CLEVELAND — Sports across the United States have been halted due to the coronavirus outbreak, but for the NFL it has felt like business as usual with free agency commencing and the new league year already kicking off.
While the world of sports and sports betting has been much more quiet with the NBA season suspended, March Madness cancelled and the MLB season postponed, oddsmakers are still finding ways to stay busy.
Recently, BetOnline released odds on the 2020 NFL season which included Super Bowl futures, divisional odds and regular season-win totals.
The teams with the best odds to win Super Bowl LV according to oddsmakers at BetOnline include the Kansas City Chiefs (+650), the Baltimore Ravens (+800), the San Francisco 49ers (+1000) and the New Orleans Saints (+1600).
Tom Brady's new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are listed with the fifth-best Super Bowl odds at +1800. Meaning, a $100 wager would pay $1,800 if the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl on Feb. 7, 2021.
The Cleveland Browns are once again back in the conversation of most interesting teams due to their star-power on the offensive side of the football, early moves in free agency by new general manager Andrew Berry and the endless hype that is seemingly created every off-season.
However, oddsmakers don't seem to be falling for any hype machine tricks this upcoming season when it comes to the Browns.
The Browns are currently listed at 40/1 to win Super Bowl LV, compare that to 20/1 at this time last season. On top of that, oddsmakers have the Browns listed with only the third-best odds to win the AFC North Division.
The Baltimore Ravens are the overwhelming favorite to repeat as divisional champs, listed at -200. Meaning a bettor would need to lay $200 to win $100 on the Ravens winning the division again. The Ravens are followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers at +350 and the Browns at +450. The Cincinnati Bengals are listed as the overwhelming underdog in the division at 25/1.
BetOnline also lists regular season win-totals for NFL teams; the Browns are listed at 8.5 wins. Bettors will eventually have the opportunity to bet OVER or UNDER 8.5 wins for the Browns. The Ravens are listed at 11.5 wins, while the Steelers are at 9.5 wins and the Bengals are at just 5.5 wins.
3News reached out to longtime sports handicapper Alan Harris of Doc's Sports and former supervisor at The Aria Race and Sportsbook in Las Vegas for his perspective on the overwhelming "betting love" for the Ravens as well as what appears to be doubt in the Browns.
"The Ravens are the obvious team to beat in the AFC North," Harris said. "Lamar Jackson is the real deal and while I think teams will catch on a bit to what he likes to do, he's still really good."
Harris admits there probably isn't much difference between the Steelers and Browns, but says both teams have various question marks.
"The Browns roster probably has more talent top to bottom, but they've been so dysfunctional for so long, that people are betting the Steelers," Harris explained. "Part of the reason is that so many people bought into the Browns hype last season and got burned in the process, so they are hestitant to back a team that didn't come close to living up to expectations in 2019."
Last season the Browns were favored to win the AFC North Division.
BetOnline is a privately held online gambling company offering sports betting, casino games and wagering on horse racing.
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