Oddsmakers are giving the Cleveland Browns virtually no shot at making the NFL playoffs in 2017. But betting on them to fail may not be the best play if you're looking to make some preseason prop wagers.
The odds, per Bovada sportsbook as of July 10, give the Browns a 20/1 chance of making the postseason. That means a bet of $100 will pay bettors a hefty $2,000 reward if it somehow happens.
Betting against the Browns reaching the playoffs means you'll have to risk $5,000 to win a single Benjamin Franklin note. It's more likely, but is it impossible the team makes a leap and performs better than their 1-15 finish last season?
The New York Jets share the longshot odds, making both teams the presumed cellar dwellers of the league, at least according to bookies who are taking on the risk of these odds.
Surprisingly, the numbers say the Browns were more likely to reach the postseason last year, one year into a rebuild, than they are now after overhauling their roster — hopefully with more talent. Per Oddshark on June 30, 2016, before last season, the Browns were +600 to make the playoffs and -1000 to miss the postseason.
If I were a betting man, I'd find the nearest legal betting establishment to put some shekels on the Browns making the 2017 playoffs. The payoff is phenomenal, requiring a small risk for a large reward. Who knows, maybe the young Browns are able to string together some wins in a vulnerable AFC North division and sneak into the AFC Wild Card?
I'd rather take a gamble that'll pay off than risk a large chunk of cash and hope the team continues to trend in the wrong direction. Who wants to be the guy sweating as the 7-6 Browns march into the final weeks of the season?
It could happen, and the risk is too high.