NFL Betting: Cleveland Browns 2018 Season Recap

Photo of the pickswise logo
Photo of Ricky Dimon

Ricky Dimon

NFL · 3 years ago

Show Bio

Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The Cleveland Browns won a football game. Then they won another game. Then they fired their head coach. Then they won again; and again; and again; and again; and again. Yes, the Cleveland bleepin’ Browns—who went 0-16 in 2017 and 1-15 one season prior to that—won seven football games in 2018. No, their 7-8-1 record was not enough to get into the playoffs but it was a smashing success by this franchise’s recent standards. Here, though, the real question: did they make anyone any money? Unsurprisingly given their surprising success, the answer to that question is yes. Let’s take a look at the Cleveland Browns Betting Recap for the 2018 NFL season.

Baker’s half-dozen

Cleveland started the season with Tyrod Taylor as its quarterback and Hue Jackson as its head coach. The change under center came in Week 3, when Taylor went down with a concussion during first-half action against the Jets on a Thursday night. Enter No. 1 overall pick and Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. The former Oklahoma signal-caller promptly led the Browns to a 21-17 win over New York and just like that his career was off to the races. Following three unspectacular starts, Mayfield delivered two straight performances against Pittsburgh and Kansas City with more touchdown passes than interceptions (a combined four TDs and one INT in those two outings). Jackson got the boot on the heels of his team’s loss to the Steelers, which dropped it to 2-5-1. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams took over for Jackson and Mayfield did not miss a beat–throwing nine scoring strikes while getting picked off only once in the next three games, a stretch that included victories over Atlanta and Cincinnati. By the time the 2019 campaign came to end, Mayfield had won six games as a starter (not including the win over the Jets).

Browns Against the Spread

Only one team was more profitable against the spread than Cleveland, as the upstart Bears compiled a 12-4 ATS mark on the way to the NFC North crown. The Browns tied for second with New Orleans in this department, going 10-6 ATS. Obviously underdogs in the early stages given their futility in 2018, the Browns were 3-0 ATS through three weeks despite being 1-1-1 straight up. They went on to cover spreads in losses on two other occasions, against the Buccaneers in Week 7 and in the regular-season finale against Baltimore.

Browns Over/Under

The Browns did not do as much for bettors when it came to over/unders. They were basically even at 7-8-1 O/U, a mark that is hardly a surprise considering the team was basically in the middle of the pack–albeit slightly toward the bottom of the NFL–in both points scored (20th) and points allowed (21st). Cleveland’s defense improved dramatically late in the year, so even though Mayfield also found his footing at the same time the under was generally the play throughout November and December. The under went 4-1-1 during a six-game stretch until the over hit in the finale (a 26-24 setback against the Ravens that kept Pittsburgh out of the playoffs).

Won’t be sneaking up in 2019

The Cleveland Browns are +3000 to win Super Bowl LIV. That makes them a long-shot by some standards, but not by theirs. Heck, by the Browns’ standards over much of the past three decades we might as well start planning the parade! They have better odds than 49ers, Giants, Panthers, Titans, Bengals, Jaguars, Jets, Buccaneers, Broncos, Redskins, Lions, Dolphins, Bills, Cardinals, and Raiders.

Mayfield should only improve in year two, in part because he now has an offensive-minded head coach in Freddie Kitchens. Moreover, Cleveland’s running back stable now features Nick Chubb (who was also a rookie in 2018) and recently acquired Kareem Hunt. Of course, Hunt may be suspended for most if not all of the upcoming campaign; but Chubb appears to be capable of shouldering the load even if that turns out to be the case. The Browns finally became a team on the rise in 2019; does that mean next season is playoffs or bust?

Virginia Bonuses

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook


Get a $1,000 No Sweat First Bet

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account and make your first deposit of $10+

Place your first bet up to $1,000!

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

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at



Bet $5+ on any NFL Pre-Game ML, Get $200 If Your Bet Wins

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

Bet $5+ on any NFL pre-game ML

Win $200 if your team wins

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.



Get a $100 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $100 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $100

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



Get 4x $200 In Free Bets

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Bet up to $200 and If you lose, you get a refund

You will receive Free Bet(s) in the amount of the losing wager(s), up to $200 each for four days.

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

Caesars Sportsbook


Get a $1,250 risk-free bet

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Place your first bet of $10 or more

If your first bet loses, you’ll receive a refund up to $1,250 from Caesars in free bets

21+. Terms and conditions apply.



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.



Get Your First Bet Risk-Free Up To $500

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make your first deposit & get up to $500 in free bets

To get $500 in free bets, wager $500

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



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.



Get 5x $100 in Free Bets With PointsBet's Second Chance

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.



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.



Get $2,000 in 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.

Monkey Knife Fight


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.

Yahoo DFS


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.



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.



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

Open your 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.