Prior to the start of every NFL season, we always see a team or two emerge as sexy dark horse picks for bettors. Some of those teams end up living up to the expectations, while others fall flat on their face. Prior to the start of the 2019 season, it was the Cleveland Browns who were getting a whole lot of love. They appeared to have their franchise QB in place, plus they went out and addressed some needs in free agency. It ended up being a total disaster, though, as the Browns imploded and ended up firing their head coach at the end of the season. Hope springs eternal in Cleveland, though, and the hope is that the new coaching staff and some new player additions will make things better. Let’s take a closer look at their 2020 schedule and NFL odds.
Cleveland Browns Schedule Analysis
Strength of Schedule
If there is anything positive to be taken from a poor season, it’s that the strength of schedule the following year tends to fall in your favor. While that is certainly the case for the Cleveland Browns this coming season, it is worth remembering that they have been in this position countless times before. This is an organization that has taken losing to a whole new level, so until they prove otherwise, the strength of schedule may not really mean that much. Still, if the Browns can step it up, they do have a decent shot, as they will be facing teams who ended last season with a combined record of 118-138.
Can the Browns Get Out of Their Own Way?
Cleveland certainly had what looked to be a very good roster on paper last season, but too many players underachieved and let the side down. Myles Garrett losing his mind against the Steelers and getting suspended did not help, while Odell Beckham Jr. actively campaigning to get out of town was another issue. QB Baker Mayfield also had a down year, but he also had little help from his O-line. The Browns have addressed that issue this offseason, so there is hope of an improvement.
Primetime and Featured Games
Last season, everyone appeared to be on board the Browns bandwagon, which included the national TV networks, who had the Browns playing in 4 primetime games. The networks appear to have soured a little on Cleveland for this coming season, though, as they will only be making 2 appearances, with both games coming at home, this year. Their first foray into primetime comes on Thursday night in Week 2 of the season, when the Browns will host the Cincinnati Bengals in an AFC North duel. It will be another divisional tussle in Week 14, when the Browns will square off against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night.
You look at the Browns schedule and you see no real stretches where they might get bogged down or run into serious trouble. If they are going to make a run at the playoffs, though, it will be games against the Steelers and Ravens in the final 4 weeks of the season that might make or break them.
The Cleveland Browns Complete Schedule
- Week 1, Sep. 13: at Ravens, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Week 2, Sep. 17: vs. Bengals(Thursday Night Football), 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network
- Week 3, Sep. 27: vs. Redskins, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
- Week 4, Oct. 4: at Cowboys, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
- Week 5, Oct. 11: vs. Colts, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS
- Week 6, Oct. 18: at Steelers, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Week 7, Oct. 25: at Bengals, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Week 8, Nov. 1: vs. Raiders, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
- Week 9: BYE
- Week 10, Nov. 15: vs. Texans, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
- Week 11, Nov. 22: vs. Eagles, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
- Week 12, Nov. 29: at Jaguars, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Week 13, Dec. 6: at Titans, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Week 14, Dec 14: vs. Ravens (Monday Night Football), 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
- Week 15, Dec. 20: at Giants, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Week 16, Dec 26/27: at Jets, TBD
- Week 17, Jan. 3: vs. Steelers, 1 p.m. ET, CBS