Las Vegas Not Buying Holmgren’s “Pretty Good Jump” Promise

by Cleveland Frowns on May 16, 2012

If you thought it was hard enough to believe Mike Homgren last week when he said he expected the 2012 Browns to make “a pretty good jump,” here comes the people who risk real money on these promises to say that if Pat Shurmur’s charges are going to make any kind of significant jump next season, it’ll be backward.

As reported last week, Cantor Gaming, which operates the sports books at seven of Las Vegas’s largest and most popular casino resorts, including Hard Rock, Tropicana, Venetian, Palazzo, and the Palms, has released point spreads for the first 16 weeks of the 2012  NFL season, now open for public wagering; and the Cleveland Browns aren’t favored to win a football game in a single one of these 16 weeks.

Here’s the breakdown:

Week 1. Eagles (-7) at Browns
Week 2. Browns (+7) at Bengals
Week 3. Bills (-1) at Browns
Week 4. Browns (+10) at Ravens
Week 5. Browns (+9.5) at Giants
Week 6. Bengals (-2) at Browns
Week 7. Browns (+3) at Colts
Week 8. Chargers (-3.5) at Browns
Week 9. Ravens (-5.5) at Browns
Week 10. BYE [Presumably also favored over Browns LOLOL be here all week.]
Week 11. Browns (+7.5) at Cowboys
Week 12. Steelers (-6) at Browns
Week 13. Browns (+4.5) at Raiders
Week 14. Chiefs (-1.5) at Browns
Week 15. Redskins (-1) at Browns
Week 16. Browns (+8.5) at Broncos
Week 17. Browns at Steelers [No line for this one, but let’s guess Steelers rest starters for playoffs, still favored by 7.]

Notably, these numbers were released after the Browns added at least three presumable starters, including a star running back, in last month’s draft. And while it’s fair to point out that pre-season predictions are just pre-season predictions, and often wrong, again, this is different in that these guys are taking real wagers on the ones here. (Covers.com reports that “[t]his is by far the earliest Cantor has ever done this.”)

The point spreads reflect bettors’ perceptions of the Browns chances in 2012, and while these perceptions too can be grossly inaccurate (and will be adjusted in real time as the season progresses), there’s always an element of extremely intelligent and well-informed bettors, those who make a living at it, who influence these numbers. And though the Browns did end last season on a four game win streak against the spread, they lost every one of those games to opponents who well understood by that point that they wouldn’t have to open the playbook or show up any more than semi-conscious to beat the Browns.

So it’s Fifty Million Dollar Mike on one side, and Vegas (and the folks at NFL.com) on the other. Who’s feeling lucky?

—————

About that NFL.com column that was edited to delete references to the probability that the 2012 Browns finish 0-16, a Berea insider told us that the column was edited in response to Holmgren having called the league office to complain. The folks at Cantor Gaming might want to screen calls this week.

  • ChuckKoz

    i like the browns +7 in week one. but i am generally unsucesseful at wagering.

    ________

    unrelated: lebron missing freethrows is definitely a result of management not surrounding him with better players. not a choke. i mean, seriously, Joel Anthony just there in his visual field. poor lebron, he can never catch a break.

    • Beeej

      Thanks Chuck. I’ll take the Eagles.

    • ClevelandFrowns

      I don’t remember LeBron missing big free throws when he was in Cleveland so I don’t really see your point there.

      • Beeej

        *hint* left handed

      • ChuckKoz

        its true, when you are either standing in the corner during the final minutes (2011) or getting blown out (2010), you are not on the free throw line much at crucial moments. however, there still are examples. lets take a look at 2009 versus Orlando:

        Game 1: Orlando by 1
        – Lebron scores a bunch of points, but goes 6-10 from the line, including a miss in the final 90 seconds. that 1 miss sort of a big deal.

        Game 3: Orlando by 10
        – Lebron scores a bunch of points, but goes 7-12 from the line in the 4th quarter, twice going 0-2 from the line when the Cavs had cut deficit down to 6 w/ just 2 minutes left. no way to defend 7-12 in the 4th quarter of a crucial/close game.

        Game 4: Orlando by 2 (in OT)
        – Lebron goes 4-6 at the line in the 4th. not that unreasonable, but 1 more make and there is no need for OT (where his barrage of 4 turnovers would be the reason for the loss….but i guess i will let you blame those on teammates

        Game 6: Orlando by 12
        – The Cavs quit trying, so 4th quarter freethrows were not an issue…and even though there is video evidence of LB not trying very much, you can blame that one on Mo williams too.

        ______________

        but hey, i am sure this is just going to be dismissed as nitpicking to the loyal lebron crowd. and since i am now lebron-neutral, I dont really care. just think its funny that people are so bent on make excuses for a guy that clearly wilts in the key moments. and its not lebrons fault. he knew is flaws, which is why he went to sign with Wade/Bosh. Now i just wish his endless defenders would just move on and admit his deep flaws at the end of games, which makes it highly unlikely we would have ever one in cleveland even with better teammates around him

        (note: i was wondering what any of those moves would be, btw….i mean, some of the teammate problems were by virtue of having bad FA classes whenever we had cap space….i seriously would like to hear what could have been done different)

        • ClevelandFrowns

          Yeah, nitpicking. And I dont have the time to pull up the list of LeBron’s great moments in the clutch, as long as any player’s in the league today, which includes some of the greatest clutch performances/shots in history, so we can just leave it at that.

          • ChuckKoz

            its silly that you are still defending him at this point. you must not watch the games. that’s all i can think of to explain this.

          • ClevelandFrowns

            I watched on Sunday when he had 32, 15 and 5, including, what was it, 24? in the second half to lead his team back from a halftime deficit with Bosh lost to injury and Wade shooting at 33%.

            Your LeBron Derangement Syndrome might actually be the worst case I’ve ever seen.

          • Metcalfupthemiddle

            I don’t think he is really defending him as much as he is just stating the truth.

            Listen, I hope the guy never wins a ring. But the fact remains he is a once in a lifetime athlete that we got to watch for 7 years in our backyard.

            You can hate the player, but don’t hate his game.

          • ChuckKoz

            Sorry, you only get noticed when you do shitty stuff against the Pacers. That’s just the way the world works. He can get credit for big games when they are not against the Pacers.

            Look, he can easily prove me wrong by not having his season end in the pathetic way. That doesnt even mean winning a title (although that obviously is the standard for any superstar at this stage in their career), but how about not just ending a series with everyone being so baffled at how poorly he played like last year.

            (except you, i suppose…because you probably didnt see anything wrong with the dallas series last year)

          • NeedsFoodBadly

            Saw a stat last night that showed FT percentages in the last minute of the game for some Heat players – LBJ was around 58%, whereas Wade, Chalmers, etc. were 80% or more.

            The sample size was a little small, but there you go.

          • Petefranklin

            Should have worked on his freebies instead of his half courters I guess. I still think he’s a girlie man because of faking an injury to his right elbow, then practicing long shots shortly thereafter.

        • ChuckKoz

          either way, i am confident Bosh comes back and they get to the finals, then lose in 6 to the Spurs.

          heat blow things up (probably trade bosh) which may or may not work in 2013.

          then back to cleveland in 2014.

          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

            yes. spurs. they look really really good.

            and a popovich-spoelstra matchup? my god. the carnage. the humanity. we could see keith dambrot named miami head coach before the end of june.

          • maxfnmloans

            Popovich could outcoach Spolestra with his frontal lobe tied behind his back

          • NeedsFoodBadly

            Confident? Wasn’t it stated that Bosh would be out for the series?

          • ChuckKoz

            they can beat Indiana w/out Bosh. they just need him for Boston.

          • NeedsFoodBadly

            Gotcha, misread your statement.

          • http://twitter.com/musicman06 Chris Music

            I wouldn’t be so sure about the Heat winning this series. The Pacers are long in their starting lineup (4 guys 6’8″+ and their PG is 6’2″), and they play tough tough defense. They’ve got a solid 8 man rotation (perfect for the postseason) with Collison, Hansbrough, and Barbosa off the bench. The one thing that especially stuck out for me after Game 2 was David West. The guy was pleading for the team to get their asses off the floor after the horn. Later he told Cheryl Miller that there’s no celebrating yet over just one win, and that they didn’t plan on winning just one game this series. Larry Legend’s cutthroat nature is rubbing off on at least one guy on the roster…

            As indicated earlier, Miami’s players outside of Wade/Bron/Bosh have played like garbage. I can’t believe that Coach Spo said with a straight face last night that Chalmers was the first or second option on that play. Mr. Young hit the nail on the head with that assessment:

            https://twitter.com/#!/RealMYoung23/status/202580922183331840

            I just hope that “Don” Stern doesn’t flex his muscle ala Kings/Lakers a decade ago, if Indy takes Game 3. With the Pacers high foul rate in the regular season it sure can be rationalized a bit, if all of a sudden Wade/Bron combine to shoot 30+ FT in a future game.

            Now I feel like I just submitted a Cheddar Bay pick for this series…

          • ChuckKoz

            all good points. IMO, the real ref problem will be in a game 7 in MIA. that is why Indy needs to win games 3 AND 4.

          • ClevelandFrowns

            NICE. Practice makes perfect. It really is right around the corner.

          • BIKI024

            David West has had that Larry-like nastiness since his Xavier days.. one of the last tough guys Matta ever coached..

      • ChuckKoz

        its true, when you are either standing in the corner during the final minutes (2011) or getting blown out (2010), you are not on the free throw line much at crucial moments. however, there still are examples. lets take a look at 2009 versus Orlando:

        Game 1: Orlando by 1
        – Lebron scores a bunch of points, but goes 6-10 from the line, including a miss in the final 90 seconds. that 1 miss sort of a big deal.

        Game 3: Orlando by 10
        – Lebron scores a bunch of points, but goes 7-12 from the line in the 4th quarter, twice going 0-2 from the line when the Cavs had cut deficit down to 6 w/ just 2 minutes left. no way to defend 7-12 in the 4th quarter of a crucial/close game.

        Game 4: Orlando by 2 (in OT)
        – Lebron goes 4-6 at the line in the 4th. not that unreasonable, but 1 more make and there is no need for OT (where his barrage of 4 turnovers would be the reason for the loss….but i guess i will let you blame those on teammates

        Game 6: Orlando by 12
        – The Cavs quit trying, so 4th quarter freethrows were not an issue…and even though there is video evidence of LB not trying very much, you can blame that one on Mo williams too.

        ______________

        but hey, i am sure this is just going to be dismissed as nitpicking to the loyal lebron crowd. and since i am now lebron-neutral, I dont really care. just think its funny that people are so bent on make excuses for a guy that clearly wilts in the key moments. and its not lebrons fault. he knew is flaws, which is why he went to sign with Wade/Bosh. Now i just wish his endless defenders would just move on and admit his deep flaws at the end of games, which makes it highly unlikely we would have ever one in cleveland even with better teammates around him

        (note: i was wondering what any of those moves would be, btw….i mean, some of the teammate problems were by virtue of having bad FA classes whenever we had cap space….i seriously would like to hear what could have been done different)

      • Believelander

        He actually missed plenty of pressure free throws in Cleveland. It was one of the few indictments on his skills, though I always claimed it was the natural statistical progression of his free throw percentage and the method in which memory functions.

        Now I’m less sure. GO PACERS

    • Jim

      Re: Lebron, I definitely agree. I don’t think him missing two free throws with a minute left is prima facie evidence that he “choked.” That loss is more on players two through ten who gave the Heat nothing. 9-34 from the field from everyone not named Wade and Lebron. That is 2006-2007 Cavs-level of incompetence.

      As much as people denigrate the teammates put around Lebron while in Cleveland (and for the most part, rightly so), outside of two big free agency signings (Lebron and Bosh), the Heat have been terribly constructed. Mike Miller, Joel Anthony, Ronnie Turiaf (who starts!), and James Jones should not be getting playing time in the postseason, let alone significant playing time. It appears Pat Riley has succumbed the philosophy of building “around” Lebron rather than “with” him.

      • ClevelandFrowns

        Nice.

      • manc

        Riley should’ve never, ever let that “we’re gonna win not five, not six, not seven” rally go forward. Every year the Heat doesn’t win it all (and it ain’t gonna happen w/out Bosh) the pressure gets worse on LBJ.

        • Petefranklin

          Just because Riley has rings doesn’t mean that he earned them.

    • ChuckKoz
      • mo_by_dick

        ridiculous, ridiculous play, and his comments afterward were laughable.

        • NeedsFoodBadly

          Sour grapes! Vogel was saying he wanted the team to use the same strategy as the Mavericks. Wade’s just acting like a baby.

      • ClevelandFrowns

        Yup. And it will be his fault if the Heat lose. A miracle if LeBron can keep that from happening.

        • ChuckKoz

          I see you are now just messing with me….perhaps part of the diagnostic test for LeBron Derangement Syndrome….but i will not allow myself to get worked up…

          • ClevelandFrowns

            /scribblesinnotebook /nods /morescribbles

          • CleveLandThatILove

            You know, people at work are starting to look at me funny when they walk by my office. Might have something to do with me laughing out loud, all by myself.

          • ClevelandFrowns

            /picksupCLTILnotebook /scribblescribblescribblescribblescribble /shakesheadsomberly /scribblescribble /whiskey

      • BIKI024

        Wade missed the easiest layup of his life there at the end too.. oh well, love that Larry the Legend is getting some love for the drafting he’s done in Indy… Paul George hopefully is getting some new fans, that dude can ball

        • ClevelandFrowns

          SUPERFAN!!!

        • NeedsFoodBadly

          Paul George has made a fan out of me. Thinking about getting his jersey, it’ll make a nice companion to my OSU Eddie George jersey.

    • Jim

      I’m typically in agreement with the whole “Lebron has issues in crunch time” line of thinking, but I’m not sure the 2009 Orlando series provides support. I also don’t think missing two free throws is proof of “choking.” Zac Lowe has a really good article breaking down the last few minutes of last night’s game:

      http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/05/16/lebron-james-heat/?sct=hp_t11_a0&eref=sihp

  • Dood

    worse than that, in which one of these games would you be inclined to take the points?

    • kjn

      If forced, +8.5 at Denver in week 16. On the grounds that the playoff picture may be set by then and their starters will be sitting.

      • ClevelandFrowns

        Yup. That’s about the only one I’d feel good about, and for that reason.

      • Petefranklin

        Week 2 for a outright win, if not then double up week 3, if not then it’s oh crap time and I’ll let biki know where to send the hundo. That is unless the Eagles plane crashes and the Browns get out of a goose egg in the win column in week 1!

  • Beeej

    “The folks at Cantor Gaming might want to screen calls this week.” Brilliant!!!

    Have they released the O/U for games won yet? I would love to see it at “1.” Biki would be all over it, and I think he would lose it for the third (4th?) year in a row. Just kidding Biki.

    • BIKI024

      i’m 100% taking the over, whatever it is.. having a Top 5 RB in the NFL will win you 5 or 6 games just on his back alone.. looking forward to Weeden winning a couple more.. 7-9 is my call

      • Petefranklin

        LOL double up?

        • BIKI024

          whatever you want boss, i’ll have my customary 15 dimes on it.. (tribe lookin like they’ll be one win closer to hitting the over 75.5. need them to hit so i at least push)

          • Petefranklin

            Sure….you want juicy juice on over 6.5?

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    So you’re saying that Holmgren’s insider information is giving Cleveland fans a pretty good value in Vegas on betting lines then? Isn’t this a good thing? 🙂

    • ClevelandFrowns

      I guess that depends on whether or not he calls Cantor.

      • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

        Maybe Holmgren should set up an 800 number to sell picks to Browns fans. It could be another revenue stream. “I’m 35-2 against the spread this season! You can’t afford NOT to call 1-800-HolmysPicks.”

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    At WFNY, Rick and I have a bet (with no payoff) about who will be favored in the game against the Redskins. I think the Browns will be favored. He thinks the Skins will be favored. Obviously a lot of it comes down to injuries, so it might be a meaningless bet by then, but we’ll see.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      The skins have that overrated new QB, but the Browns lost their star DT.
      Could both teams lose?

      • Petefranklin

        RG III breaks out the hammer to put the final 16 pinny into Daquari drinking H’s coffin, just watch!

  • Brian Sipe

    WOW… anyone knoe the over/under on wins this year? I am guessing 5.5?

    • ClevelandFrowns

      I’m guessing around 4.

      • BIKI024

        my guess is 6, but would love 4

      • Petefranklin

        Like biki said TR should be good for5 himself, at least in the publics eye, but….season totals get hammered into shape by the wiseguys.Its gonna be 5.5 with heavy juice on the under IMO.

  • bupalos

    I get the point, but on paper that really is a nasty schedule. Offhand I’d say it’s nastier than Mangini’s “miracle” 5-11 year. Chiefs looks like the best $ bet to me, I think things should be clicking a bit on offense by then and their QB situation is similarly funky. Then I’m seeing 2 division wins, and I think they’ll grab two out of Bills/Colts/Chargers/Redskins. So I think we’re poised for another 5-11 miracle year!

    • Brian Sipe

      but Mangini’s miracle year was with Jake Delhomme and Seneca and a no name running back in Hillis. This year they are on 3 years of drafting and have guys like Richardson… Excuses need to stop at some point.

      • bupalos

        All true. Unfortunately the quarterback situation has been improved only by measures of hope. And the reality is that teams that have not found serviceable quarterback play cannot reasonably expect to win. It’s going to be really interesting to see Weeden.

        • Petefranklin

          The problem’s going to be that we didn’t go with Mo at 4. Our defense will absolutely suck if the offense gets it going. Sheldon Brown? If you didn’t like our last CB2, just wait for our next one. Wait… Its the same guy. Frownie proved it last year, the only reason to like our D last year was because our O was such a joke. Our D was respectable only in the “context of the game”. Remember Henning going down the field in 2 plays? This D will not be able to get a stop when it actually matters, with a lead.

    • TWMBrad

      Not sure I’d bet against the Chiefs just yet. They’re only 1 year removed from the playoffs and will be getting Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry back, plus added a solid RT (Winston) and a big fatty up front in Poe. Yikes, this is the most real 0-16 has ever seemed…

    • Ben

      Schedules always seem difficult when every other team is better than you are. We actually have the easiest schedule of any team in our division, if you exclude the divisional games themselves. The only thing making the Browns schedule more difficult than the Steelers, is the fact that the Steelers get to play the Browns twice, and the Browns have to play the Steelers twice.

      • bupalos

        Agreed it’s hard to find the bunnies when you ARE the bunny.

  • CleveLandThatILove

    How many days till Cheddar Bay? Maybe Kanicki can fashion a countdown clock on the side bar.

    • ClevelandFrowns

      The Players Ball call is coming in just three short months. I can already feel it in my bones.

    • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

      TA-DA!!

      http://jimkanicki.com/index.html

      (frowner, the code i sent was a little squirrely for me… check it out and see if it works in your sidebar.)

      • CleveLandThatILove

        Check the link, Jim. It’s your webpage but no clock.

        • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

          weird. here’s what i see…

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    on topic: projections like these bring to mind john nance garner’s thoughts on the vice-presidency. and i will be less interested in the win count than i will visual progress. the 4 wins in 2010 felt like they were improving; the 4 wins last year felt like a regression.

    • ClevelandFrowns

      FIVE. FIVE (5) wins in 2010.

      • bupalos

        Kanicki probably got confused and thought that the worst team in the league that year hit the last second winning field goal instead of missing it.

        • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

          5, 4, 3 whatevs. battered fan syndrome. repression. drinking. all apply here.

          hey, weeden really likes josh cooper and i think this is cool!
          http://www.okstate.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/043012aab.html

          • CleveLandThatILove

            Sure would love a Victor Cruz kind of story here.

      • Petefranklin

        Thats a hundo for me!

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    off-topic: this is not a jab at lebron.* this is fairly damning evidence of the nba star system when it comes to officiating. observe. mind you, this is a sixth foul for danny granger. it occurs directly in front of a ref. lebron achieves leverage on granger to move him out from under the board in a way jason pinkston can only dream of. also note, this replay was never shown on TNT.

    *count me among those who think lebron would love to come back. we got a glimpse into the other side of dwyane wade last night.. not hard to imagine that he’s not as wonderful as his commercials project. and also: lebron’s gotta know that erik spolstra is 10s worse than mike brown (who lebron supposedly wanted to be rid of). staying around spolstra is going to result in more failed playoff runs is going to further kill his legacy. no… this miami thing is not working out and you have to believe he’s seeing the nucleus of team being built under byron scott.

    • 910Derp

      That will never happen.

    • http://brian23.com Brian

      the heat really look a mess – it’s like a dual-core version of mike brown’s offense

      • BIKI024

        it shows how important Chris Bosh is to their offense.. his defense and rebounding may be lacking, but the dude definitely is a handful on the offensive end and opens things up for Bron and Wade..

        • Petefranklin

          The ex LV sports consultants ( THE linesmakers in Vegas)guy thought Bosh was only worth one point on the spread, at least before game 2.

          • BIKI024

            yeah well they are the Heat and they are the Pacers.. the average fish still will blow their money on the Heat.. and they took the bait.. Vegas did well on the Pacers last night..

        • Believelander

          Surprisingly Bosh, the guy everyone thought was the ‘you can come too buddy’ guy in the Big 3, seems to be the guy who is clutch money in the bank. Obviously I only watched him versus Cleveland this year, but out of everything those 3 guys did, everything Bosh did seemed to turn to gold. Maybe he had some chip on his shoulder against Cleveland, but he just seems to trot out there with his buzzard neck and his Predator face, put his game face on, and take a constant no-nonsense, efficient approach whenever I watch him.

          He was the guy I said LeBron should lure to Cleveland so we could win titles. I think the LeBron/Bosh show, combined with the supporting cast that had been assembled (Mo, Jamison, Varejao, etc) would have had a better chance of winning than trading all of those decent guys for Dwyane Wade and the J.a.g. committee.

          • BIKI024

            he just does so much to clear space in the lane for the wing guys to attack. even Hibbert said so as much yesterday, Bosh can sit out side the paint and shoot 20 foot daggers all day with blindfolds on so the defense must respect him which clears things up for Wade and Bron.

            doesn’t seem Miami has skipped a beat defensively, in fact they may be slightly better without him, but he’s sorely missed on the offensive end and his loss reared it’s ugly head yesterday with Wade’s career worst game. but the dude is definitely banged up, I think that is the risk that both the Knicks and Miami are proving you take when you build a team top-heavy and lose 1 of them, let alone 1.5 of them.. teams like Indiana that are 10 deep and get contributions from all of them are proving their value. kudos to Bird and Vogel.

            but the series is not over by any means, everything changes if the Heat can win on Sunday.

    • ChuckKoz

      agreed on the return. and agreed on LB realizing this teammates and coach were better here.

      the Cavs ran up against some really tough competition (2009 orlando & 2010 celtics better than given credit for) but to not come out of the East this year is unconscionable. the East is so bad this year (w/ the injuries), I am not regretting the Varejo injury and subsequent tanking…..the fricking 8 seed might actually go to the finals.

    • NeedsFoodBadly

      The officiating for the first two games of this series has been garbage.

      Last night’s statline was hilarious. Watching Chalmers duff the three gave me Mo Williams playoff flashbacks.

    • rodofdisaster

      This is why I stopped watching the NBA. In 1993, Hakeem Olajuwon matched up against David Robinson and couldn’t even get near him without a whistle being blown. The following year the same matchup saw Olajuwon get all the calls. The Rockets went on to win the championship and while it was a great team effort, I cannot help but think that it proved to me that the NBA officiating is so far tilted in favor of the marquee names that it may as well be fixed. I’ve stopped watching ever since.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Olajuwon carried that team and David Robinson was drastically overrated.
        I spent time with both guys and played with and against Hakeem.
        I like both guys, however….
        Olajuwon was the best basketball player ever!
        Michael who?

        • NeedsFoodBadly

          acto, I want to read your autobiography some day. You got some crazy stories – hanging out with Douglas Adams, posting up against Hakeem The Dream, rescuing dogs from medians. You gotta write that stuff down!

          • mo_by_dick

            literally was going to write just this

          • actovegin1armstrong

            There is not much to tell NFB, but I have a working title, “The Big Dum Guy Who was Oftentimes in the Right Place at the Right Time.”

            Hakeem, Moses Malone, Drexler and many more amazing players would show up and just play hours and hours of “pick-up” basketball at Fonde Rec Center in Houston.
            The story of Fonde would make a better book.

            With David Robinson, I just walked in to the offices of his charity and I sold him stuff.
            Straight up cold call sale.

        • rodofdisaster

          Olajuwon was the only reason I ever watched basketball.

        • Petefranklin

          Overrated Robinson and his phantom calls kept CSU and their crackhead coach out of the final 4. I remember it like it was yesterday every March.

    • technivore

      Wait, *Granger* got called for a foul on that play??

      Also, put me in the (possibly very small) camp that also thinks Lebron will try to work his way back to the Cavs and that hopes @cavsdan is able to get over himself and welcome him back.

    • BIKI024

      they lost 1 game, how about they lose the series before we put a nail in the Heat’s coffin.. i love the Pacers and wouldn’t be pissed if they won, but definitely want to see Bron back in the Finals..

      • Petefranklin

        Now is the time to fade the talking heads Bik! Heat ML laaarge!

      • Believelander

        I’d rather see LeBron’s LACK OF A SUPPORTING CAST cause his playoff hopes in Miami to fritter out again and again until he realizes he never should have left the CLE.

        Edit: /AKR

        • BIKI024

          i don’t disagree with his decision to leave, just the way he did it.

          that being said, if we win the lotto and get Davis, I think the odds of him coming back are high and I would welcome him back with open arms.

          but if we don’t win the lotto and end up with MKG, then it seems highly unlikely Bron will ever come back (since they play same position)

          while I would prefer LBJ over MKG, it would be pretty cool to have the 2 high school teammates reunited again (KI and MKG played at St. Patrick’s together)

    • maxfnmloans

      maybe it was all a grand scheme by LeBron and Gilbert? Maybe they both knew that so long as LBJ was here, no team would trade the Cavs anything of merit, and maybe LBJ just couldn’t convince any of his boys to come here. So instead they decided that LeBron would leave, the team would tank and hopefully score in the lottery (Kyrie Irving? check!) and then LeBron could come back to a team in much better shape.

      (no way that’s true, but it’s a fun conspiracy theory to kick around while waiting for the 5 O’clock whistle)

      • Believelander

        This is definitely true. LeBron has a shell company that owns 20% of Dan’s casino.

  • rodofdisaster

    “The point spreads reflect bettors’ perceptions of the Browns prospects”

    Would it not be more accurate to say that the MOVEMENT in the point spread reflects the bettors’ perception of the Browns’ chances?

    The point spread itself is only an attempt by the oddsmaker to ensure that half of the money is bet to either side. The overall premise of your post is correct though. Ain’t nobody spectin’ much from the Browns and Holmgren is stealing money.

    • Believelander

      Well the initial lines also reflect bettor perceptions as well; Vegas analyzes where they think the bettors are going to put their money and adjust the lines accordingly to get some people to jump to the other side. For the house, it’s really all about predicting mass mentality and little to nothing about predicting the outcomes of games. If they get exactly 50% of the money on either side of the line, they automatically win, as you said.

  • CleveLandThatILove

    On and off topic: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/love-letters/michael_symon_cleveland_b_1518392.html

    This is nice. (Not an English major, but doesn’t need to be.)

    • NeedsFoodBadly

      8 billion kinds of beautiful. Thanks for sharing that. Miss Cleveland so much right now.

  • dr. jew

    The article states that in the handicappers’ eyes, it makes no difference “whether Brandon Weeden or Colt McCoy starts for the Browns.” So much for the dawning of a new era

    • ClevelandFrowns

      That’s at least slightly disturbing, isn’t it?

      • Petefranklin

        Thats the easy way to cap. TR will get this team some points and Weeden will be the beneficiary, moreso than Colt could ever be.

      • Believelander

        I don’t think so. In the handicappers’ eyes, they don’t see a big difference in how the bettors are going to look at a backup-grade journeyman with some experience under his belt vs. a rookie. I tend to agree with the handicappers here. McCoy is a known commodity at this point, and rookies are expected not to set the world on fire. The only way the QB really moves the lines is if they toss Weeden in there and he marches on the field with gas cans and a blowtorch.

  • BIKI024

    come on Frowner, you of all people know how Vegas works, specifically line making, it has nothing to do with how many wins or losses they think the Browns will have. everyone and their grandma bets against the Browns, hence me raking it up going 7-1 in last 8 betting on the Brownies and making up half of my O/U losses.. i have a feeling Vegas will be rooting for the Browns plenty this season..

    • Petefranklin

      Definitely!

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Good call on the Cav’s over/under.
      Give me another easy winner Biki.

  • wiseoldredbeard

    Vegas can suck my balls.

    • wiseoldredbeard

      And so can the Heat.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        worb,
        I would love to see Los Spurs and The Heat in the finals.
        Not just because I can drive down to the games and find a scalper, but I would love to see LBJ try to guard The Big Fundamental and stop those kiss the glass shots.
        Parker can out maneuver anyone playing for the Heat.
        Tim Duncan will always be where he should be on defense.
        Ginobili is more creative and adventurous than any Heat player.
        More importantly, Pop can use his role players like Jim Henson directing muppets.

    • Petefranklin

      Another satisfied customer! Thanks for the bread man.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Pete Franklin’s Sportsline,
        My apologies in advance, because asking a personal question in a public forum is an extreme taboo move, but….
        What is your affiliation with Vegas and gambling?
        Are you a “wise guy”? If you are; please at least have them answer the question before I get the cement shoes.

        • Petefranklin

          I live here in Vegas. Over the years you pick up a thing or two about betting, and catch some advice, both good and bad. Am not a wise guy, but like to think I am wiser than most about the X’s and O’s and why the spread is doing what it is doing. I would have loved to bet the LA KIngs to win it all, but they were only paying 20/1 a huge underlay. Love betting obscure games if I hear some info that I like. Dont like betting pro football, the spread is way too tight! I’ve made enough $$$ to live my life when Im not working my job, but you have to treat it like a full time job, and it does become one! I used to move the lines at the smaller joints here with every other bet and got kicked out of my favorite. I even got the old Showboat to give me a canadian line on a hockey game and they posted the number that I told them it was and we(me and the tip I left for the boys) won. With everything being linked together nowadays it is much harder to win than it used to be. Maybe it’s because I dont spend every night at the book picking off games before they go, but its still beatable and enjoyable if you practice some skills. Just took Heat + 2 on in game wagering…..WE’ll see hate lebron so Win Win situation!

        • Petefranklin

          And to keep it real I’ll grab a pit bull wandering where it shouldn’t be instead of heading to the book! This happened and the owner got him back in the nick of time before I fouynd him a new home. So Ive got that going for me “gungala gungala”.

  • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

    Look, I’m normally as down on the Browns as anyone. But they can’t possibly be this bad this year.

    Everyone thought the Eagles were going to be earth shattering last year, and they fucking blew. I’m going for the opposite here. I think they’ll be ok. If they aren’t ok, then heads will roll, and I’m not looking forward to that.

    I’m strongly considering taking the points offered today for weeks 1-16 this year, and ride or die with the Browns. I think I’ll end up coming out ahead.

    • wiseoldredbeard

      Browns were 6-6-2 against the spread last year — and that is a spread that was recalculated every week to account for how terrible the Browns were, and surprises like Cinci. If you’re a better, this is the time to put down your bets — the Browns have no where to go but up against the spread.

      • BIKI024

        they finished 7-1 against my book..

      • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

        They did better than that with my book also, but you understand my thinking here.

      • ClevelandFrowns

        You mean 8-6-2.

        • wiseoldredbeard

          Frownie, thanks for the attention to detail. (This must be why Frownie gets the big bucks!)

          My point, as everyone on this page knows, is that the spread isn’t anything more than an attempt by the casino to understand popular opinion and get an even distribution of bets. Here, popular opinion says the Browns suck — a fact of which I am acutely aware living in DC and wearing Browns gear all over town.

          I can’t put too much stock in Vegas’ preseason prediction about what a lot of uneducated betters are going to do.

          • BIKI024

            exactamundo

          • ClevelandFrowns

            You got it re: big bucks, but it’s far from just uneducated bettors who move the lines. The question is whether you think the lines are more defined by the sharp or square money. There’s no reason to assume one way or the other here.

          • Petefranklin

            Early = sharp. Dumbasses dont have the $ to spend on a bet that wont pay out tomorrow. This is not to say that the Clowns wont receive some $$ back from sharps who are going for the middle, against public $ steaming in against the Clowns.

          • ClevelandFrowns

            Seems right to me.

          • Petefranklin

            I guess it’s the uneducated pockets full of $$$$$$$$ that wait in line at LVH for the openers of season win totals, to hammer into shape, before you could sniff the openers wherever you are. The Clowns much like the Cubs, get a share of $ every preseason. Probably not from the $$$$$$$$$ people though, we shall see.

      • Petefranklin

        Was frank Ryan the QB of the 14 game schedule last year?

  • Henry Brown

    No way these lines change at all either.

    • ClevelandFrowns

      “The point spreads reflect bettors’ perceptions of the Browns chances in 2012, and while these perceptions too can be grossly inaccurate (and will be adjusted in real time as the season progresses), there’s always an element of extremely intelligent and well-informed bettors, those who make a living at it, who influence these numbers.”

  • http://www.autismspeaks.org/ PML

    Nice to see Lerner getting some recognition for his work. I like how the author left 2 spots open for the new owners.

    http://thebiglead.com/index.php/2012/05/16/ranking-the-nfl-owners-part-ii/

    • p_forever

      i had to scroll all the way down here to find you pml! i too wanted to comment on the biglead “story” – they act as if it’s breaking news that lerner is the worst owner in the nfl. lol.

      also i’m officially sick of the “at least he’s well-intentioned” excuse. what does that even mean – at least he’s really rooting for the team? i mean – are some owners hoping their teams lose? they’re all well-intentioned! cripes.

      • http://www.autismspeaks.org/ PML

        No kidding – At least we know we aren’t taking crazy pills and the rest of the country is finally wising up to our situation/on-going nightmare.

        • p_forever

          i feel like maybe crazy pills would be a good idea. couldn’t hurt, right? biki – hook us up.

          • ClevelandFrowns

            Yeah, hook it up, Biki!

          • BIKI024

            hey now

        • CleveLandThatILove

          They left the two spots open ahead of Lerner, how funny. In a sad way.

  • Petefranklin

    Last years openers 1. -3 vs cin 2.+7.5@ indy 3. -1 vs miami 4.-3 vs Tenn 5.+3.5 @ Oak 6.-3.5 vs Sea 7.+3 @ SF 8.+3 @ Hou 9. -3 vs StL 10. -3 vs Jax 11.+2.5@Cin 12+4 vs Bal 13. +9 @ Pitts 14.pk vs AZ 15.+7.5@ Bal 16. +3 vs Pitts Lots more respect last year! Wondering if Vegas sees what Holmgrum doesn’t, that being that Shurmer is a DOLT! 3-13 vs last years openers, pretty sad.

    • ClevelandFrowns

      Wow. Where’d you find those?

  • bupalos

    How about that walk off? Tiggies tank it again and suddenly we have a real lead in the division. Despite having given up more runs than we’ve scored. Kind of feels like it’s held together with chewing gum and baling wire, but hey, what if?

    • Believelander

      Don’t forget the duct tape. Baseball is a fascinating thing, isn’t it? The WIndians don’t score a ton of runs compared to some AL clubs. They’re in fact more constructed like an NL club; even their primary DH is a guy who doesn’t pop them out of the park a lot anymore, but he gets on base (.397). Guy hits some doubles.

      And that’s fine. The Indians are winning with OPS. Only one of their 7 player with at least 30 games has a supbar (~.705) OPS and that’s Brantley (.688). Choo’s OPS is .759, Kipnis’s is .790, and it goes up from there.

      While I would like to see a little more generation from the remaining 2 slots (Brantley’s is acceptable, he just needs to bring it up a little, whereas Kotchman barely treading the Mendoza line is not acceptable), you have some decent ‘committee’ guys in there giving you a little production.

      When you have good (doesn’t have to be amazing, but good) pitching and your non-advanced stats don’t look that great, but you’re winning a lot of games, look at OPS. The Indians is still in the top third in scoring because OPS is an (imperfect) assessment of players’ ability to advance bases, which generally results in runs. Lots of guys with above-average OPS results in steady run production even if their stat lines don’t look all that impressive. Combine it with starting pitching that rarely takes a night off, surprises from guys like McAllister and Lowe, and a rock solid bullpen, you win because of 7-6, 6-5, 2-1, 5-3, and don’t care about the 12-1 drubbings because hey, it happens. You’re not going to win those shootouts, and that’s fine, because in all the games that aren’t outliers, percentages will put you on top far more often than not.

      That said, we REALLY need to not have the string of critical injuries we suffered last year, and if we want to go deep into the playoffs, we really need Masterson and Jiminez to pick it up because shutdown pitching is critical in the postseason. But for right now, I’ll take Jenmear Gomez’s 3.75, Derek Lowe’s 2.05, Zach McAllister’s respectable 4.34 over 3 games, and Josh Tomlin figuring it out after getting mauled out of the gate to bring his ERA down to 4.67. If these guys keep showing that they really are made of sterner stuff, they, and the Bullpen Mafia, can carry Masterson and Jiminez another 120 games with consistent offense.

      Finally, a return to form for Grady Sizemore could truly put this club in the driver’s seat (and give us the much-needed cushion in case one of our other bats goes down). Right now it looks like we not only have pitching, but pitching depth. Roberto Hernandez is probably back sometime, and I think he will be able to relax more now that he doesn’t have anything to worry about besides going out and proving he can still pitch. So pitching depth isn’t a huge issue, but hitting depth is. If Sizemore comes back and be one more .710+ OPS guy (which won’t require him going nuts, he managed over .710 last season with his .200ish batting average and 8.4 million strikeouts due to his amazing extra-base production), I think the Indians can really cruise it into the playoffs unless the Tigers pull another sudden reversal like last year.

      That possibility still makes me nervous, though.

      • bupalos

        While it feels a LOT like last year, and this thing could definitely fall apart, I’m mildly optimistic. Detroit is going to have a solid record in the end I’d bet, but I don’t see too much upside for them. It seems pretty much like all (large) known quantities over there. The tribe on the other hand could go either direction in a big way. There are some critical guys that are very unpredictable–either because they are young, injured, waiting on visas… or because they are Ubaldo. But at least you have the ingredients where if things go right, there’s a shot not just to take the division but–with our mix of pitching and defense–to be a very dangerous team in the playoffs.

        BUT If Ubaldo can’t pick it up, a couple of the young guys struggle, Hanahan quits shocking the hell out of everyone, and there is say one injury to a starter, we could drop like an absolute rock.We’ve been winning a lot of our tossup games to this point and Detroit has lost a bunch of theirs. We’ve also played a disproportionate number of suck-ass teams. But there are enough wildcards hanging out there (esp. Sizemore, Robausto, Ubaldo) that I think we can realistically hope to avoid a regression to the mean, and maybe just maybe put something serious together here.

        • Believelander

          That’s how I’m feeling. While one could argue Ubaldo could fall off the wagon, I don’t think he’s going to get much worse, one would think he’s really only going to improve. Sizemore can only be a bonus – right now he is a 0 contributor and he’s not going to be a 0 if he’s healthy and playing. If he doesn’t play another game, he’s no worse off. Hernandez coming back from the DR can only help our pitching rotation depth – while he’s always been….well, Fausto, he will almost assuredly be at least one of those guys with a 5 ERA who is acceptable at the back of a rotation. Johnny Effing Damon will improve as a contributor if he can find his swing, and if not, no loss, we have other guys who can replace him.

          All of this, in terms of probabilities at this point, kind of pads the other probabilities of something bad happening with Choo, Hafner, Cabrera, Kipnis, or Santana. Hannahan will probably drop in batting average closer to his career average of .220ish, but if he can keep it over .250, his OPS will remain well over .700. Hannahan is a frustrating oddity to me. He’s a guy with a patient approach, who takes pitches, draws walks, hits with reasonable power, has prototypical size and athleticism, and a fantastic swing. He just never hit for average. With his defense, he would be coveted by half or more of the league if he batted close to .300.

          So we’ll win some, we’ll lose some, but we have the opportunity to make some great gains – Ubaldo, Masterson, Sizemore, Carmonandez. And yes, there’s even the chance that I won’t hold my breath for, that Matt LaPorta will actually put ‘it’ together. Kotchman is little more than a stellar infield glove right now, and while I don’t want to break up what is close to the most stellar defensive infield in baseball today, if LaPorta can come up and hit .250+, strike out less, walk more, and hit for power, I’ll take it.

          Only 120ish games to go, and lots of reasons to cheer. Get your Tribe Tix now guys!

          • BIKI024

            exactly, the key is 120 games to go.. i’m as excited as the next guy, but there is a LONG way to go, and Detroit has PLENTY of time to heat up.. let’s not forget that they waited until August to heat up last year, went on a 38-16 run to finish the season, and they are more than capable of doing that again, actually might even be better equipped this year with Fielder, and an improved Austin Jackson. they haven’t had Fister, and Porcello and Scherzer’s stuff are too good to sustain being this bad.. if their BP keeps up the inconsistency, I’m sure they will be huge buyers come trade time, they have deep pockets as we’re well aware of..

            plus, we haven’t even played DET yet, so we have 18 games to go against them.. let’s see how we do against the big boys. love chewing and spitting up the Seattles and Twinkies of the league, but let’s see how we finish up this month.. Miami, Detroit, CWS, and an improving KC team (although sucks for them they lost Duffy)

          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

            random bullet point on ubaldo that i’ve been wanting to get out there: does he not have freakishly long fingers? like,, it looks like he’s throwing a pingpong ball. he’s been struggling with his splitter for awhile now, but given this gift of long fingers, i have to think this is a pitch he’ll regain mastery and it could change everything for him (even with his decline in velocity.)

  • GrandRapidsRustlers

    4-0 with Choo in the lead off spot.

    Tigers continue to fall apart…I’m shocked that you can’t put statues all over your infield. Shocked I tell you.

    • ClevelandFrowns

      Was it you who coined the phrase, “Sea World Infield”?

      • GrandRapidsRustlers

        Yes. It is the largest infield ever. I am convinced that by August the left side of that infield will actually tilt.

        • CleveLandThatILove

          Thanks for the laugh, good one!

    • Believelander

      How about that Jason Kipnis, too? Currently leading the team in R, RBI, HR, and SB. And roguish manliness. This guy has it all.

      • CleveLandThatILove

        Yes indeedy.

  • CleveLandThatILove

    This has been a great day in so many ways.

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