Browns Super Bowl Odds Spike as Bettors Hammer Them to Win it All

PHOTO CREDIT: JAMES LANG-USA TODAY SPORTS

The Giants traded star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns Tuesday night in exchange for Cleveland’s first-round pick, third-round pick, and safety Jabril Peppers. Giants GM Dave Gettleman has added aging veterans to his roster this offseason, while trading away some of his best talent, and he’s done while still employing a dinosaur at quarterback. Obviously, Gettleman is thinking…actually, I’m not sure what the hell he’s thinking, but I’ll save that mind-bender for someone else to solve.

Of more immediate concern to me is how the seismic deal has impacted the NFL’s futures market. Whenever a team in any sport makes a splash move, bettors typically throw money at that team amid the euphoria brought by such a deal. For example, Phillies odds took a big jump in the wake of the Bryce Harper deal. Although similar, the betting response to the Beckham Jr. move has been overwhelming. What can I say? People are, uh, excited:

Anyway, at DraftKings, the Browns’ odds to win Super Bowl 54 surged from 20-1 to 16-1 last night and didn’t stop there. As of Wednesday morning, Cleveland is 14-1 and also the most heavily bet team in terms of total wagers and money. To put this in perspective, the Browns (the Cleveland Browns!) are tied for the fifth-best odds to win the Super Bowl at DraftKings, ahead of teams like the Eagles (16-1), Bears (16-1), Packers (22-1), and Seahawks (25-1). Amazing. The Giants, meanwhile, have dropped to 60-1, and sit ahead of 10 teams, which actually seems like too many.

Over at FanDuel Sportsbook, Browns odds are also on the move, but there’s a little more value. Cleveland has the eighth-best odds at 18-1, behind elite squads, and the second-tier contenders such as the Chargers (15-1), Bears (16-1), and Eagles (16-1).

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Certainly, these odds will change, perhaps as soon as today when teams around the league continue to add via free agency. So, is this current price good value for the Browns?

Typically, the NFL futures market will see its heaviest volume just ahead of the season in late August and early September. It’s possible the Browns, a team that will certainly be a media darling throughout the summer and into next season, will continue to see a strong backing from bettors, but it’s also possible that the hysteria dies down, and futures investors pour money back into the usual suspects.

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