NFL offseason action report: Bettors loving Browns

Jeff Stoneback, director of MGM race and sports in Las Vegas, logged on to his computer Sunday afternoon to examine the betting market for the Cleveland Browns to win the Super Bowl.

He paused, then paused some more.

"You have to enter a password in to get to the Browns, because there are so many tickets that it'll slow the system down," Stoneback said. "That tells you how popular they are."

As the NFL season kicks off, the Browns aren't the only public darlings out there. Books in Las Vegas also are wary of the Chicago Bears, while, back east, Pennsylvania and New Jersey books are overloaded with bets on the Philadelphia Eagles.

The action will begin to unfold Thursday. Bettors have taken their positions, and bookmakers are juiced for their most profitable months. The NFL is back.

Here's a look at the offseason betting action from across the U.S.


• More Super Bowl bets have been placed on the Browns than have been placed on any other team at William Hill sportsbooks in Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey and West Virginia.

• More Super Bowl bets have been placed on the Browns than on any other team at MGM sportsbooks in Nevada. After opening at 22-1, Cleveland is now 8-1 to win the Super Bowl, behind only the New England Patriots (5-1) and Kansas City Chiefs (6-1). There are 10 bets of $1,000 or more on the Browns, including an $8,000 bet at 8-1 at MGM.

• The Browns also are the worst-case Super Bowl winner for bookmaker PointsBet. More than half of the money bet on the book's Super Bowl odds is on the Browns.

"We get absolutely throttled if [the Browns] win the Super Bowl," said Matthew Chaprales, head of content for PointsBet. "It's the biggest liability on the books since we came online in the U.S., and, frankly, it's not even close."

PointsBet entered the growing U.S. sports betting market last summer.

• Most bets to win the Super Bowl at Caesars Sportsbook:

1. Bears
2. Browns
3. Chiefs
4. Saints
5. Cowboys

• Most money bet to win the Super Bowl at Caesars Sportsbook:

1. Chiefs
2. Patriots
3. Bears
4. Saints
5. Browns

• More money has been bet on the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl than has been bet on any other team at William Hill sportsbooks. The Patriots are a close second.

• The SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas moved the Chiefs into the role of Super Bowl favorite last week. Kansas City is 5-1, followed the Patriots at 6-1.

• The Chicago Bears have attracted double the amount of Super Bowl bets of any other team at Las Vegas sportsbook operator CG Technology.

• As of Friday, more than twice as many bets and nearly twice as much money had been on the Eagles to win the Super Bowl as had been bet on any other team at DraftKings.

• The Eagles also were the most popular Super Bowl bet at FanDuel, where 26.6 percent of the money in the pool was on Philadelphia. The Patriots had attracted the second-most money at 8.1 percent.

• Caesars Sportsbook does "great" with the Eagles on the Super Bowl odds at its Nevada properties, but "terrible" in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, according to head of risk Jeff Davis said.

• There is a lack of betting interest on the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams, who have seen their odds drift from as short as 6-1 to as long as 15-1.

"I can't get anybody to bet them," CG Technology sportsbook director Tony DiTammaso said.

Nine teams have more Super Bowl bets than the Rams at DraftKings sportsbook in New Jersey.

MGM, however, did take a $10,000 bet on the Rams to win the NFC at 6-1 on Sunday.

• At the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas, the New York Giants' Super Bowl odds have drifted from 40-1 to 200-1.

• The New York Jets have attracted more bets to win the Super Bowl than the New Orleans Saints at DraftKings. DraftKings has more exposure on the Jets winning the Super Bowl than any other team.

• The Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals have attracted the fewest bets to win the Super Bowl at MGM books in Nevada.

• There are at least three wagers of $1,500 or more on the Buccaneers to win the Super Bowl at William Hill sportsbooks, including a $2,000 bet at 125-1 placed in June in Nevada. The bettor would net $250,000 if Tampa Bay wins the Super Bowl. It's the largest single-ticket liability that William Hill has entering the first week of the season.

• On Sunday, CG Technology took a four-figure bet on the Seattle Seahawks to win the NFC at 13-1. "I'm betting he's not a tourist, walking around Labor Day weekend looking for value on an NFC bet," DiTamasso said. "I'll characterize it as a sharp wager."

• The Buccaneers have attracted the fewest Super Bowl bets at Caesars Sportsbooks. The Redskins have attracted the least amount of money wagered to win the Super Bowl at Caesars Sportsbook.

• "The Cardinals are the biggest liability," Caesars' Davis said, "but we would win so much money along the way that it wouldn't be [bad]. I would say the Oakland Raiders are the second-biggest liability, and the public loves them week to week. The Colts, Ravens and Titans are all very good [for the book]."

• The Raiders are the biggest Super Bowl liability for William Hill books to start the season, followed by the New York Giants and New York Jets.

Week 1 action

• The Jaguars-Chiefs game attracted the most early sharp action at PointsBet. Respected players took the underdog Jaguars +5 early, driving the point spread down to as low as -3.5. It's since settled back at Chiefs -4.

• "If the games were to kickoff today, the Jaguars-Chiefs would be our biggest decision," Stoneback of the MGM said. "It's early in the week, smaller limits and whatnot, but we've taken a ton of money on the Chiefs already."

Stoneback said that as of Sunday, there was $25 bet on the Chiefs for every $1 bet on the Jaguars.

• The sportsbook at the South Point casino in Las Vegas took a $30,000 three-team parlay on the Falcons +4, Steelers +6 and Texans +7. The bet would pay a net of $180,000.

• CG Technology took a $16,500 bet on the Steelers +6 from a respected player.

• The Bengals-Seahawks games attracted early lopsided action at FanDuel. As of Friday, 98.1 percent of point-spread money was on favored Seattle.

• CG Technology took a $10,000 money-line bet last week on the Bengals at +380. Cincinnati is a 9.5-point underdog in Seattle.

• The Cardinals-Lions point spread, since opening at pick 'em, has moved to Detroit -2.5.

• As of Sunday, nine times as much money had been bet on the favored Ravens as has been bet on the Dolphins at Caesars Sportsbook. After opening as low as -3.5, Baltimore was a 6.5- or 7-point favorite at most sportsbooks entering the week.

Win totals and player props

• The most-lopsided action on a season-win total at FanDuel is on the Panthers over 7.5 wins. Only 2.4 percent of the money bet on the Carolina win total is on the under.

• Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield attracted the most action to lead the league in passing touchdowns in the regular season at PointsBet. Mayfield's odds have improved from 15-1 to 10-1.

• Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has been the most heavily bet player in DraftKings' odds to win the MVP. Wentz's odds have improved from 16-1 to 10-1.

The Money

• An all-time high $1.8 billion was bet on football (both college and pro) last year at Nevada sportsbooks. Bookmakers say the NFL normally accounts for slightly more of the handle than college football, but the gap has narrowed.

"We write more now on a Saturday than we do a Sunday," CG Technology's DiTommaso said.

• While the week-to-week betting on NFL and college football is close, the action on the odds to win the Super Bowl compared to the odds to win the College Football Playoff national championship is not. Bookmakers said the total pool on the Super Bowls dwarfs the national championship betting by as much as 10 times.

• The MGM's Stoneback says roughly 50 percent of the money bet on the Super Bowl odds is placed before the season begins.

• The past five years, Nevada sportsbooks have won more money on football bets in the month of September ($190.3 million) than they have won in October and November combined ($190.1 million). (Nevada Gaming Control does not track the betting on NFL and college football separately).

• On the high end, betting limits on an NFL game are generally in the $20,000-$30,000 range. Casinos often grant VIP customers extended limits and $100,000-plus bets during the regular season surface from time to time.