How Deshaun Watson Suspension News Impacted Browns’ Super Bowl Odds

The QB is set to miss Cleveland's first six games this season


Aug 1, 2022

The Browns learned Monday they’ll be without quarterback Deshaun Watson to begin the 2022 NFL season, yet Cleveland’s Super Bowl odds actually shortened following the news.

Watson, who faced allegations of sexual misconduct, has been suspended six games, a decent chunk of time, no doubt, but a slap on the wrist compared to what the QB could’ve faced. After all, there had been some question as to whether Watson might be suspended for the entire 2022 campaign.

DraftKings Sportsbook moved the Browns’ Super Bowl LVII odds from +3000 to +2500 upon learning Watson’s fate. Cleveland’s odds to win the AFC North went from +275 to +230.

Obviously, the Browns will have their work cut out for themselves over the first six weeks, assuming Watson’s suspension remains intact. (The NFL Players Association does not intend to appeal the punishment, and the NFL has until Thursday at 9 a.m. ET to decide whether to follow suit.)

But the stretch features several matchups winnable for Cleveland even with Watson sidelined and backup Jacoby Brissett possibly under center. The Browns are scheduled to face the Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots before Watson is eligible to return Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens.

The Ravens are the favorites to win the AFC North, with +165 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday night. The defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals sit above Cleveland on the betting board at +210, while the Steelers have +1000 odds to secure the divisional crown.

Watson, acquired by the Browns from the Houston Texans back in April, sat out all of last season. The 26-year-old earned a Pro Bowl selection in each of his three seasons as Houston’s full-time starter, and his arrival in Cleveland obviously raises expectations after the Browns regressed in 2021.

Thumbnail photo via Jeff Lange/Akron Beacon Journal via USA TODAY Sports Images

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