The Cleveland Browns opened as early 2.5-point underdogs against the Carolina Panthers ahead of their Week 1 match-up, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. The over/under on the game is currently 41.5. Update: As of Tuesday, the line moved to the Browns being 1.5 point underdogs.
The Browns (0-0) are coming off of a very chaotic offseason, thanks to their quarterback situation. The front office rolled the dice to make Deshaun Watson the highest-paid quarterback in football, and while that may pay dividends in the future, he is suspended for the first 11 games of the 2022 NFL season. Cleveland may have been favored if Watson was under center, but instead they are forced to start Jacoby Brissett. Cleveland’s starting unit basically did not play all preseason, calling into question even more what this team’s identity will look like from the get-go. Add in wide receiver depth issues and injury questions at center and right tackle, and it’s hard to argue against the Browns being opening-week underdogs.
The Panthers (0-0) have the No. 1 overall pick and No. 3 overall pick from the 2018 NFL Draft on their roster: Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold. Mayfield was acquired from the Browns even after these two teams knew they would be squaring off to open the season, and Mayfield won the quarterback competition. Carolina, however, does not impress with their offensive line an face a lot of defensive issues too — namely where they will generate pressure from. Mayfield wanting to be fired up and seeking revenge sounds good on paper, but is he ready to handle the pressure from Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney?
The over/under for the game is 41.5, which is tied for the lowest of the weekend.
What odds would you take if you were placing a bet?