For the second time in four days, a big-name NFL wide receiver changed teams. This time, it was Odell Beckham Jr., who was traded from the New York Giants to the Cleveland Browns.
And with Cleveland considered a team more so on the way up, the oddsmakers’ response was arguably much more interesting than the moves made after Oakland’s acquiring of Antonio Brown from Pittsburgh on Saturday.
At William Hill US sportsbooks in Nevada, New Jersey and Mississippi, director of trading Nick Bogdanovic adjusted the Browns’ Super Bowl futures odds from 25/1 to 18/1.
“We’re already a decent loser with them,” Bogdanovic said. “The Browns always draw money in the futures book.”
Tony DiTommaso, risk manager for CG Technology sportsbooks in Las Vegas, quickly moved Cleveland from 20/1 to 15/1 in the Super Bowl futures book, and from 10/1 to 7/1 to win the AFC title.
“The team is starting to look pretty good,” DiTommaso said from his home base at the M Resort sportsbook. “The AFC North is not all that great. The Steelers and Ravens could be taking a step or two backwards.”
John Murray, director of The SuperBook at Westgate, said his shop moved Cleveland from 25/1 to 14/1 on Super Bowl futures, and from 12/1 to 7/1 on AFC futures. Only Kansas City and New England – both at 3/1 – have shorter odds to win the AFC.
A few miles south at the South Point, sportsbook director Chris Andrews made a similar Super Bowl futures adjustment on the Browns.
“We had the Browns 25/1, now at 15/1,” Andrews said. “We lose pretty good with them.”
DraftKings Sportsbook mirrored the SuperBook’s move on Cleveland’s Super Bowl futures, going from 25/1 to 14/1.
However, PointsBet New Jersey took a very different approach after the Browns added Beckham to an offense led by young upstart quarterback Baker Mayfield. PointsBet was at 30/1 pre-trade and remained there afterward.
“We will price freeze until at least noon (Wednesday). We really don’t think it moves the needle,” a PointsBet representative told Covers. “We haven’t repriced the AFC yet. That will change, but we don’t think this helps bring a Super Bowl (title) to Cleveland.”
Later, PointsBet New Jersey CEO Johnny Aitken reiterated that stance.
“We heard the news, and we decided that the Browns will always be the Browns,” Aitken said. “We don’t think they win the Super Bowl in 2020, so we are giving some value to our clients.”
Meanwhile, the Giants correspondingly had their Super Bowl odds significantly downgraded. The SuperBook moved New York from 40/1 to 80/1, CG Technology went from 40/1 to 75/1, and William Hill US shifted from 40/1 to 60/1.
Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.