CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield had a record-setting rookie season, and because of that, he is getting plenty of respect in sports betting circles.
Mayfield was tied for the ninth-best odds (25/1) to win the 2019 Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player Award, according to the Pro Football Super Book at the Westgate Las Vegas, and ranked higher than quarterback Jared Goff, who led the Los Angeles Rams to a Super Bowl LIII appearance.
Despite not playing in either of the first two games and coming on in relief in Week 3, Mayfield broke the NFL rookie record with his 27th touchdown throw of the season with 3:24 to play in regulation of a 26-24 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in an AFC North Division clash at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on December 30.
After taking over the first-team offense in the second quarter of the Week 3 win over the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium, Mayfield completed 310 of his 486 attempts (63.8 percent) for 3,725 yards and 27 touchdowns against 14 interceptions.
Although Mayfield does not get official credit for the victory over the Jets because he came on in relief of an injured Tyrod Taylor, the first-year quarterback guided the Browns to seven wins and the greatest single-year turnaround in franchise history.
Individually, Mayfield set franchise records for the most passing touchdowns and yards by a rookie, and his 3,725 yards rank as the sixth-best single-season in team history, regardless of years of service. Additionally, Mayfield had three of the top five passing yards games by a rookie, as well as the fourth-most accurate season of any Browns quarterback ever.
With new Browns coach Freddie Kitchens calling the plays, Mayfield completed 180 of his 263 attempts (68.4 percent) for 2,254 yards and 19 touchdowns against eight interceptions.
Along with Mayfield, defensive end Myles Garrett, running back Nick Chubb and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. each were given 100/1 odds to win the 2019 AP NFL MVP Award.
Of all rookie running backs who have played for the Browns since their founding in 1946, no one rushed for more yards than Chubb did in 2018, as he set the franchise single-season record in a 26-18 win over the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 23.
Chubb eclipsed the rookie rushing record set by Trent Richardson during the 2012 season and needed 84 less attempts to overtake first place in Browns history.
Chubb finished the 2018 season, one in which he was seldom used in the first seven games, with 996 yards and eight touchdowns on 192 carries. Chubb had 11 20-yard runs, four 40-yard bursts and 47 first-down conversions.
Garrett earned selection to his first Pro Bowl after a standout second season with the Browns in 2018.
Riddled with injuries as a rookie in 2017, Garrett emerged as a leader for the Browns’ defense last season and registered 44 total tackles, including 35 solo stops and nine assists with three forced fumbles while playing in all 16 games.
Additionally, Garrett registered 13.5 sacks for 75.5 lost yards.
Last season, Beckham Jr. turned in a 77-catch, 1,052-yard, six-touchdown effort for the Giants.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was given the best odds (4/1), while fellow signal-callers Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) and Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts) were tied for second in the rankings with 8/1 odds.