Nothing comes easy for the Cleveland Browns, not even a touchdown run
The Cleveland Browns found a new way to frustrate the betting and fantasy football public, choosing to run out the clock rather than completing a touchdown run after Nick Chubb had broken into the clear with a 59-yard run. Rather than scoring a touchdown with 0:53 left that would have led to a decisive 17-7 victory, Chubb stepped out of bounds at the one-yard line with seconds left, allowing quarterback Baker Mayfield to kneel twice and drain time off the clock and snuff the life out of the Texans, resulting in a 10-7 victory.
Though the spread and over/under moved all over the place due to the unusual weather conditions, many fans bet late in the week on the Browns, figuring that the Browns running game would allow them to prevail in adverse weather conditions — despite the fact that it did not work against Oakland two weeks earlier — and they were correct. Late in the week, the spread had grown to four points, so those who bet on the Browns lost their money, while those who bet on the completely ineffective Houston Texans were rewarded by that last-minute maneuver.
This is a great reason not to bet NFL football. Who could predict such a crazy play? Clearly, the Browns were dominant on the ground and simply beat up the Texans in the fourth quarter. But it didn’t show up that way on the scoreboard. 10-7 looks a lot closer than 17-7.
Before you call up Will Smith and the Suicide Squad to put a hit on the team, please consider that this was definitely not the fault of Nick Chubb or any of the Cleveland Browns players or coaches. It was definitely the right way to play to win.
Deshaun Watson is so talented that you cannot rule out the possibility of two scores in one minute. Plus, they had already succeeded with one trick play from Ka’imi Fairbairn and the kicking team (a pooch-punt out of a field goal formation), so an on-sides kick was also a definite possibility from this talented squad. The odds were against Watson and the Texans being successful, but it was not impossible. The correct football move was to take the ball out of Watson’s hands altogether, kneel and let the clock run out. If anyone is to blame, it is Deshaun Watson because he is too much of a threat.
Unfortunately, football coaches don’t try to score touchdowns according to the point spread, as a matter of policy. They don’t care about betters or fantasy football owners. They only want to win the game on the scoreboard. That’s the heartbreaking reality. So those of us (including this fan) who had Nick Chubb on their fantasy football team did not get the six points we would normally have gotten, and those bettors who needed a four-point victory were let down in the most agonizing way possible.
Scuttlebutt has it that most of the money had come in on the Browns, so when the Browns won by only three, it resulted in millions of dollars being made by the betting houses rather than the betting public.
On the other hand, those Browns fans who had bet earlier in the week were able to get a more favorable spread of -2 or -2.5 points and they may have still come home victorious.
Anyway, if it were easy, it would not be the Browns.