CLEVELAND — As the 2019 season approaches, Baker Mayfield has become one of the NFL's hottest players.
And the sportsbooks in Las Vegas have the betting tickets to prove it.
With the start of the 2019 campaign now just weeks away, the Cleveland Browns have emerged as public darling in Sin City. According to ESPN's David Purdum, the Browns have generated the second-most bets to win the Super Bowl, trailing only the Chicago Bears, who lay claim to 9-1 odds.
One of the biggest reasons for the optimism surrounding Cleveland -- which possesses 10-1 Super Bowl odds -- has been the emergence of Mayfield, who set an NFL rookie record with 27 touchdown passes in 2018. The excitement surrounding Mayfield has translated into optimism for his individual performance this season as well, with the former No. 1 pick receiving the most MVP bets, edging out Bears quarterback -- and Mentor native -- Mitchell Trubisky.
"They're going wild on Baker Mayfield," SuperBook vice president of risk management Ed Salmons told ESPN, adding that more than $40,000 had already been bet on MVP odds at his book.
According to Odds Shark, Mayfield currently possesses 11-1 odds to win MVP in 2019, trailing Patrick Mahomes (9-2), Andrew Luck (6-1) and Aaron Rodgers (10-1). Trubisky, meanwhile, has seen his odds rise all the way from 100-1 earlier this offseason to 20-1 as of Monday.
Considering the excitement emanating from Cleveland this preseason, it hardly comes as a surprise that Mayfield is receiving such strong MVP buzz. After compiling a 7-8-1 record in 2018, the Browns acquired star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants and enter 2019 favored to win the AFC North, which would mark their first division title in 30 years.
Mayfield figures to benefit from the presence of Beckham on an offense that will also feature Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, David Njoku, Antonio Callaway, Rashard Higgins and Kareem Hunt. And if he does and the Browns win, it could ultimately pay off in more ways than one.