The NFL is officially underway now that the first episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” is in the books. This season’s show features the Cleveland Browns. While viewers love the drama of NFL training camp, many teams avoid appearing on “Hard Knocks” because the cameras can be a distraction. The Browns have nowhere to go but up, so why not let cameras into camp?
There was a bit of innocence with teams participating on “Hard Knocks” in the early days of the show that started in 2001. Since the show started it seems as if players are overly aware that the cameras are on. Jarvis Landry trying to make “bless him” a cool catchphrase is so fetch. Of course, we’ll never forget J.J. Watt using “Hard Knocks” as an infomercial for himself.
Ironically, that Houston Texans team is one of two “Hard Knocks” teams to finish above their season win total in the past five years. The recent history of teams appearing on “Hard Knocks” doesn’t offer a strong trend against their win total set by the sportsbooks. The Rams (2016) and Bucs (2017) didn’t come close to reaching their projected win total.
2013 – Cincinnati Bengals – Preseason win total: 8.5 – actual win total: 11 – Result: Over
2014 – Atlanta Falcons – Preseason win total: 8 – actual win total: 6 – Result: Under
2015 – Houston Texans – Preseason win total: 8.5 – actual win total: 9 – Result: Over
2016 – Los Angeles Rams – Preseason win total: 7 – actual win total: 4 – Result: Under
2017 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Preseason win total: 8.5 – actual win total: 5 – Result: Under
Betting on the Cleveland Browns now
The Browns enter the season with limited expectations. After all, a single win is an improvement on the winless 2017 season. The 2018 season win total for the Browns at the Westgate in Las Vegas is currently six wins. There’s a lean to the under at -130. The Browns winning more than six games is +160.
Wagers on whether the Browns will make the playoffs at the Westgate tells a similar story. The odds on the Cleveland Browns to make the playoffs is leaning very much to the No. The Browns are -650 (bet $650 to win $100) not to make the playoffs. The odds of the Browns making the playoffs are +450 (bet $100 to win $450).
Maybe the season isn’t over already for the Cleveland Browns. The odds listed for them to win the AFC North are +1000. That’s not the worst in the division. The Cincinnati Bengals have the longest odds to win the AFC North at +1600. In case you’re curious, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the favorite to win the division at -260.
While we’re looking at current Cleveland Browns odds at the Westgate, they’re +4000 to win the AFC and +8000 to win the Super Bowl.
If you have “Hard Knocks” fever you can wager on their first preseason game of the year versus the New York Giants. The Browns are currently a -1 favorite at the Westgate. The game has a total of 34.5 if you think there will (or won’t) be a lot of points scored. Here’s a place to start if you’re looking to handicap the preseason games. Baker Mayfield will start the season as the backup to Tyrod Taylor but should see “extensive work” during the preseason.