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Why are Browns favored over Bills? Oddsmakers explain

The Bills are 6-2 and 3-0 on the road. The Cleveland Browns are 2-6 and 0-3 at home.

Buffalo seemingly should be an obvious favorite heading into Sunday's game at FirstEnergy Stadium. But instead the Browns opened as a three-point favorite Sunday night, although the line has already moved to two in some places.

Why?

Because the bettors have been all over the Browns even as their odds plummeted from 25-1 to win the Super Bowl to 66-1.  And the line follows the public's expectation.

The Browns were favored by four points over the Denver Broncos, who were playing without starting quarterback Joe Flacco. The Browns lost the game, 24-19.

"Eighty percent of the money was on the Browns last week, and this has been the way the public has gone most of the season," Adam Burns, the sports book manager for BetOnline.ag, said. "Browns games have been a great result for the book.

"Despite the Browns’ poor record this season, especially at home, they have opened as a 3-point favorite in this game mostly due to public perception. That may be changing as the game has already been bet down to two points.”

The Bills-Browns line was among the longest discussions as CG Technology in Las Vegas attempted to set the line. The range was from a pick 'em game to Browns by three and CG Technology eventually settling on Browns by 2 1/2 as the opening line.

The sports book was trying to see what would be enough to attract the early betting.

"The Bills’ schedule is what it is, but they haven’t really played anybody," said Dave Sharapan, an oddsmaker/risk analyst at CG. "That’s the discussion that keeps coming up, but all they do is win games and play good defense. ... I’ve been against the Browns all season. I don’t think they’re good and I don’t think Freddie Kitchens is a good coach.

"This is the most debate we’ve had on a Bills line in weeks."

The Bills are 5-3 against the spread and 3-0 against the spread on the road. The Browns are 2-6 against the spread and 0-3 against the number at home.

So, what gives?

"I don’t when the betting public will jump off the Browns' train," Sharapan said. "They’ve been backing the browns week after week and week and burning their money week after week. I can see the public asking how are the Browns favored? It does not make any sense, so give me the Bills. I can see it going that way. The line is going down before it goes up."

Playbook.com's Marc Lawrence, who provides selections on Bills' games for the News, said he expect the line to drop to closer to a pick 'em as the week goes on.

"The Browns are in total disarray," Lawrence said.

 

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