Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) walks on the field during training camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) walks on the field during training camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports.

How to Bet on the Cleveland Browns Following Deshaun Watson’s Suspension

The fate of Deshaun Watson has been decided, as the Cleveland Browns quarterback will be suspended for the first six games of the 2022-23 NFL season.

Watson is eligible to return on Oct. 23, when the Browns travel to the Baltimore Ravens for a divisional matchup. The NFL released a statement Monday saying it would determine whether to appeal, as it will have three days to do so.

This decision has been a long time coming, and it has kept oddsmakers from taking a stance on Cleveland’s betting markets. With the suspension set, here is a look at the latest betting lines for the Browns ahead of the 2022-23 NFL season.

Browns’ Super Bowl Odds

The Cleveland Browns are listed at +2500 to win the Super Bowl at WynnBET’s online sportsbook as of Monday, Aug. 1.

That value makes Cleveland 13th in odds to win the championship, tied with the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins. The Buffalo Bills (+600), Kansas City Chiefs (+1000), Denver Broncos (+1600), Los Angeles Chargers (+1600), Cincinnati Bengals (+2000) and Baltimore Ravens (+2000) all have better chances of winning the title in a competitive AFC.

Cleveland’s AFC Championship Odds

All of those same AFC teams are ahead of the Browns in this market, too.

Cleveland has a price of +1200 to win the AFC, which is good for seventh in the conference. The Buffalo Bills are the favorite with a value of +300, while the Kansas City Chiefs are listed at +500. The Cincinnati Bengals, who made it to the Super Bowl last year, are +1000 to make it back.

AFC North Odds

This is where things get interesting, because the Browns were originally listed at +320 to win the AFC North.

Cleveland is now +280 to win its division, which is third behind a pair of rivals. The Baltimore Ravens are the favorite with a value of +145, while the Cincinnati Bengals come in behind them with a price of +185.

Prior to this news, Baltimore had a price of +130 to win the division. Cincinnati’s odds have not changed.

Conclusion

The Cleveland Browns just so happen to have a favorable schedule through the first six weeks of the season.

Cleveland’s Opening Schedule:

  • Week 1: at Carolina Panthers

  • Week 2: vs. New York Jets

  • Week 3: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Week 4: at Atlanta Falcons

  • Week 5: vs. Los Angeles Chargers

  • Week 6: vs. New England Patriots

Even with Jacoby Brissett under center, Cleveland should be the betting favorite in at least four of its first six games. Brissett graded out as the 15th-best QB (in 374 snaps) via Pro Football Focus last season, though his career mark is a bit worse than that.

Brissett will be serviceable, especially given the talent around him and the competition Cleveland is expected to face. The Browns could labor through this stretch with a .500 clip or better before Watson takes over.

I actually think most of these futures prices reflect that sentiment. So I’d rather wait to see if Cleveland drops a game or two that it shouldn't before looking at ways to bet this team. Of all the markets, the Browns to win the AFC North is my preferred target because all three contenders (Baltimore, Cincinnati and Cleveland) will probably finish in the 8-11 win range.

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