The Browns are, for the second year in a row, the worst team in the NFL. But they’re also, for the second year in a row, the worst team in the NFL to bet on.
The Browns are an NFL-worst 2-8 against the spread this year. They were also an NFL-worst 3-12-1 against the spread last year. As bad as the Browns are, they’re consistently even worse than the oddsmakers think they’ll be. No matter how high the point spread, the Browns find a way to under-perform it.
That happened on Sunday against the Jaguars, who were favored by 7.5 points. Cleveland was down just 10-7 midway through the fourth quarter, and the Browns +7.5 was looking like a pretty good bet. But DeShone Kizer had three turnovers in the fourth quarter, the Jaguars got nine points off those three turnovers, and Jacksonville ended up covering the point spread with a 19-7 win.
Bad teams aren’t always bad against the spread. The 49ers have this year’s second-worst record at 1-9, but they’re 5-5 against the spread. The 0-16 Lions of 2008 went 7-9 against the spread. Bad teams aren’t always bad bets, but the Browns are just a special kind of bad.