The Cleveland Browns’ 2022 season outlook is starting to gain clarity now that the Deshaun Watson suspension has been finalized. Ohio sports betting is taking shape as well with the Jan. 1 launch date quickly approaching, so Browns fans will be able to place wagers on their team at the end of the 2022 regular season.
One of the most popular types of wagers sports fans place on football games is point spread bets. How did the Browns fare against the spread (ATS) in 2021? Are there any trends Ohio bettors can use to their advantage this season? Let’s take a look.
Browns 2021 Season Against the Spread
The 2021 season was obviously a letdown after Cleveland went 11-5 and made it to the divisional round of the playoffs the year before. The team went 8-9 straight up and was 6-11 against the spread. This means the Browns only covered the spread in six of their games in 2021.
Here is the breakdown of the 2021 Browns’ schedule and the result from a betting standpoint.
|OPPONENT||SCORE||BROWNS SPREAD||RESULT ATS|
|at Kansas City Chiefs||L 29-33||+5.5||W|
|Houston Texans||W 31-21||-13.5||L|
|Chicago Bears||W 26-6||-7.5||W|
|at Minnesota Vikings||W 14-7||-1||W|
|@ LA Chargers||L 42-47||+2.5||L|
|Arizona Cardinals||L 14-37||-3.5||L|
|Denver Broncos||W 17-14||-1.5||W|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||L 10-15||-4.5||L|
|at Cincinnati Bengals||W 41-16||+2.5||W|
|at New England Patriots||L 7-45||+2.5||L|
|Detroit Lions||L 13-10||-12.5||L|
|at Baltimore Ravens||L 10-16||+3.5||L|
|Baltimore Ravens||W 24-22||-3||L|
|Las Vegas Raiders||L 14-16||-3||L|
|@ Green Bay Packers||L 22-24||+7.5||W|
|at Pittsburgh Steelers||L 14-26||+2||L|
|Cincinnati Bengasl||W 21-16||-5.5||L|
Takeaways From the 2021 Season
- Divisional woes: Against the AFC North, the Browns were 1-5 ATS. If you think this was because of their poor season compared to 2020, you’d be wrong. Cleveland was 0-6 ATS in 2020 against the division.
- Road warriors: Of the six games Cleveland covered in 2021, four came on the road.
- Double-digit duds: The Browns didn’t cover the spread in either game they were double-digit favorites in.
- Under-dogs: In four of the games Cleveland covered, the under also hit.
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As of this writing, there are lines available for the first five games of Cleveland’s season. These lines can (and will) change as the offseason and regular season progresses. All of the lines below are from DraftKings with the exception of Week 2. The game against the Jets was found on FanDuel. Most books have pulled this game due to Jets QB Zach Wilson’s injury
Week 1 at Carolina Panthers (Browns +1.5)
If we’re to apply any of the takeaways from last year, bettors would want to take the points Week 1.
Week 2 vs New York Jets (Browns -4.5)
Week 3 vs Pittsburgh Steelers (Browns -4)
The Browns and coach Kevin Stefanski have an ugly 1-11 record against the spread going up against divisional opponents since 2020, so taking the Steelers +4 in Week 3 is the play.
Week 4 at Atlanta Falcons (Browns -4.5)
Looking at the last two years, the Browns have been road favorites five times and covered just twice. The Falcons are underdogs in each of their first three games, so the spread against Atlanta could potentially rise if the Browns enter that game 2-1, making Atlanta an intriguing play.
Week 5 vs LA Chargers (Browns +3)
Week 5 against the Chargers is a line I’m expecting to move. The Browns have been a home underdog under Stefanski just once and that was against Baltimore in 2020 and they didn’t cover. I would take the Chargers -3 in this one, but I doubt the spread will be just a field goal by the time Week 5 rolls around.
AP Photo/Nick Cammett