Both of Ohio’s NFL franchises entered Week 2 as heavy favorites. Not only did both fail to cover their lofty point spreads with a majority of the betting marking on their side, each team lost outright.
Ohio sports betting won’t be live until Jan. 1, 2023, but many Ohioans are close enough to neighboring states to cross the border and place legal bets themselves. Those who put money on Ohio’s hometown teams this week learned some hard lessons about sports betting.
Here’s how the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals fared and why they disappointed bettors who backed the favorites in Week 2.
Some important lessons here to keep in mind for when legal sports betting arrives here soon.
Browns make crucial mistakes late in shocking loss
The Browns were favored by 6.5 points over the New York Jets, and bettors largely backed Cleveland, with 68% of the bets and 67% of handle (money wagered) on the home team, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
After scoring a touchdown to go up by 13 points with less than 2 minutes remaining, a Browns cover seemed all but guaranteed.
Not so fast.
With New York out of timeouts, the Browns made a critical error when running back Nick Chubb punched in a 12-yard touchdown with 1:55 remaining. If Chubb had purposely fallen short of the goal, Cleveland could have run out the clock and won the game.
Making matters worse, rookie kicker Cade York missed the ensuing extra point, though it seemed inconsequential at the time with a 13-point lead and so little time remaining. NFL kickers only missed around 8% of extra points in 2021.
Instead, the Jets mounted an improbable two-touchdown comeback within a span of 60 seconds of game time. According to ESPN, teams leading by 13 points in the final two minutes had won 2,229 consecutive games.
The sweat for bettors started soon after the Chubb TD. The Browns defense inexplicably left receiver Corey Davis wide open for a 66-yard touchdown on the second play of the ensuing drive. That TD and extra point swung the New York bets ahead thanks to the 6.5-point spread and Cleveland’s missed extra point.
But things got worse for the Browns from there. The Jets then recovered an onside kick — a feat that has fallen to around a 5% success rate since new kickoff rules went into effect in 2018.
Jets QB Joe Flacco then led the game-winning drive that culminated with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson with 22 seconds remaining. The extra point gave New York the lead.
Browns meltdown recap
- Nick Chubb unnecessary TD with 1:55 remaining
- Cade York missed XP (~8% probability)
- Jets 66-yard TD on second play
- Jets recover onside kick (~5% probability)
- Jets drive for game-winning TD
- Jets make XP (~92% probability)
Cincinnati Bengals also lose as heavy favorites
Unlike Cleveland, Cincinnati’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday looked destined early.
Still, as 7.5-point favorites, the Bengals were viewed by bettors as highly likely to dominate the Cowboys, led by backup quarterback Cooper Rush.
Bettors at DraftKings Sportsbook placed 87% percent of bets and 91% of handle on Cincinnati despite giving up more than a touchdown on the road.
For the second straight week, the Bengals rallied from 17-3 deficits only to lose on last-second field goals.
After struggling on offense all day, including absorbing six sacks, QB Joe Burrow led a 19-play, 83-yard drive to tie the game at 17 on a Tee Higgins 5-yard TD pass and a two-point conversion to Tyler Boyd.
The Bengals had a chance to steal this one after getting the ball back with 2:13 remaining, but the offense went three-and-out. The Cowboys drove into field goal range, and kicker Brett Maher hit a 50-yarder to win the game as time expired.
The Bengals are 0-2 after entering both weeks as heavy betting favorites.
Browns, Bengals Week 2 betting by the numbers
|Team||Line||% Bets||% Handle||Result|
|Cleveland Browns||-6.5||68%||67%||Jets 31, Browns 30|
|Cincinnati Bengals||-7.5||87%||91%||Cowboys 20, Bengals 17|
Ohio sports betting will catch final week of NFL season
Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals football fans won’t be able to legally bet on their teams in Ohio until Week 17 of the 2022 NFL season.
The Browns visit the Washington Commanders on New Year’s Day — the first day of legal betting in Ohio. The Bengals host the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football the following evening.
For now, Ohio bettors are limited to placing real-money bets in neighboring states: Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia all offer legal sports betting.
For those who want to try out sports betting on an app, the betJACK app is a free-money sports betting platform that will transition to real money once Ohio sports betting goes live.