The news that Baker Mayfield and Kevin Stefanski are out has caused a +4.5-point swing in the odds for Browns versus Raiders.
Although many Cleveland Browns fans believe the team would be vastly improved by sitting down Baker Mayfield and having offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt take over play-calling duties, the oddsmakers disagree.
Almost immediately after the Browns announced that Baker Mayfield and coach Kevin Stefanski have tested positive for Covid-19, the line jumped by +4.5 points.
According to the Week 15 betting odds on WynnBET , as of 5:45 PM on Wednesday, the Raiders had become -1.5-point favorites after starting the day -3.0-point underdogs.
Frankly, this comes as a shock to those of us who thought Case Keenum would be the better option compared to Baker Mayfield, given his injury situation. The people who know best are definitely the gamblers and not us writers.
Typically, it doesn’t matter that much if a position player is lost. But if it is the quarterback, he can move the line by as much as six points. Someone like Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, or Aaron Rodgers might move the line even a few more points.
This writer doesn’t bet, but the eyeball test says that Mayfield isn’t nearly at his best and therefore not putting up his normal numbers. Case Keenum seems, by far the better option, but I’m not putting money on it against the experts.
It’s a fair point that bettors might be thinking that there might be several Browns that are yet to be infected by Covid. Mayfield, then, might not be responsible for the entire +4.5-point swing. The line had already been moving earlier in the week as several other players were testing positive for Covid-19.
However, Mayfield is not nearly at his best. The real question is, what would Mayfield be valued at if he were healthy? It would seem that he would be graded out as something like -5 or -6 points better than backup Case Keenum.
Takeaways are that the people who know best like both Baker Mayfield at quarterback, and they like Kevin Stefanski’s play calling. Conversely, they do not believe in Case Keenum and they are not impressed with Alex Van Pelt as a play-caller.