Bettors Backing Browns Following Sam Darnold Odds Adjustment

Bettors Backing Browns Following Sam Darnold Odds Adjustment article feature image
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Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Sam Darnold and Trevor Siemian

  • Following the news of Sam Darnold's illness causing the QB to miss Monday's game (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN), oddsmakers were forced to reset the Browns vs. Jets spread.
  • Bettors were quick to pounce on the new number, and don't appear to like the Jets' chances without Darnold.

An unfortunate past couple of hours for Sam Darnold and the Jets has produced an eventful morning for NFL oddsmakers and bettors.

Around 10:30 a.m. ET, Darnold was ruled out for Monday night’s matchup with the visiting Browns due to illness. Soon after, Le’Veon Bell’s status was put into question with a shoulder injury.

Sportsbooks — which were listing the Jets at a consensus +2.5 — were quick to take the game off the board, as a line readjustment was going to be needed to account for Trevor Siemian taking over as the starting QB.

According to William Bernanke of CG Technology in Las Vegas, Darnold’s worth to the spread this season is three points (you can see each QB’s spread worth here). Running backs are generally given no more than one-half point of value.

However, the first book to put this line back on the market, the Westgate SuperBook, shifted the line up to Browns -6.5. That’s obviously already greater than the three points Bernanke suggested, but the move was even more significant considering the key numbers through which it passed — 6, 4 and most notably, 3.

The next wave of updated numbers was more in line with Bernanke’s call. Several books set the adjusted line at Cleveland -4.5, a two-point move that’s made more valuable because of those key numbers.

It didn’t take long for it to become clear that bettors thought the Westgate’s original adjusted number was the more accurate one.

Current odds as of Thursday at 1 p.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can exclusively bet every NFL spread this season at reduced juice (-105).

In a matter of minutes, any shops that reopened at 4.5 were bet up to 6, and some even continued the rise to 6.5. An hour later, the entire market joined the party at a consensus 6.5, with some now making the leap to a juiced-up 7 — the second-most important number in football betting.

As for where this number ultimately settles, there doesn’t seem to be an answer yet. What is certain, however, is that bettors aren’t holding back on their love for the Browns.

Per PointsBet’s Director of Communications Patrick Eichner, “Notably, we have taken money on the Browns at every price point since news of Darnold being out was first reported.”

The Action Network’s public betting percentages have seen the Browns go from a 74% backing to 81% since the news, which now makes them the second-most popular Week 2 spread bet (Cowboys, 84%).

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