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

Dawgs By Wager is back! With it comes a batch of new odds, predictions, and prop bets for the Browns opener at Pittsburgh and the 2014 season overall.

Jason Miller

Browns at Steelers:

"Cleveland covers!"

Or so says Odds Shark's modern day Nostradamus known simply as: The Computer.

Now, before you start preparing for mankind's inevitable takeover at the hands of the machines, know that these computer predictions are actually just the result of in-depth analysis of advanced NFL statistical data. The computer crunches the numbers spits out a prediction.

Unfortunately for the Browns, the computer is predicting yet another Week 1 loss as they travel to meet the Steelers in Pittsburgh this Sunday. The good news for gambling Cleveland fans, however, is that the computer anticipates the Browns to cover the spread.

The point spread opened earlier this week at 5 points favoring the Steelers (-5). But as the betting continued to trend in Pitt's direction, the line has since moved to 6.5, which means with the computer's statistical prediction at 21.7 (Steelers) to 15.5 (Browns), Cleveland covers by 0.3!

It may seem easy to brush off advanced statistical analysis when the final scores are presented in fractions, but picking against the spread is one of the hardest things do to in sports handicapping. Plugging in a mathematical formula based on real NFL statistics into a computer provides an unbiased prediction based strictly on the numbers analyzed.

Stat Cleveland Browns Pittsburgh Steelers
Point Spread (Money Line) +6.5 (-105) -6.5 (-115)
Consensus: Current Bets 36% 64%
Computer Predicted Score 15.5 21.7

The over/under for the total score of both teams combined in this game is currently set at 41.5, with a standard money line at -110, per Bovada.lv.

Unsurprisingly, the computer predicted that the score would be under at 37.2, despite both defenses ranking in the bottom half of the league, sub-20th. The offenses are ranked in a similar range. But what is surprising thus far, 54% of the bets have been on the over.

Team Props:

Prop bets should be fun. Leave it to Cleveland sports to spoil those too.

Bovada has a slew of team-specific proposition bets that put into perspective just how much of a long shot Vegas thinks the Browns' chances of success are over the course of this season.

Proposition Bet Yes No
Browns win total = 6.5 Over (even) Under (-130)
Will the Browns make the playoffs? +400 -600
Browns finish with worst record 7/1

It's hard to place 6.5 wins considering the Browns' history since expansion. While it does seem like a reasonable prediction for a traditionally "bad" team, only two teams in the entirely NFL have a lower O/U win total. Both the Jaguars and Raiders are at 5. That's not company you want to be in.

Cleveland's playoff chances seem about right as well. The AFC North is often an incredibly tough division, even representing a wild card berth seven years in a row. In three of those seven, the AFC North sent three teams to the playoffs. None were the Browns.

Most depressing of all here, though, is getting 7/1 odds to finish with the worst record in the NFL. It's another spot where only the likes of the Jags and Raiders top them at 7/2. The Vikings have the same odds as the Browns in this category, 7/1. Coming in at fifth are the Titans at 12/1.

Let's hope that's a proposition Cleveland fails to meet.

Player Props:

Here's where it gets really intriguing.

In addition to the team props above, Bovada offers even more player-specific prop bets for people all around the league. Pick any team and there will be a handful of player props for them.

Just don't look for Brian Hoyer. Vegas doesn't seem to think he's interesting enough.

Proposition Bet Yes No
Johnny Manziel wins MVP 75/1
Manziel leads NFL in passing 150/1
Manziel wins Off. ROY 14/1
Justin Gilbert wins Def. ROY 25/1
Manziel is fined in regular season +200 -300
Manziel wins ROY and makes the playoffs +2000

Considering he won't even be starting in Week 1 and, by all accounts, has become comfortable in his role learning as a backup QB, those vast odds facing Johnny Manziel to win the MVP award and lead the league in passing are appropriately high.

But that wasn't the only wager where his chances have dropped significantly. If you recall from the previous Dawgs By Wager article in late May, Manziel was at that time 6/1 to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year, behind only Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans. Now he's fallen to 14/1, which is eighth in the league. Superior preseason performances from the other rookies moved them ahead.

The Browns other first-round pick, Justin Gilbert, finds himself in a similar situation in the run for Defensive Rookie of the Year, but the competition is even harder among the 2014 draft class on that side of the ball.

The most amusing proposition in the whole lot of them is easily the one asking whether or not Manziel will be fined in the regular season. We know he was caught on camera flipping the bird to the Redskins bench during a preseason game. Will the antics continue into the regular season? Three hundred dollars says "no," he's learned his $12,000 lesson.

And finally, to make the big bucks, you could get in the special prop where Manziel wins the ROY and the Browns make the playoffs, sporting a hefty +2000 money line.

The remaining player props:

Proposition Bet O/U
Ben Tate - Total Rushing Yards 800.5
Ben Tate - Total Touchdowns 6.5
Jordan Cameron - Total Receiving TDs 6
Jordan Cameron - Total Rec Yards 850.5
Paul Kruger - Total Sacks 6
Joe Haden - Total Interceptions 3.5

Share your predictions for all the lines in the comments!

Please play responsibly. Be sure to confirm the regulations in your jurisdiction. Only wager money that you can afford to lose. "Help is available 24/7 and is 100% confidential," via the National Council on Problem Gambling, 1-800-522-4700.