize all the new strengths this team has acquired.

Here are the odds and predictions of how the 2019-20 Cleveland Browns will do.

Will the Cleveland Browns make the NFL postseason in 2019?

SportsbookYESNOLink
888Sport NJ-124+102

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Analysis: Tough to bet the ‘Yes’ on this one based on the past, of course, but given how talented these Browns look right now it’s the best bet to make here.

Especially given that AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers have lost their two best players, the Baltimore Ravens are in the middle of transitioning between their throwing and running quarterbacks and the newly head-coached Cincinnati Bengals lately are, well, never quite a factor.

Barring serious injuries, these Browns should make the playoffs as either a divisional champ or a Wild Card team, but either way bet the ‘Yes’ here.

Odds of the Browns winning the AFC North:

SportsbookBrowns AFC North WinBrowns AFC North 2ndBrowns AFC North 3rdBrowns AFC North 4thLink
888Sport NJ+140+190+300+1000

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Analysis: Sure, the Browns haven’t won the AFC North since 1989 (under head coach Bud Carson) but don’t let that sway you here.

Under general manger Dorsey, this team has accumulated a true powerhouse roster, and so far, it has shown every sign of being capable of winning, unlike in the past.

Besides, 2019 is year five of the Browns self-described five-year turnaround plan, so it makes perfect sense that they would win the division as a result.

Number of regular season Browns games won:

SportsbookOver 9.5Under 9.5Link
888Sport NJ+125-152

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Analysis: The Browns will be unhappy with anything less than nine wins, but that would still involve betting the under here.

Plenty of football talking heads have predicted a ten or eleven win season for these Browns, but the idea of new leadership and past losses somewhat overshadow that optimism.

To win the division, the Browns will have to win ten or more games at least, so bet the over here because 10-6 is a highly likely outcome for Cleveland.

Odds of the Browns winning the AFC Championship:

SportsbookAFC Championship WinnerLink
888Sport NJ+750

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Analysis: Here’s something you don’t see every day – only three AFC teams have better odds than the Browns to win the Conference this season – the New England Patriots (+320), the Kansas City Chiefs (+400) and the Indianapolis Colts (+700).

That tells you how the odds makers feel about this version of the Browns.

Spend $100 and win $750 if this talented Browns team pulls it off – not a bad payday, but you have to trust that rookie head coach Kitchens knows what he’s doing already.

Odds of the Browns winning Super Bowl LIV:

SportsbookNFL Championship WinnerLink
888Sport NJ+1600

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Analysis: The fact that the Browns are even in the Super Bowl conversation this season is a miracle in itself and says a lot about this upgraded team.

Only six teams have better odds than the Browns of taking home a Lombardi Trophy this season, and that should be enough to tempt you into breaking open your gambling kitty right there.

Betting on the Super Bowl winner takes guts (and extra cash), so only put money down on this one if you’re really feeling it, and from the sound of Browns fans these days, there’s a whole lot of ‘really feeling it’ going around.