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2021 NFL Futures: Cleveland Browns Emerging as Significant Liability for Sportsbooks

2021 NFL Futures: Cleveland Browns Emerging as Significant Liability for Sportsbooks article feature image

David Eulitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Baker Mayfield

It was but three years ago when the Cleveland Browns, fresh off drafting Baker Mayfield as a reward for winning just one game in two seasons, turned into a significant futures liability for sportsbooks.

Now, it’s happening again.

“Every day I take a bet on the Browns,” said William Hill bookmaker Nick Bogdanovich. “We get destroyed with the Browns. We lose seven figures with them now. AFC, division, Super Bowl, we’re just bludgeoned with Browns money. The betting hype on them has even exceeded what it was two years ago. Liability-wise, Browns are by far the worst.”

As far as total money bet on a team to win the Super Bowl, only last year’s Super Bowl teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11 percent each), have garnered more bets in percentage of dollars than the Browns (8 percent). One person at William Hill bet $5,000 large on the Browns to win the Super Bowl at 22/1.

Odds shortened even more after a successful NFL Draft, in which they selected Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome at No. 26 and Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah at No. 52.

At BetMGM, the odds on the Browns, who have had the fourth-most money of any team to win the Lombardi Trophy, went from 20/1 to 16/1 after the draft.

“The Browns are developing as a heavy liability for PointsBet, following a strong free agency, getting  [Jadeveon] Clowney and [John] Johnson in particular, and maybe the best and most comprehensive draft haul of any team,” said PointsBet’s head of trading Jay Croucher. “After last year, people are losing faith in the Ravens, no one wants to bet on Ben Roethlisberger, and the Bengals aren’t ready yet, so the public is definitely seeing the Browns as the team with the most upside in the AFC North. “They are a top-five liability in every futures market.”

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