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Browns’ Super Bowl Odds 100-1 After Deshaun Watson Wins In Debut

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in NFL Football

Updated Dec 5, 2022 · 6:24 AM PST

Deshaun Watson under center calling play
Dec 4, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) at the line of scrimmage during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
  • Deshaun Watson made his debut with the Cleveland Browns after serving an 11-game suspension
  • Cleveland’s Super Bowl odds shortened after a win over the Houston Texans
  • Read below for analysis on the Brown’ late season outlook 

Maybe Deshaun Watson’s Cleveland debut was a bit anti-climactic.

Then again, is it out of the question to think the Browns can’t close the season out strong and even find themselves in contention for a playoff berth?

While it currently seems unlikely, it could coincide with the launch of Ohio Sports Betting, which is reportedly set to go live on January 1, 2023, in time for the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl.

The Browns did win Watson’s first game, but his play is still rusty, and he’s not yet near the player Cleveland invested a ton of draft capital and a mega 5-year, $230 million deal — fully guaranteed.

Let’s break down what we saw in Week 13 and see if Cleveland does have long shot value in the 2023 Super Bowl odds.

Watson Rusty in Cleveland Debut

  • Cleveland’s Previous SB odds: +13000; Current: +10000

That’s right, you’ll need a microscope to find the Browns on DraftKings Sportsbook Ohio, but those +10000 odds are a jump from the +13000 they started at heading into the game.

Despite putting up 27 points in a 27-14 win over the Houston Texans, Cleveland did not score an offensive touchdown in the game. The Browns scored on a punt return TD, a fumble scoop and score, and an interception return for a major.

Watson finished 12-for-22 for 131 yards and an ugly interception in the red zone. He was sacked just once, and added 21 yards on seven carries. He looked unsure in the pocket several times, and his timing with receivers was clearly off, as was his feel for the pass rush, despite being only sacked once.

The win lifts the Browns to 5-7, and they’re tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for worst record in the AFC North. In the big picture, there are three teams between them and the New York Jets, who currently own the final Wild Card berth in the conference.

With five  games left in the season, the Browns will likely need to run the table and still get help to lock into a playoff spot.

Cleveland Betting Outlook

The funny thing about today’s performance was that Cleveland’s defense finally played a good game. Offense has not been a problem in the ‘Land, as they rank fifth in the NFL in scoring at 24.2 points per game.

They also boast the 4th-best ground game, churning out 156 yards per contest, though Nick Chubb was somewhat held in check with just 80 yards vs the Texans.

Defensively, though, they’re giving up 25 points per game, the 7th-worst mark in the NFL. They’re in the bottom half of the league in sacks, and are bottom-5 in turnover differential.

The schedule doesn’t have very many soft landings. They’re at Cincinnati in Week 14, then host the Ravens and Saints, before ending on the road with stops at Washington and Pittsburgh. That’s just two teams with sub-.500 records left.

Cleveland Remaining Schedule

Week Team Opponent’s Current Record
14  @ Bengals 8-4 (T-1st AFC North)
15 vs Ravens 8-4 (T-1st AFC North)
16 vs Saints 4-8 (last in NFC South)
17 @ Commanders 7-5-1 (last in NFC Easts)
18 @Steelers 5-7 (last in AFC North)

Should You Wager on the Browns?

It’s true Watson can and will inject more juice into the passing attack, which currently sits 19th at 214.8 yards per game.

However, Sunday’s start was Watson’s first appearance in an NFL game in 700 days. That’s a lot of time off, and expectations should be tempered when considering he’s in a new environment, and thrown into the back-9 of a regular season, where he couldn’t even be in the Cleveland facility until last week.

I would like to say the infrastructure is in place for Watson to be successful in Cleveland, but he’s in an unprecedented situation, returning from a wildly unpopular offseason and controversial suspension. Even if he had the top offense and defense, it’s uncertain how he will perform.

Despite being some uncertainty at who will actually hoist the Super Bowl this season, I’m confident in not laying off a wager on the Browns.

With sports betting set to launch in Ohio on January 1, 2023, be sure to sign up at one of the top Ohio sports betting apps prior to launch. 

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