Sportress of Blogitude

Alarming number of bets laid in Las Vegas on Browns winning Super Bowl

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The Cleveland Browns undoubtedly should be viewed as considerable long shots to win Super Bowl LI, but that hasn’t stopped nearly 1,000 bets have been laid at MGM sportsbooks in Las Vegas picking the team to win it all.

Nearly 750 bets on the Browns also have been placed at Caesars Palace. At sportsbook operator CG Technology, wagers on the Browns winning it all is almost at 500.

“City of champions, right?” MGM assistant manager Jeff Stoneback said, laughing, per ESPN’s David Purdum. “We’ve had the Cavs; the Indians are good. Why not the Browns?”

Well, several things are working against the Browns in the 2016 NFL season.

The Browns underwent a massive organizational overhaul this past offseason from top to bottom, beginning with the hiring of Paul DePodesta as chief strategy officer and Andrew Berry as vice president of personnel.

Sashi Brown also was promoted to executive vice president of football operations. The organization’s new hierarchy then went out and hired former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson as the team’s new head coach and brought in Robert Griffin III as the new starting quarterback.

Still, bettors, many presumably with tongues firmly planted in their cheeks, made small-dollar wagers on the Browns, who opened in January with 200-1 odds to win the Super Bowl.

“It was made strictly as a joke,” Chris Hovan, of Brooklyn, Ohio, told ESPN of his bet in March. “I just wanted to place the ticket on the wall of my bar in the basement. I’ve been a season-ticket holder for 14 years, and I know that the Browns are going to be horrible again this year.”

Still, the Browns have attracted more bets picking them as Super Bowl winners than 11 other NFL teams.

On the other end of the “hope” spectrum, NFL analyst Brian Billick suggested recently he would be hard-pressed to pick a single game that the Browns should win.

To which Hue Jackson retorted, “Wow. Good for him.”

Odds are the Browns falls somewhere between Billick’s contention the team could lose every game and the 1,000 bettors who wagered on the team winning it all.