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Browns’ playoff odds lengthen after Deshaun Watson suspension

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 smiles during the first quarter of a preseason NFL game Friday, Aug. 12, 2022 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. The Cleveland Browns defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-13. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]Jacksonville Jaguars 2022 Cleveland Browns First Home Pre Season Scrimmage Second Scrimmage Preseason
Credit: Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Cleveland Browns’ odds to win Super Bowl LVII took a hit following Thursday’s announcement that quarterback Deshaun Watson will miss the first 11 games.

Watson, represented by the NFLPA, and the NFL settled on the punishment after the league appealed an initial six-game suspension that was rendered from an investigation into the allegations.

The initial suspension was handed down by former U.S. district Judge Sue L. Robinson, picked by the league and the NFLPA as an independent disciplinary officer.

Several sportsbooks told Field Level Media that their oddsmakers quickly adjusted the Browns’ futures odds following the announcement.

Cleveland’s Super Bowl odds lengthened from +3000 to +4000 at BetRivers, from +3300 to +5000 at PointsBet and from +2500 to +3000 at WynnBet. The Browns did remain unchanged at +3000 at FanDuel.

With the Browns having a bye in Week 9, they will be without Watson until at least Week 13 in December — when Cleveland travels to play his former team in Houston.

Veteran journeyman Jacoby Brissett is slated to start in Watson’s place until then.

That figures to make reaching the playoffs in the highly competitive AFC a real challenge, much less playing in the Super Bowl.

The Browns moved from +275 to win the AFC North to +400 at BetRivers, where their odds to win the AFC Championship also lengthened from +1600 to +2000.

WynnBet shifted the Browns’ conference title odds from +1200 to +1500 and their division title odds from +275 to +3000.

PointsBet adjusted a number of futures markets for both Cleveland and Watson:
–Super Bowl: +3300 to +5000
–AFC Championship: +1800 to +2500
–Over 8.5 wins: -110 to +135
–Make Playoffs: +150 to +200
–Deshaun Watson MVP +10000 to +25000
–Deshaun Watson Comeback POY: +10000 to +25000

In the Browns’ 24-13 preseason victory over Jacksonville last week, Watson completed just one of his five pass attempts for 7 yards.

Watson, 26, said in a press conference following the NFL announcement on Thursday that he was ready to move forward with his career.

“I’ve always been able to stand on my innocence and always said I never assaulted or disrespected anyone,” Watson said Thursday. “But at the same point I have to continue to push forward with my life and career.”

Cleveland acquired Watson from Houston over the offseason and signed him to a five-year, $230 million contract.

“I’m grateful that the disciplinary process has ended and extremely appreciative of the tremendous support I have received throughout my short time with the Browns organization,” Watson said in a statement. “I apologize once again for any pain this situation has caused. I take accountability for the decisions I made.

“My focus going forward is on working to become the best version of myself on and off the field and supporting my teammates however possible while I’m away from the team. I’m excited about what the future holds for me in Cleveland.”

Watson has completed 67.8 percent of his career passes for 14,539 yards and 104 touchdowns with 36 interceptions. He led the league with 4,823 passing yards in 2020. He also has rushed for 1,677 yards and 17 scores while posting a 28-25 regular-season record as a starter.

–Field Level Media