The Cleveland Browns made a splash on Tuesday night when they acquired superstar wideout Odell Beckham Jr. In combination with all of their other recent moves, the Browns have shot up the board in terms of Super Bowl betting futures as oddsmakers and NFL betting fans believe they’re much closer to the prize.
On the strength of a positive offseason, the Browns were already at +2000 before the trade for Beckham Jr., but now 888Sport has bumped them up to +1400, tied with the Indianapolis Colts for fifth choice behind the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints.
The Colts went to the second round of the playoffs last year, but the Browns are also ahead of the Los Angeles Chargers and Chicago Bears, who each won 12 games.
Huge Six Months for the Browns
It’s been an exciting six months for the Dawg Pound as their franchise fortunes u-turned when the team fired head coach Hue Jackson. The team was 2-5-1 at that point. However, that major change, along with the growth of rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, led to five wins in their final seven games.
In the offseason, the team added pass rusher Olivier Vernon and signed defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson to bolster the defensive line. They also signed running back Kareem Hunt, who is currently suspended but is very talented.
As a result, the Browns were already viewed as a playoff contender in 2019. Adding show-stopping receiver in his prime has made this team a real problem in the AFC.
It’s rare that a top-flight player like Beckham Jr. gets traded in the prime of his career. The 26-year-old is signed long-term, so the contract is not a problem, and his production is on par with the best receivers in the game.
He’s as dynamic of a weapon as it gets, reeling in 44 touchdowns in 59 games while averaging 92.8 yards per outing. He’s expected to propel the Browns from being an impressive young team on the rise to being the AFC North favorite and one of the top four or five teams in the conference.
Browns Aided by Other NFL North Moves
What’s also helping the Browns ascent up the list of Super Bowl futures is the fact that their division has grown increasingly weaker. The Baltimore Ravens traded away quarterback Joe Flacco and lost several key pieces off of their defense.
Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers just traded away Antonio Brown and watched star running back Le’Veon Bell sign with the New York Jets.
Here are the trade terms: Giants recieve a first-round pick in 2019 (No. 17 overall), the Browns' second third-round pick this year and S Jabril Peppers, source tells ESPN. Browns get Odell Beckham Jr.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2019
Speaking of the latter two, 888Sport has posted some season-long props on them as well as Beckham Jr., which allows bettors to wager on their performance.
Beckham Jr.’s receiving yards total for the 2019 season is set at 1300.5 while his over-under for touchdowns is at 10. As for Brown, who is now with the Oakland Raiders, he’s posted up on the board at 1250.5 for receiving yards and 10 touchdowns as well.
Meanwhile, Le’Veon Bell has a rushing total of 1150.5 rushing yards and 7.5 rushing touchdowns.
It’s important to remember that the Browns haven’t had a winning season in any of their last 11 campaigns. They also have just one playoff appearance in the last 16 years. However, fielding an offense with Beckham Jr., Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, David Njoku and Kareem Hunt figures to be one of the best units in the AFC.
For the first time in a long time, it feels like the Browns are leaving their calamitous culture behind and are on the path to success. We’ll see if they can deliver.