Browns Favorite Against Steelers: Understanding Vegas


The Cleveland Browns are favorites against the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend according to this report:

"The Browns being favored by two points, according to Bovada, is even more surprising considering preseason expectations and the fact that Cleveland has a worse record."

They are right to some extent. Record, expectations and history can play a huge role in how games are seen, just not in Vegas. For gamblers it is all about data and understanding the game at hand. They may look at history, but recent history more than long-standing history.

For Vegas there are generally two things, directly game related, that are worth more than a point: quarterback and home-field advantage. All other players are only considered by them to impact the game by one point or less. Even a great player like Rob Gronkowski only changed the Vegas line by a point.

The quarterback match-up is much closer than expected between Ben Roethlisberger and Brian Hoyer. The Steelers like get a point difference with Big Ben.

Home field is where things get interesting in this match-up. Generally Vegas gives three points to the home team. When the Browns and the Steelers matched up in Week 1 the home Steelers won by three. With this game being in Cleveland Vegas likely gives those three points to the Browns.

Three for being home minus the one given for Big Ben gives us the two point favorite Browns. May not be a huge number but it says a ton about how far the Browns have come, and the Steelers have not inspired, in the first few weeks of the season.

Hopefully the Dawg Pound comes in full throat Sunday making that three point home-field advantage really hold up.

Do you bet on football? Specifically the Browns?