2022 NFL preview: Cleveland Browns futures, Super Bowl odds, predictions and best bets

Photo of Phil Agius

Phil Agius

NFL · 1 week ago

Show Bio

I've been writing about the NFL and a host of other sports for the UK's top daily betting paper the Racing Post for more than 20 years. An incurable Browns fan (1-31 survivor), I also specialise in all kinds of motorsport betting including F1, MotoGP, IndyCar and NASCAR.

Oh boy. Where to start? The Cleveland Browns are undoubtedly the most difficult of the 32 NFL teams to preview for the 2022 NFL season. If controversial quarterback Deshaun Watson misses only the first 6 games of the season, the rest of the roster still has enough talent to get the team to the playoffs and beyond when he is able to play. If the NFL’s appeal in his case for violating the league’s personal conduct policy turns 6 games into a double-digit number or the whole season, things would look very different.

The Browns had looked a franchise on the rise when reaching the divisional playoffs in 2020, but things went badly wrong in 2021 — with disgruntled players, Covid outbreaks at just the wrong time and quarterback Baker Mayfield playing hurt for the majority of the season. The club retains one of the strongest rosters in the league with a dominant offensive line, elite running-back room and classy cornerbacks, but pretty much everything hinges on what happens in the Watson disciplinary case.

Cleveland Browns breakdown

2021 record: 8-9

2021 ATS record: 7-10

2021 O/U record: 7-10

Key players in: Deshaun Watson (QB), Jacoby Brissett (QB), Josh Dobbs (QB), Josh Rosen (QB), Amari Cooper (WR), Jakeem Grant (WR), Chase Winovich (DE), Taven Bryan (DT), Ethan Pocic (C)

Key players out: Baker Mayfield (QB), Case Keenum (QB), Nick Mullens (QB), Mack Wilson (LB), Rashard Higgins (WR), Jarvis Landry (WR), JC Tretter (C), Austin Hooper (TE), Malik Jackson (DT), Malik McDowell (DT), Troy Hill (CB), MJ Stewart (S)

2022 Draft class: MJ Emerson (CB), Alex Wright (DE), David Bell (WR), Perrion Winfrey (DT), Cade York (K), Jerome Ford (RB), Michael Woods (WR), Isaiah Thomas (DE), Dawson Deaton (C)

Cleveland Browns 2022 NFL season odds

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook unless noted otherwise

Cleveland Browns Super Bowl odds

The Browns are tied for 13th in DraftKings Sportsbook’s odds to win Super Bowl 57 at +2500. They had been 30/1 before the initial ruling of a 6-game suspension in the Watson case.

Cleveland Browns AFC Championship odds

The Browns are tied as 7th favorites to win the AFC at +1200, level with the Colts and only just behind the Bengals (+1100) and Ravens (+1000).

Cleveland Browns AFC North odds

DraftKings is not currently offering odds on the AFC North Division due to the uncertainty over Watson’s availability, but FanDuel Sportsbook has the Browns at +300 for the title behind the Ravens (+160) and Bengals (+180) and well ahead of the Steelers (+950).

Cleveland Browns win total odds

The Browns’ regular-season wins line is at 8.5 with FanDuel Sportsbook, right around the 8-9 mark they posted last season. Over 8.5 wins has odds of +100 with the under at -120. They are +100 to make the playoffs with FanDuel.

Head to our NFL Odds page for odds on all the main NFL betting markets

Cleveland Browns schedule 2022

at Carolina Panthers, September 11
vs New York Jets, September 18
vs Pittsburgh Steelers, September 22

at Atlanta Falcons, October 2
vs Los Angeles Chargers, October 9
vs New England Patriots, October 16
at Baltimore Ravens, October 23
vs Cincinnati Bengals, October 31

BYE
at Miami Dolphins, November 13
at Buffalo Bills, November 20
vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers, November 27

at Houston Texans, December 4
at Cincinnati Bengals, December 11
vs Baltimore Ravens, December 18
vs New Orleans Saints, December 24

at Washington Commanders, January 1
at Pittsburgh Steelers, January 8

We’ll have NFL picks for EVERY matchup of the 2022 season

Cleveland Browns 2021 season recap

The Browns’ high hopes for 2021 were sunk under relentless waves of injuries, illness and dysfunctional relationships. Things started out well enough on the surface with 3 wins and narrow losses to the Chiefs and Chargers in games they should really have won, but things went badly wrong in the Week 6 loss to the Cardinals — as Mayfield aggravated a shoulder injury he suffered earlier in the season. It affected his play for the rest of the year (Case Keenum started 2 games and Nick Mullens another), and his toxic relationship with wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. led to Beckham being released in November.

The Browns alternated promising and poor performances for much of the rest of the year. A Covid-ravaged squad led by Mullens fought well in a 16-14 loss to the Raiders and they suffered another costly defeat when Mayfield threw 4 interceptions at Green Bay on Christmas Day. Completing a sweep over the Super Bowl-bound Bengals in Week 18 was not enough for a winning record.

Read our Super Bowl 57 predictions and best bets, including a +4500 longshot

Cleveland Browns 2022 NFL season predictions

Anyone’s guess on this question is as valid as anyone else’s at this stage. The Browns proved last year they can still win these days even when missing bunches of key players and getting poor quarterback play, so even an extended spell of Jacoby Brissett at QB is not insurmountable. If Watson’s punishment remains at 6 games, the Browns have the schedule that could see them go 3-3 or 4-2 and be ready to roll when Watson is allowed to play. At this stage, we don’t even know for sure if he will be allowed to play this year.

The rest of the roster remains strong, with one of the best offensive lines in the league, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt leading the ground game and elite route runner Amari Cooper brought in to be the new No. 1 receiver. The Browns have some great young cornerbacks, Myles Garett and Jadeveon Clowney coming off the edge and second-season linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah looking set for stardom. They even drafted a kicker in Cade York, who might just be the answer to years of costly PAT and field-goal misses. None of that might matter unless they can resolve their QB situation, though. What we have here is a playoff-caliber team whose chances could hinge on events that are nothing to do with football.

Check out our analysis of the Defensive Player of the Year odds

Best bet: Cleveland Browns under 8.5 wins (-120)

There’s no incentive to get involved in any early action on the Browns until we have more certainty about how their season will look. The value play could even be to take a swing at them to win the division, but at this point — with the potential for an unlimited suspension for Watson — the sensible play has to be to take the under on their regular-season wins. There’s no enthusiasm for that bet, though. Brissett might prove to be just as good as the version of Mayfield we saw last year and the defense and special teams support should be stronger. Kevin Stefanski won Coach of the Year two years ago and he already has plenty of experience in battling through adversity.

Cleveland Browns season record predictions

Having taken the under, it’s still hard to see this year turning into a tank-athon for the Browns and there’s just too much talent on the roster for them to be a hopeless case just because their planned QB upgrade has backfired (pretty spectacularly) to this point. Even so, with the prospect of an even longer suspension for Watson incoming, it’s best to leave the Browns looking at something around a 7-10 record or maybe a repeat of last year’s equally disappointing 8-9 year.

Take a look at our best bets to win the AFC this season

Pickswise is the home of free expert NFL Picks and NFL Odds. Be sure to check out all of our season previews and NFL Futures Bets leading up to the 2022 NFL season.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 Risk-Free Bets!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

BetMGM

$200

Get $200 in Free Bets & a PICKSWISE HAT!

Sign up for a new account with BetMGM, and make a deposit of $10+.

Place a $10 moneyline wager on any team

Win $200 in free bets and a FREE Pickswise hat

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at BetMGM Sportsbook.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$250

Bet One, Get One: FanDuel will match your first bet placed up to $250 in free bets

Sign up for a new account with FanDuel Sportsbook

Deposit at least $10 into your account

FanDuel will match your first bet up to $250 in Free Bets!

Must be 21+ in CO. First deposit of at least $10 required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at fanduel.com/sportsbook.

DraftKings

$100

Bet $5+ on MLB and get $100 in Free Bets Instantly!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on any MLB team to win their next game

Win $100 no matter what!

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Risk-Free Bets!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,500

Get up to $1,500 Risk-Free First Bet!

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Make your first deposit of $50+

If your first bet is not a winner, get it all back as a free bet (up to $1,100) if you lose!

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

Yahoo DFS

$25

Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.

TVG

$200

Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.