What are the Browns Playoff Chances?
The Browns' playoff chances are 67.7%, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. Cleveland recently made the playoffs in the 2020 season but that was the team's only postseason appearance over the last 20 years. Below I've compiled a table showing the Browns' playoff chances compared to their Super Bowl chances, AFC Championship chances and division title chances:
We calculated the Cleveland Browns' playoff picture using the implied probability of the team’s odds to make the postseason. For the above chart's data, we used DraftKings Sportsbook Ohio. Converting the Browns’ current odds of -210 to make the playoffs provided the 67.7% chance highlighted above. The Browns have the fourth-best odds to make the playoffs among 16 AFC teams, trailing the Chiefs, Bills and Dolphins.
The Browns are projected to finish first in the AFC North and are tied with the shortest odds to win the division behind the Ravens. Cleveland has a 9.1% chance to win the AFC and a 4.3% chance to win Super Bowl LVIII.
The New York Times Postseason Simulator tracks every eligible NFL team's playoff chances, but is not yet available for the 2023 season.
For a deeper look into the Browns Super Bowl odds and history, I have a separate page detailing the team's current and historical Super Bowl odds.
Cleveland Browns Week-by-Week Playoff Chances
The Cleveland Browns currently have -210 odds (67.7% implied probability) to make the playoffs in 2023, per DraftKings Sportsbook Ohio. We will update the odds each week throughout the NFL regular season.
Cleveland Browns Schedule and Betting Lines
The Browns' schedule was released in May 2023, and DraftKings Sportsbook has odds on every game. Here's a look at the regular season schedule, plus the Browns' moneylines and point spreads.
The Browns are nearly finished with what could be the most difficult part of their schedule, although they'll still face tall challenges over the next three weeks with games against the Ravens and 49ers, two teams who currently have better Super Bowl odds than the Browns.
The Ravens, however, don't appear to be as formidable as an opponent as they were at the start of the season due to a high number of injuries to their roster. Both of those matchups will also be home games for the Browns, who have an early bye week in Week 5.
Cleveland Browns Playoff Chances: Key Offseason Updates September 2023
To keep Browns fans updated this offseason, I am tracking breaking news and developments impacting the team's playoff chances. You can find recent news below.
- 📆 Sept. 24: The Browns beat the Titans 27-3 behind an improved game from Deshaun Watson and another dominant display from the defense.
- 📆 Sept. 18: The Browns lose to the Steelers, 26-22, and likely lose Pro Bowl RB Nick Chubb for the rest of the season due to a knee injury.
- 📆 Sept. 10: The Browns defeated the Bengals, 24-3, to open the season 1-0.
- 📆 Aug. 28: The Browns waive 2022 K Cade York, who was a 2022 4th-round pick, and trade for K Dustin Hopkins from the Chargers.
- 📆 July 22: The Browns waive 2022 4th round pick, DT Perrion Winfrey.
- 📆 May 16: The Browns trade for 3-time pro bowl edge-rusher Za'Darius Smith from the Vikings.
- 📆 May 5: S Rodney McLeod signs a 1-year deal with the Browns.
- 📆 May 2: The Browns pick up offensive tackle Jedrick Wills Jr.'s 5th-year option, keeping him under contract through the 2024 season.
- 🗓️ April 29: Ohio State OT Dawand Jones, Missouri EDGE Isaiah McGuire, UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Northwestern CB Cameron Mitchell, Ohio State center Luke Wypler are drafted on Day 3.
- 🗓️ April 28: The Browns draft Tennessee WR Cedric Tillman and Baylor DT Siaki Ika in the 3rd round on Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft.
- 📆 April 14: WR Marquise Goodwin signs a 1-year deal with the Browns.
- 📆 March 23: Cleveland trades for 3rd-year WR Elijah Moore.
- 📆 March 18: The Browns sign free agents TE Jordan Akins and DT Maurice Hurst.
- 📆 March 17: Cleveland signs free agent safety Juan Thornhill to help its pass defense.
- 📆 March 16: The Browns sign defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson to a 4-year, $57 million contract to improve their struggling run defense.
- 📆 March 15: The Browns cut edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney and starting safety John Johnson.
I will continue to update this page throughout the offseason, so be sure to bookmark it and return to see all of the latest updates regarding the Cleveland Browns' playoff chances.
Key Contributors Toward Browns Playoff Chances
The Browns' playoff odds rest largely on continued improvement from QB Deshaun Watson, who looked much sharper in Week 3 but must keep playing at a high level for the Browns to be considered top threats in the AFC.
Prior to Week 3, Watson had mostly been inefficient and had career-low numbers in most passing categories. The Browns sorely needed to see better play from Watson after those first eight starts, and he finally delivered with a performance that led to a 123.4 passer rating, his highest yet in a game with the Browns. It's no coincidence that he achieved that after building his best game to date with Pro Bowl receiver Amari Cooper, who tallied a season-high 116 receiving yards and scored his first touchdown of the year. Cooper — as well as WR Elijah Moore and tight end David Njoku — should offer an impactful array of weapons for Watson, who has +2800 odds to MVP. Those odds rank 11th in the league.
Much of the offensive success will also hinge on head coach Kevin Stefanski, who is in his fourth season as the Browns' head coach and is searching for his first trip back to the playoffs since 2020. The Browns have since had back-to-back losing seasons, finishing 8-9 in 2021 and 7-10 in 2022. Stefanski currently has +2000 odds to win Coach of the Year in 2023 on DraftKings sportsbook, which is tied with Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Rams head coach Sean McVay for eighth among all coaches.
Jerome Ford has done a solid job filling in for Chubb so far and has totaled 160 yards from 41 carries with two touchdowns — one through the air and another on the ground. Ford will continue to be the Browns' featured back, although the Browns did re-sign veteran RB Kareem Hunt before last week's game and could continue splitting carries between the duo.
All-Pro edge rusher Myles Garrett was the catalyst of the defense's monster day against the Titans with 3.5 sacks, which brought him to third among NFL defenders with 4.5 sacks this season. Garrett is expected to have a huge season under the defensive line-friendly schemes of new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and leads the NFL with 48.5 sacks since 2020, and he should only have more chances to thrive in a defensive line that also features DE Za'Darius Smith and DT Dalvin Tomlinson. Garrett is currently tied with Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt for the second-shortest odds at +380 to win Defensive Player of the Year in 2023. Both players trail Cowboys edge rusher Micah Parsons (+200).
Where Can I Bet on the Cleveland Browns to Make the Playoffs?
You can bet on the Cleveland Browns to make (or miss) the playoffs at most major Ohio sportsbook apps. Each app will features its own Cleveland Browns odds. Some will be the same; others may be slightly more competitive. It's usually a good idea to have a couple of different accounts to ensure you are getting the best odds for a specific team or game. Bettors must be at least 21 years old and within a state with legal sports betting.
With a 67.7% chance to make the playoffs, odds are indicating that the Browns will be favorable contenders for the postseason.
Looking Ahead: Browns Playoff Picture
The Browns significantly improved their playoff odds and appear to be appealing AFC contenders after their Week 3 win, but they'll need build similar performances against more talented teams in the future to remain in that tier the rest of the season. The Titans were perhaps the weakest team the Browns were set to play in the first quarter of their schedule, but the matchup came at an opportune time — the Browns needed a feel-good win after a disastrous loss in Week 2.
The Browns could emerge even higher as top AFC contenders if they manage to find at least one win in their next two games against the Ravens or 49ers, who will present two of the toughest defenses the Browns will face this season and also present unique challenges the Browns have yet to face on defense.
If Watson continues to elevate his play and the defense maintains its dominance, it's very possible for Cleveland to win 10+ games and crack the playoffs.
Do the Browns Have a Chance to Make the Playoffs?
Yes, the Browns have a chance to make the playoffs in 2023. All 32 teams still have a chance to make the playoffs with only three weeks knocked out of the season. With a 67.7% implied probability, the Browns currently have the fourth-best odds in the AFC to make the playoffs. Oddsmakers are expecting the Browns to compete for the AFC North crown and crack a wild card spot if they're unable to win the division.
Are the Browns Out of the Playoffs?
No, the Browns are not out of the playoffs. The Browns are 2-1 after their Week 3 win against the Titans. They'll have a chance to improve their odds — perhaps by a significant margin — if they defeat the Ravens in Week 4.
Where Do the Cleveland Browns Rank in the AFC North?
The Cleveland Browns (+195) are tied for the shortest odds with the Baltimore Ravens (+195) for the shortest odds to win the division. The Browns have never won the AFC North title. Cleveland's last division title came in 1989 when they won the AFC Central over the Oilers, Steelers and Bengals. The Browns have finished in 3rd or 4th place in the AFC North in each of the last 15 seasons.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (+350) have the third-longest odds to win the division and moved up from fourth-best odds in the division to third-best after their Week 3 win against the Raiders. They have won nine AFC North titles and last won the division in 2020.
The Cincinnati Bengals (+425) have the worst odds to win the division after starting the season as the favorites. They have won the division title and have played in the AFC Championship in each of the last two seasons.
Where Do the Cleveland Browns Rank in the AFC Standings?
The Browns are the fourth-best team in the AFC, according to projections from DraftKings.
Where Do the Browns Rank in the AFC Wild Card Race?
Oddsmakers are predicting the Browns will compete for a playoff spot as a divisional winner and would also have a great chance to clinch a wild card spot if they don't win the division.
Can the Browns Get the No. 1 Seed?
The Browns are in play for the No. 1 seed, although they'll have to significantly outperform their expectations and compete with the Chiefs, Dolphins and Bills, who appear to be the juggernauts of the AFC. The Browns have finished as the No. 1 seed just once in franchise history: in 1986 with Bernie Kosar as their starting QB. Cleveland has made the playoffs one time over the last 20 seasons; they made it as the seventh seed in the AFC in the 2020 season.
Who to Root for if You're a Cleveland Browns Fan
Browns fans should, of course, always be rooting against their AFC North divisional opponents: the Bengals, Ravens and Steelers.
Outside of the division, fans should be rooting against other top contenders in the AFC who have favorable odds of clinching the playoffs. After Week 3, the Chiefs, Dolphins and Bills all have better playoff odds than the Browns, and fans should still root against the Jaguars and Chargers, who remain strong playoff contenders despite rocky starts to the season, as well as any other AFC teams who come out of September with a winning record.
Cleveland Browns Postseason Outlook and Predictions
The Browns have made the playoffs just once over the last 20 years, and have not made it past the divisional round of a postseason since 1989. Cleveland made the playoffs in their first season under head coach Kevin Stefanski in the 2020 season, but have since had back-to-back losing seasons. The Browns had a 7-10 record and finished last in the AFC North in 2022.
Deshaun Watson's play will ultimately determine if the Browns can truly contend for a playoff spot in 2023. The Browns traded three first-round picks to the Texans and shelled out a massive, fully guaranteed contract extension to acquire Watson last offseason. Watson had missed the entire 2021 season with the Texans prior to the trade and then was suspended for the first 11 games in 2022 with the Browns. Watson's first season, albeit a small sample size, was a disappointment as he had a career-low 58.2 completion percentage, 6.5 yards per pass attempt and 79.1 passer rating, while throwing just seven touchdowns (and five interceptions) over his six starts with the Browns in 2022. Watson, however, has shown some signs early in 2023 that he could rebound in his second season with the Browns and return to the Pro Bowl-caliber QB he was with the Texans.
The Browns roster certainly has enough talent on both sides of the ball to be a playoff team this season, but they play in the loaded AFC instead of the weaker NFC. The Browns, though, proved they have a roster capable of competing in the AFC by opening the season with a 2-1 record, and wins in either of their next two games against the Ravens and 49ers would go a long way toward convincing oddsmakers that they are well-suited for a playoff run.
Cleveland Browns Playoff Chances FAQs
The Browns currently sit at -210 odds to make the playoffs, according to DraftKings. Cleveland has +170 odds of missing the playoffs. That equates to a 67.7% implied probability of making the playoffs and a 37% chance of missing the playoffs.
No, the Browns are not out of the playoffs. The Browns have 14 games left in their regular season schedule and are 2-1.
Yes, the Browns have a strong chance to make the playoffs. The Browns have the fourth-best odds of cracking the playoffs in the AFC after Week 3, and it'll come down to more improved play from Watson and continued dominance from the defense.
You can currently bet on the Browns to make or miss the playoffs on most major Ohio Sportsbooks, including DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM and Caesars. You can also bet on Cleveland to win the AFC North, the AFC, and the Super Bowl.
Anthony is an Ohio University graduate who has covered the Cleveland Browns since 2019, starting as a freelance writer for the team website and working most recently as the team’s staff writer until 2023. He is an avid fantasy football player — as well as a golf nerd — and will keep you up to date on all Browns-related betting info this season.