Things are looking up for the Cleveland Browns after Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson tabbed them as his future team Friday.
Although Ohio sports betting won’t be online until January 2023 at the latest, Browns fans could have a Super Bowl contender to put their money behind when it happens.
Watson has thrown for more than 14,000 yards and 100 touchdowns since coming into the league in 2017 and is set to be the heir apparent to Baker Mayfield under center for Cleveland in 2022.
According to reports, Watson waived his no-trade clause to play for the Browns and is expected to receive a new five-year contract that’s fully guaranteed. The Texans are reportedly receiving three first-round draft picks and other compensation in the trade.
The three-time Pro Bowler sat out the 2021 season after requesting a trade from Houston. The Clemson Tiger alum has been accused of, but not charged for, sexual harassment and misconduct, though he still faces 22 civil lawsuits surrounding the matter. It’s unclear whether the NFL will suspend Watson for violating the league’s code of conduct.
Here’s a rundown on how Watson’s addition impacts the Browns’ Super Bowl LVII odds:
Watson an Odds Game-Changer for Browns
Overnight, Cleveland has gone from Super Bowl afterthought to contender, thanks to the impending addition of Watson.
The Browns’ SBLVII odds range from +1500 on DraftKings Sportsbook (ranking in a tie for seventh with the San Francisco 49ers) to +1600 on BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, and FanDuel Sportsbook.
The week after the Super Bowl, the Browns were +3000 to win the Super Bowl at DraftKings.
Cleveland is in a tie with the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers for eighth place on BetMGM Sportsbook and Caesars Sportsbook and 10th overall on FanDuel Sportsbook’s Super Bowl big board.
In terms of divisional odds, FanDuel Sportsbook has Cleveland as the frontrunner, with odds of +155 to capture the franchise’s first AFC North crown since rejoining the NFL in 1999.
2022 Super Bowl Odds From BetMGM
Bills Still Have Best Odds
Buffalo, which signed defensive lineman Von Miller this week, is BetMGM’s Super Bowl favorite at +650. No. 2 on the list is Tampa Bay (+800), which saw quarterback Tom Brady return to the fold last weekend after his month-plus long retirement.
Kansas City, which still has Patrick Mahomes at quarterback and added receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster on Friday, is third on the odds board at +850. Green Bay, which was able to resign quarterback Aaron Rodgers, is fourth (+1100). And newly acquired quarterback Russell Wilson has lifted Denver to plus +1400.
Watson is ranked among the betting favorites to win the 2022 NFL Most Valuable Player award on two separate mobile sportsbooks, speaking to his potential under Browns coach Kevin Stefanski and his pairing with new-acquired receiver Amari Cooper (via trade with the Cowboys).
The sixth-year quarterback is listed at +1500 to win the MVP on DraftKings Sportsbook, which is good for eighth overall.
Watson is also listed at +2500 on FanDuel Sportsbook to win the 2022 MVP, ranking in a tie for 12th overall alongside Las Vegas Raiders’ QB Derek Carr.
While it's unclear how the Watson saga will unfold, one thing set in stone is Watson has given the Browns a betting boost.