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2005 Cleveland Browns NFL Handicapping Review


By Tom Wilkinson


Entering the 2004 season there was considerable confusion amongst the sports handicapping community as to just who the Cleveland Browns were. Where they the 9-7 playoff team of 2002 or the 5-11 fraud of 2003? Head coach Butch Davis was under the gun heading into the season, but a 20-3 opening week home win against habitual playoff team Baltimore as 3-point dogs inspired hope at the Dog Pound, and impressed many sports betting players.

Cleveland traveled to meet another 2003 playoff team in their next game at Dallas, which they lost 12-19 as 5-point dogs. They lost again at the Giants both straight up and against the sports betting odds before coming home and facing Washington as a 3-point dog. No matter what Cleveland’s struggles were, Washington was clearly over-valued as a home favorite, largely due to Joe Gibbs return as head coach. Cleveland made those who reached with Washington on their football picks list pay, defeating the Redskins 17-13 to even their record at 2-2. After losing at Pittsburgh both straight up and against the sports betting odds the Browns beat Cincinnati at home 34-17 to put sports betting players wagering on the Browns in the black, and evened their record at 3-3. Next came a “defining moment” game for Davis and the Browns.

NFC favorite Philadelphia came calling at Cleveland as a 7-point favorite on the sports betting odds boards. Cleveland played their hearts out and nearly pulled off the upset before losing in overtime 34-31. The draining defeat came before the bye week as Cleveland fell to 3-4. It turned out that the loss would destroy the Browns’ season.

Cleveland never got over the heartbreaking loss to the Eagles and seemed to quit, blowing seven consecutive games both straight up and against the sports betting odds, which forced Davis to resign under intense fire during the debacle. Sports betting players abandoned the Browns in droves and many online sports betting blogs featured members of the sports handicapping fraternity heading their list of football picks with whoever was playing against Cleveland.

Once all value was shot and everyone turned against Cleveland, however, they beat the sports betting odds in their last two games, as the opposition was clearly overpriced at online sports betting boards.









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