Odell Beckham Jr. Boosts The Cleveland Browns Chance At Super Bowl 54
The Cleveland Browns have been, for a long time, the biggest punchline in football. But now we’re in a new era, and the Browns’ Super Bowl odds have never been better.
When Paul DePodesta became the chief strategy officer of the Browns in 2016, the Browns have made some excellent moves to transform the laughing stock of an NFL franchise into a seemingly force to reckon with — at least in the AFC North.
With Odell Beckham Jr. in tow, the Browns are primed to take things further after going 7-8 in 2018, and it reflects on their Super Bowl odds, which have been the shortest in years.
Nitrogen Sports Blog takes a look at where the Browns stand in the middle of the offseason.
The Cleveland Browns’ Super Bowl odds are trending up
After being the NFL’s perennial loser for years, the Browns have seemed to right the ship under DePodesta’s leadership. Using analytics, he built a strong resume helping Billy Beane build baseball teams for the Oakland A’s. Now his moneyball strategy is shaping the NFL.
After turning in a promising season in 2018, the league has taken notice of the talent in Cleveland, which is +1,000 to win Super Bowl 54. The Browns searched for years, but it looks like they finally found their franchise QB.
Baker Mayfield showed the ability to move the ball, make plays, and lead his team to the end zone. He can sling the ball down field just as well as he can open up the field with his legs.
The Browns have acquired a bunch of playmakers to surround their charismatic quarterback. Over the past couple of years they’ve added outstanding depth at the skill positions.
Jarvis Landry, Demetrius Harris, David Njoku, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are all dangerous playmakers. Expect this dynamic group to gain a lot of yards and put up tons of points in 2019. It’s just a matter of getting it all together for the Browns, who have a new head coach in Freddie Kitchens.
The Browns also have also improved their defense. The additions of Pro Bowl defenders Sheldon Richardson, Morgan Burnett and Olivier Vernon boost the team’s stop unit.
But one move stands out above the others.
The Addition of Odell Beckham Jr. makes the Browns a Super Bowl dark horse
After bringing WR Odell Beckham Jr. on board, the Browns are looking to join the NFL’s elite.
They don’t belong yet at the same table as the New England Patriots or the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the Browns Super Bowl odds are in the top five shortest in the NFL at this point of the offseason.
In other words, the Browns are among the top NFL Super Bowl 54 favorites based on their future odds.
The arrival of Odell Beckham Jr. in Cleveland elevates the Browns’ offense as a whole and the team’s Super Bowl odds. OBJ gives them one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL to go along with a confident signal-caller in Baker Mayfield, who barely missed winning the 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year to New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley.
Beckham’s abilities have no limits. He stretches the field but also can make catches in traffic. It would be hard to create a more talented player in a laboratory. It looks like the Browns have fostered the perfect situation for the growing Baker Mayfield. And OBJ might be the icing on the cake.
Apart from Beckham’s individual talent, his presence alone will take away much of the defenses’ focus away from Landry. The Browns’ two-headed wideout monster in Beckham and Landry will give opposing defensive coordinators nightmares. And that’s not even accounting for the Browns’ backfield that will eventually get Kareem Hunt back in action.
The Browns’ offseason additions look to have ready to contend with anyone. But the Browns started to put it together over their final 8 games of 2018. They went 5-3 in the second half and looked like a team that could win the AFC North in 2019.
It wasn’t that long ago when the Browns finished a season without even a single win. That was in 2016, when they went 0-16, the lowest of the low in the franchise’s long and catastrophic history in the NFL.
It looks like the Browns are ready to put the misery behind them, though, as they seem to be headed to a different direction — a much better one. It’s not as crazy to say this anymore as it was in previous years: Cleveland is a legitimate contender for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
If you don’t believe that, just check out the Browns’ odds to win Super Bowl 54. For more about the NFL and betting, regularly check out Nitrogen Sports Blog’s pieces on how to bet on sports.