Panthers Trade for Baker Mayfield; Browns Now Just 1-Point Favorites In Week 1

Panthers Trade for Baker Mayfield; Browns Now Just 1-Point Favorites In Week 1

Panthers odds after Mayfield trade

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) hangs his head as he walks off the field following a 37-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in an NFL football game at FirstEnergy Stadium, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Cleveland, Ohio. [Jeff Lange/Beacon Journal]

Browns 10

The Carolina Panthers have acquired Baker Mayfield in a trade with the Cleveland Browns
Carolina’s NFC South title odds slightly improved from +1100 to +1000 after the trade
The Browns are now only 1-point favorites in Week 1 after opening as -3.5 favorites

Upon hearing the news that the Carolina Panthers had acquired quarterback Baker Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns, two questions immediately sprung to mind.

Firstly, why do the Panthers think this move is going to be a difference-maker? Secondly, isn’t Carolina basically replacing Sam Darnold with a different version of Darnold?

Oddsmakers evidently are seeing the trade as being a slight upgrade for Carolina. The Panthers shortened from +1100 to +1000 to win the NFC South in the NFL division odds.

NFC South Odds

Team
Odds
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
-320
New Orleans Saints
+380
Carolina Panthers
+1000
Atlanta Falcons
+3000

Odds as of July 6th at Caesars Sportsbook. See this list of Caesars Sportsbook promos before wagering.

Meanwhile, Cleveland’s betting line to win the AFC North lengthened from +270 to +320.

Panthers Lowering QB Bar

Is there an NFL team with a more mediocre quarterback room than the Panthers? Last season, Mayfield threw for 17 touchdowns against 13 interceptions.

He was 6-8 and his passer rating was 83.1. Mayfield’s QBR was a career-low 35.1. Among NFL QBs, Mayfield rated 27th in passer rating and 28th in QBR.

BREAKING: Panthers acquiring QB Baker Mayfield for a 2024 conditional 5th-round pick. pic.twitter.com/l3t1IXpwDz

— NFL (@NFL) July 6, 2022

Darnold rated 32nd in passer rating (71.9) and 31st in QBR (31.2). He threw for nine TDs, was picked off 13 times and went 4-7. So yes, it is a slight upgrade. But it’s kind of like switching from a Chevy Spark to a Toyota Yaris. It isn’t going to help Carolina in the Super Bowl odds.

Can Both Teams Lose a Trade?

Imagine someone telling you that your team could have the first and third pick in the NFL Draft. Would that be something you’d be in favor of doing? On paper, it sure sounds like a positive development in terms of NFL betting strategies.

Well, that’s what Carolina now has – the first (Mayfield) and third (Darnold) overall picks of the 2018 NFL Draft. All it cost them was a conditional fifth-round draft pick to get Mayfield. Word is Cleveland is even going to pick up $10.3 million of Mayfield’s salary. And yet, it all feels like such a bad idea.

First look at Baker Mayfield as a Carolina Panther pic.twitter.com/mghDNKLRZ2

— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake) July 6, 2022

A year ago, the Panthers were dealing second, fourth and sixth-round draft choices to the New York Jets for Darnold. They will be paying him $18.155 million this season, likely to sit on the bench behind Mayfield. Just last week, the Panthers were raving about how well Darnold was working with the team’s new offense. He was heavily favored to be Carolina’s Week 1 starting QB.

It’s a different sport but the other day, Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman was discussing the anatomy of trading. Believe it or not, Yzerman proclaimed, professional sports teams don’t just make trades for the sake of making trades.

Evidently, the Panthers do.

Cleveland Botched This, Too

While busily pointing out the flaws of the Panthers, let’s not forget how much of a run for their money the Browns are giving them in the ineptness department.

Cleveland dealt to get All-Pro QB Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans. The Browns were either unaware or didn’t care about the legal troubles surrounding Watson. He’s facing over 20 civil suits, accused of sexually harassing and sexually assaulting dozens of female massage therapists.

Robby Anderson after seeing his QB is either Sam Darnold or Baker Mayfield pic.twitter.com/eH9clyP0oF

— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) July 6, 2022

The NFL held hearings last week to determine whether to suspend Watson under the league’s personal conduct policy.  Meanwhile, Mayfield, as big a diva in football cleats as there’s ever been, was deeply hurt that the Browns were turning away from him. He wasn’t about to consider helping the team out in their time of need. Their divorce was final.

That’s likely leaving Cleveland’s offense in the hands of Jacoby Brissett. The Browns should’ve checked with the Indianapolis Colts to see how that works out (Narrator’s voice: Not well).

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An Odd Scenario In Terms of the Odds

Well, well, isn’t this interesting – in Week 1 of the NFL regular season on Sept. 11, the Browns are at Carolina. Cleveland was a 3.5-point pick. The Browns are now down to 1-point favorites. Think Mayfield might be a bit fired up for that game?

Overall, both teams are today further away from their objectives than they were prior to this deal. In the NFL conference odds, Cleveland jumped from +1200 to +1400 to win the AFC title. Carolina’s NFC title odds grew to +6000 from +5000.

The #Panthers now have the number 1 overall pick in the 2018 Draft in Baker and the number 3 overall pick in the 2018 Draft in Sam Darnold playing QB for them.

Both QBs haven’t made a single Pro-Bowl in their careers.

The #Browns and #Panthers play each other Week 1. pic.twitter.com/NEO0uFZzqZ

— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) July 6, 2022

Oddsmakers have taken the Browns right off the board in terms of NFL win totals and in the NFL playoff odds. They were at 8.5 wins, -150 to make the playoffs and +300 to miss the postseason.

Carolina is at 6.5 wins. That’s actually an increase from the Panthers’ opening line of 6 wins. They remain +450 to make the playoffs. However, Carolina’s line to miss the playoffs has shortened from -650 to -550.

No matter the play you might be considering, the best bet here is to shove that money down deeper into your pocket.

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Robert Duff

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An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.

NFL
NBA
MLB
NHL
NCAAF
NCAAB
Tennis

An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.

Author: Jesse Smith