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Odell Beckham Trade Quickly Makes Browns Most Popular Super Bowl Bet

Mar 13, 2019 11:49 PM EDT
Credit:

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Odell Beckham Jr.

  • The Browns traded for Odell Beckham Jr. on Tuesday, and bettors immediately flocked to bet Cleveland's Super Bowl odds.
  • DraftKings told The Action Network's Darren Rovell that 82% of the tickets and 88% of the total money wagered on Cleveland to win the Super Bowl came in the two hours after the news of the Odell acquisition.

The money came in fast and furious Tuesday night as the Browns trading for Odell Beckham Jr. forced sportsbooks to adjust their Super Bowl odds.

But, at DraftKings, even a quick move from 20-1 to 16-1 as soon as the news was reported around 8 p.m. ET wasn’t enough to stop overeager gamblers who still thought the price was too good.

The Browns began Tuesday as the sportsbook operator’s eighth-most bet on team.

By 10 p.m. ET, the Cleveland Browns — yes, the same team that needed those Bud Light Victory Fridges after having won just one game in the last two seasons heading into last year — became the most-bet team in terms of both money and number of bets at DraftKings.

The sportsbook operator said that 82% of the tickets and 88% of the total money on the Browns to win the Super Bowl came in after the news of the Odell acquisition.

“Last year, the public started embracing the Browns,” said Johnny Avello, the director of sportsbook operations for DraftKings, the mobile market leader in New Jersey, which took in $1.3 billion in bets in its first six months of being legal. “With Odell, the Browns are now a public team.”

Despite bettors making the bet that Avello wasn’t lowering his odds enough, the veteran bookmaker known for his work in Vegas, most recently at the Wynn and the Encore, sounded confident that the new price was right.

“I think what we have here is a fair price,” Avello said. “Let’s not get carried away. There’s still a lot of work to be done. They’re not the New England Patriots.”

Avello also said that while DraftKings now has a Browns liability, and that the money it took in is significant, the money they take in March pales in comparison to what they take in in August.

“If they look really good, maybe they come down to 6-1,” Avello said. “We would have plenty of time to make adjustments.”

Avello said that the noise that the Odell trade generated on social media made people momentarily forget about March Madness. On a night when No. 1 Gonzaga lost its conference championship, the Odell story still dominated.

“It just goes to show you how strong the NFL is,” Avello said.

Not every book moved its odds. PointsBet, the Australian bookmaker that has been making a name for itself in New Jersey through innovative bettor promotions, kept its odds on Cleveland to win the Super Bowl at 30-1. The book even guaranteed it wouldn’t lower odds, if at all, until noon ET on Wednesday.

The Browns last had this short of odds in August 1995, when the team was 12-1 to win the Super Bowl, according to SportsOddsHistory.com. They didn’t win that year, and in fact, they’ve never played in the title game since the Super Bowl began in 1967.

Cleveland last won the NFL title in 1964.

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