Cleveland Browns: 5 reasons to pump the brakes on expectations
Cleveland Browns fans should never be overconfident, so as a public service, here are five reasons to pump the brakes on the team we love.
There’s every expectation that 2021 is going to be one of the most exciting years that the Cleveland Browns have had in their history. The good news is that the Pros-the professional oddsmaking sites like Betsided — are now saying the Browns are a slight favorite to edge the Baltimore Ravens, who have managed to partially self-destruct in the preseason.
Cleveland is +1200 to win the Super Bowl according to WynnBet, while the Ravens are +1800, the reverse of the trends from the offseason. This is partially due to acquisitions by the Browns but also due to the loss of three starters by the Ravens in their drive to set records for winning in the preseason (I did not make this up, I’m just reporting the news).
However, Cleveland hasn’t played one snap yet and it is not time to get delirious. The fact of the matter is, our team always wins the off-season, and in fact, the 2017 team that went 0-17 won all four pre-season games.
For those who are confidently projecting the Browns are going to win like 13 or 14 wins, are you crazy? Us math geeks are going to tell you that teams need to be lucky to win that many games, rather than good. For example, the Steelers won 12 games last season, but the Ravens actually scored more points and gave up fewer points and the Ravens wound up winning only 11 games.
The gory details are on page 7 of this article. For now, let’s just say that if you believe in probability theory, a team that averages 13-4 consistently, should be about 12-point favorites over an average team on a neutral field. That’s kind of crazy. Usually, a team that wins that many games (say, the 2020 Buffalo Bills at 13-3 or the Pittsburgh Steelers at 12-4), there’s an element of luck involved.
For example, the Baltimore Ravens had a higher point differential than either of those teams but they went 11-5. The statheads would say that the Bills or Steelers could have just as easily gone 10-6 had they been unlucky instead of lucky.
So here are five reasons why the Browns might well be good enough to win the Super Bowl, but it may or may not happen for them. That’s why they play the games.
First of all, the Browns play in a very rough neighborhood. The AFC North is a tough place to have to live in and make a living.