NFL betting buzz from Cleveland has been incredibly positive as Eric Mangini begins his second NFL gambling campaign as head coach with a revamped roster.
Mike Holmgren was brought in from retirement to run the Browns and one of the first big moves he made was getting rid of both quarterbacks Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn, neither of whom could gain traction for the starting job.
Holmgren instead brought in veteran Jake Delhomme from the Carolina Panthers after he had the worst year of his career in 2009.
While the move was not celebrated at the time it has been in preseason as Delhomme looks renewed on the field and has brought a much needed element of professionalism and leadership to the locker room that could be a key factor in the Browns being a top value with the NFL betting odds.
“I feel really good about the progress we’ve made, the strides we’ve made,” said Mangini. “The second year is different. Guys understand expectations. There are so many things that you don’t have to cover because they get it and they become teachers to people who are new and that helps a lot.”
The Browns will not have an easy go of it in the ultra tough AFC North that features the defending champion Cincinnati Bengals, the 2010 favorite Baltimore Ravens, and the 2008 Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.
But while the Browns will be consistent underdogs with the NFL betting lines they have the potential to cover the numbers as a value-added dog.
Mangini was considered fired heading into the final month of the season but Cleveland rallied to win 4 games to close out the season and Holmgren, a former coach, was impressed that they didn’t quit.
“Often times when you’re having a season like that, all of a sudden the bags are packed, the cars are running, and they’re playing it out,” said Holmgren. “That didn’t happen here. That’s a credit to Eric, his coaching staff, and certainly the players.”
Cleveland split its first two NFL betting exhibitions but Delhomme has looked sharp. In last week’s 19-17 home loss to the St. Louis Rams in a driving rain storm Delhomme went 12-16 for 127 yards.