Cleveland Browns 2015: Preview, Predictions & NFL Odds

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Tuesday, 23 June 2015 06:19
2015 Cleveland Browns Odds & Predictions 2015 Cleveland Browns Odds & Predictions

Nine games into the 2014 NFL season, the Cleveland Browns and first-year head coach Mike Pettine were 6-3. Unfortunately, they were still the Browns and faltered down the stretch. Cleveland finished the season at 7-9, once again out of playoff contention. The seven wins were the most since 2007 when the Browns went 10-6. Pettine continues to build the franchise and will have to work his magic in 2015 if Cleveland is to finish anywhere but the cellar of the AFC North. That being said, sportsbooks aren't giving Browns fans much hope listing the squad as 100/1 longshots in NFL odds to win the Super Bowl, 40/1 underdogs to win the AFC Conference and +900 in AFC North predictions.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer started 13 games and threw for 3,326 yards. He is now a Houston Texan. The Johnny Manziel circus lasted much of his entire rookie season culminating with two miserable starts late in the season. The former Heisman Trophy winner will try to remain out of the spotlight in year two. The Cleveland Browns signed Josh McCown to come in and start at quarterback and take some of the pressure off of Manziel. McCown had a rough go last year in Tampa Bay, but Pettine is hoping that the 12-year NFL veteran looks more like the QB that filled in admirably for Jay Cutler in Chicago in 2013.

In addition to Hoyer, the Browns lost a pretty productive tight end in Jordan Cameron, nose tackle Ahtyba Rubin, and CB Buster Skrine. The losses are nothing that Pettine and company cannot overcome. The Browns acquired a formidable pair of wide receivers in the free agent market in former Chief Dwaine Bowe and former Dolphin Brian Hartline. Those two, along with last year’s leading receiver Andrew Hawkins, give McCown a solid cast of targets. Pettine, a former defensive coordinator in the league, is slowly developing a team built around its defense. He’s got bonafide talent in outside linebackers Paul Kruger (11 sacks) and Barkevious Mingo.

If last year’s first-round draft pick Justin Gilbert lives up to his potential, the Browns would have one of the better pairs of cornerbacks in the league. Two-time Pro Bowler Joe Haden is the other. Cleveland drafted Danny Shelton to replace Rubin at nose tackle. Shelton’s addition should help the Browns defend the run. The team finished dead last in the league for rushing defense last season. If Pettine’s defense can get better at defending the run, Cleveland may have a shot at defying the NFL odds and getting out of the 2015 AFC North basement. While they will undoubtedly be better than they were in 2014, it is still a little early to consider the Browns a playoff contender.

Browns Update (9/8/15): Cleveland are now +10000 favorites in Super Bowl predictions, +5000 to win the AFC Conference and +1200 to win the AFC North.

Last modified on Tuesday, 08 September 2015 12:56

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    The Chip Kelly experiment continues as new starting quarterback Sam Bradford takes over one of the NFL’s best offenses. Kelly, of course, is well known for his offensive innovations and has helped the Philadelphia Eagles to back-to-back 10-plus win seasons. The Eagles get a chance to continue and get back to the postseason when they open Monday Night Football with a trip to the Georgia Dome to face the Atlanta Falcons. Bradford, who has missed the better part of the past two seasons with knee injuries, is finally healthy enough and is in command of the up-tempo Eagles offense. He is surrounded by a wealth of talent including last year’s NFL rushing leader RB DeMarco Murray. Jordan Matthews and rookie Nelson Agholor give Bradford youth but ample talent at the wide receiver positions. Eagles vs Falcons odds favor Philadelphia on the road by a field goal (-3) while NFL picks for week 1 on the over/under total are set at 55½.

    The former Rams QB, Bradford was the 2010 Offensive Rookie of the Year after starting all 16 games. He then played in roughly half of the team’s next 64 games suffering knee injuries in consecutive seasons. The Eagles opponent, Atlanta, welcomes new head coach Dan Quinn, former defensive coordinator in Seattle. Quinn’s first task will be improving a defense that finished dead last in the league in total yards allowed per game (398.3). Quinn and the Falcons selected undersized hybrid LB/DE Vic Beasley of Clemson in the first round and acquired Adrian Clayborn in the offseason to help. Along with LB Justin Durant, the defense should improve at least enough to take some of the pressure off of the offense. If Atlanta is going to have any chance of covering the spread as home underdogs in Eagles vs Falcons odds, the defense must be able to slow down the potent Philly offense.

    Quarterback Matt Ryan enjoyed his fourth straight 4,000-yard season last year, but he and the rest of the Falcons offense must work under new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan this season. There have been some struggles with the new zone-running based offense and problems with the offensive line have not helped. Atlanta has actually beaten Philadelphia the past two times that the two teams have met. Ryan threw for seven touchdowns in those two meetings. It is doubtful he will have that kind of success Monday night. Look for Philadelphia to have a lot of offensive success against a struggling Atlanta defense. The week 1 season opener (Monday, September 14th) between the Eagles and Falcons can be seen live on ESPN at 6:55pm EST from the Georgia Dome.

  • New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys Odds - NFL Predictions Week 1

    The New York Giants would love nothing more than to start the 2015 season with a win over their NFC East division rivals, the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys will be looking to win back-to-back division titles for the first time in over a decade. No team in the division has repeated in 11 years. The Giants winners of two Super Bowls in the 2000s, have not tasted much success lately and last season was dreadful. After starting the season 3-2, the Giants running game and defense disappeared on the way to seven straight losses. The club did finish the season 3-1 but must address their running game and a defense that allowed 395.3 yards per game in 2014. Giants vs Cowboys odds in Vegas favor Dallas by nearly a touchdown (-6) while NFL predictions for the week 1 total have been set at 52.

    New York will be without the services of Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul who injured a hand over the summer in a fireworks accident. Pierre-Paul finally met with Giants representatives after missing all summer team activities and preseason training camp. His status is still uncertain. New York will also be without the services of star wide receiver Victor Cruz, who is still not fully recovered from a patellar tendon injury suffered last October. What the Giants do have is QB Eli Manning and WR Odell Beckham Jr., the NFL’s breakout star of 2014. In just 12 games, OBJ had 1,305 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. Manning, despite the Giants inability to run the ball, still enjoyed a decent 2014 season tossing 30 touchdowns compared to just 14 interceptions. Manning will need to control his turnovers in week 1 if New York is to cover the spread as underdogs in Giants vs Cowboys odds.

    Dallas, which has beaten New York four straight times, will rely on the arm of quarterback Tony Romo who led the NFL last year with a passer rating of 113.2. The ground game may suffer some as last year’s leading rusher, also the league’s leading ground gainer, DeMarco Murray is now in Philadelphia. Murray will be replaced by Darren McFadden, Christine Michael, Lance Dunbar, and Joseph Randle. Romo will still have WR Dez Bryant as his top receiving target. Bryant, who just signed a five-year, $70 million deal in the offseason, led the league in receiving touchdowns last year with 16. The Cowboys defense will be without DE Greg Hardy until late October and LB Rolando McLain will miss the season’s first four games due to suspension. Still, the Cowboys should have enough to win its fifth straight over the Giants.

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