Cleveland Browns Bandwagon Seems to be Emptying in a Hurry


The Cleveland Browns entered the season as one of the most talked about teams in the National Football League. A blockbuster off-season made them the league’s media darlings, with talk of the Brownies actually putting up a fight against annual juggernaut New England for AFC supremacy.

Well, five games in, it’s been way more sizzle than steak as Cleveland is just 2-3, with a season point differential of -30. Starting quarterback Baker Mayfield tried to use all publicity as bulletin board material, believing in his mind that his team was the league’s villain, due to their national trendiness.

Despite not being to the playoffs in 16 years, NFL betting sites were bullish on the Browns as they were given 10-1 Super Bowl odds at Caesars. Westgate backed them at 18-1. If you bet the Super Bowl today, you’ll see the Browns priced at 60-1 by Vegas Insider, on par with perennial losers like the Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills. Odds Shark has Browns Super Bowl odds right in the middle of the pack, as 15 teams currently possess more favorable odds than the Cleveland Browns.

With odds rising, and rising fast, it’s clear that all the bandwagon hoopers from August are disembarking right now. By August 19, the New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears and Browns took in more than $1 million in Super Bowl bets at Nevada’s MGM sportsbooks.

Here in early October, we just don’t see as much hot and heavy action on Cleveland.

All that preseason hype, especially so for a team with such a less than illustrious history, seems to have faded already. Maybe this just isn’t a team that performs well when the spotlight is on them. Now with the Cleveland Browns set to slip under the radar a bit, perhaps they will be better suited for success.

With 11 games to go yet, there is still plenty of time to turn things around. Fresh off a 31-3 blowout at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers, their next test is also against a west coast team, the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 13.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC and Chicago on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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