Purdum writes sports book operator CG Technology took “a $1,000 bet at 175-1 and a $500 bet at 200-1.”
MGM assistant manager Jeff Stoneback apparently laughed when asked about those putting money on the Browns to win it all.
The Browns, of course, haven’t won a championship of any sort since Jim Brown led Cleveland to the 1964 NFL title with a 27-0 win over the Baltimore Colts.
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The Super Bowl era began in the 1966 season and Cleveland is one of a handful of teams — all are listed below — to have never even reached a Super Bowl much less win one.
Stoneback says he thinks the Cleveland Cavaliers recently winning the NBA championship and breaking the city’s 52-year title drought has bettors hoping lightning strikes northeast Ohio twice.
“City of champions, right?” Stoneback told Purdum. “We've had the Cavs, the Indians are good. Why not the Browns?”
A quick visit to scoresandodds.com showed the Browns are currently a 200-to-1 longshot to win the upcoming Super Bowl.
The Patriots are the odds-on favorite at 8-to-1, followed by Seattle, Carolina and Pittsburgh — all at 10-to-1.
The Miami Dolphins are currently sitting at 55-to-1; the closest team to Cleveland is San Diego at 60-to-1.
Cleveland is also the biggest long-shot with Vegas setting a 4 1/2 win total for the Browns. Tennessee, which matched the Browns’ three-win total last season, is closest to the Browns in the win/loss wager at 5 1/2 games.
The Dolphins are sitting at 7.
So who exactly would bet on the Cleveland Browns to win the Super Bowl, especially this year?
Cleveland is coming off a 3-13 season, has a new coach in Hue Jackson and a new quarterback in Robert Griffin III.
Jackson becomes the ninth head coach of the Browns since they came back as an expansion team in 1999; Griffin is Cleveland’s 25th starting quarterback in that span.
Since 1999, the Browns have reached the playoffs just once, losing a 27-14 fourth-quarter lead against Pittsburgh in 2003. Butch Davis was coach of that Cleveland squad.
According to Purdum, the Browns — perhaps because they have the longest odds — have brought in more Super Bowl-winning bets than 11 other teams at CG Technology including Miami.
Chris Hovan, visiting Vegas from Ohio in March, told Purdum he made his $5 ticket on the Browns for the sport of it.
“It was made strictly as a joke,” Hovan is quoted as saying.
“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.”
Cleveland is one of four NFL teams to never make the Super Bowl, with Detroit being the only non-expansion era team on this short list.
The Houston Texans (2002) and Jacksonville Jaguars (1995) are the other two.