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Dawgs By Wager: Steelers at Browns - Odds and Prop Bets

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Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers at Browns

Finally favored!

For the first time this season, the Vegas handicappers are favoring the Cleveland Browns, opening the point spread at -2 as they play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday.

Over the last 48 hours, the line has moved consistently in the other direction, albeit no more than 0.5 to 2 points, which of course is not at all uncommon, especially for Browns games this year.

On Thursday night the public consensus only had about 51% of the bets placed on the Steelers, but since then, it's grown to 55%. As such, depending on the particular sportsbook, you can now find the spread anywhere from that opening line to an even +0/-0.

And while home-field advantage is worth roughly ~3 points against the spread in the NFL, this still marks the first time a Browns opponent is granted points by the odds makers. With that in mind, compared to spreads on Cleveland's two previous home games, they have since inspired a lot more confidence, at least as far as Vegas is concerned.

Stat Cleveland Browns Pittsburgh Steelers
Point Spread (Money Line) -2.0 (-105) +2.0 (-115)
Consensus: Current Bets 45% 55%
Computer Predicted Score 19 27

The Oddshark prediction computer, on the other hand, isn't letting up.

The Machines been doubting the Browns' offense since the beginning of the season and that trend didn't stop this week, despite having been consistently proven far, far off.

This is probably why the computer has never managed to win a pick against the spread for any Browns game this year. Will these algorithms ever learn?

The public consensus is almost as bad, but actually managed a single victory against the spread coming in last week at Tennessee. On the season, they moved to 1-2-1 when picking Browns games.

The Browns themselves, though, are an awesome 3-0-1 against the spread, but only have a .500 record to show for it. This week, the only way to cover is to win and do so by more than their average point margin.

Performance of opponents, consensus, computer, and Browns against the spread:

Week Opponent Spread (Line) Consensus Computer Final Browns ATS
1 @ Pittsburgh Steelers -6.5 (-115) 64% 22-15 30-27 Cover +3.5
2 New Orleans Saints -7.0 (-105) 65% 26-15 24-26 Cover +9.0
3 Baltimore Ravens -2.0 (-105) 62% 21-16 23-21 Push
4 bye
5 @ Tennessee Titans -1.0 (-125) 43% 17-16 28-29 Cover +2.0
6 Pittsburgh Steelers +2.0 (-115) 55% 27-19

Prop Bets

Guess who's back among the player proposition bets brought to us by Bovada?

Johnny freakin' Football, that's who!

Whether you're a Brian Hoyer supporter or not, you can get in on the action for this one. However, Bovada is actually giving a higher probability to the idea that Hoyer will in fact lose at least one start to Manziel this season, which even specifically rules out it occurring due to injury.

Given the standard conversion of the money line to probability (+/-100 = 50%), both ends of the proposition favor the sportsbook. But with the line at -130 for "Yes", that puts their estimation of it happening at roughly >56%. The "No" is merely >52%. Obviously both ends of the proposition can't truly have a greater than 50% chance of happening, which gives Vegas room to earn a nice profit.

The line is also probably an indication that they feel the fanatic Johnny Football fans are a lot more likely to be putting more money on his end of this prop bet than the Hoyer faithful, an entirely reasonable assumption.

Still, even after giving that better probability to Manziel winning start unrelated to an injury, they didn't extend this into Week 1 of next season. They have "Yes" that Manziel will start the first game of the 2015 season at an even 50/50 (+/-100), but "No" at a whopping >58% (-140).

Proposition: Yes No
Will Johnny Manziel start a game in the 2014 Regular Season (Non injury related) -130 -110
Will Johnny Manziel be the Starting QB of the Browns Week 1 of the 2015 Regular Season EVEN -140

Share your predictions for all the lines in the comments!

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