We’ve officially hit the slowest part of the NFL calendar. The mini-camps and OTAs are completed, but we’re still about a month away from opening boot camps. While we don’t expect much news from the NFL until training camp begins, there is a belief that we are close to making a decision on a potential suspension for Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Watson has not played since 2020, due to a combination of his dissatisfaction with the Houston Texans and what are now 26 allegations of sexual misconduct. The Browns decided that Watson’s talent was worth the risk and subsequent PR nightmare, and traded it to him in March. Just a few days ago, Watson had settled 20 of his cases, but hadn’t gotten out of the woods. He does not think that his cases will be settled It will have no effect on any possible suspension. Over the weekend, The Washington Post reported that the NFL is seeking a full season suspension for Watson.
While Watson’s situation is much bigger than football and betting, the impact of any news on the pitch and in the betting market is undeniable. Since The Browns took over Watson, they’ve actually fallen from 18 to 1 for a Super Bowl win to 25 to 1. They were once favorites to win the North Asian Cup, but they now have the third-best odds in the division. While the market has certainly adjusted due to a potential suspension looming, it’s not too late to take some action. Here are two potentially profitable ways to fade brown before the comment news falls.
AFC North – Double Predictions
While the AFC North may not be as cocky as AFC West or NFC West, it is still one of the best teams in football with four teams to expect to compete. The Cincinnati Bengals reached the Super Bowl last season. The Baltimore Ravens were 8-3 at some point before their injuries became too much to overcome. Mike Tomlin hasn’t had a losing track record with the Steelers since taking charge in 2007.
Even if Deshaun Watson is acquitted and all 17 games played, you’ll be able to prove that the Ravens and the Bengals are the top two teams in this division. If Jacob Brisset has started a lot of games for Brown this season, it’s hard to imagine a world in which they can compete with two very good teams. He averaged 5.7 yards per attempt this past season with Miami in five starts. There is absolutely no threat with Brissett, which will allow teams to stack the chest and focus on the Browns’ game.
Currently at BetMGM, you can bet the Ravens and Bengals take first and second place in the AFC North. This is the most attractive bet on the market, but it still pays at +175 which is more than good enough.
Brown to finish last in the division
Last season, the Cleveland Browns finished the season 8-9, which tied them with Baltimore for the worst North Asian record. This season, the Steelers blitz-190 are the favorites to finish the season in the basement class. Brown is +400 to finish in last place.
Baker Mayfield played through injury from Week Two in 2021, which severely affected his playing and Brown’s ability to win. There have been questions about whether Mayfield is the franchise quarterback to start the season anyway, which is the main reason behind the Browns’ exit and Watson’s takeover. However, even while playing with a torn lip and other injuries, Mayfield is a better midfielder than Jacobi Brissett. So with Watson’s suspension looming, it looks like Brown will play a large part of their season with Brissett under center. This means that instead of improving their biggest question mark, they lowered the rating.
The Steelers are the favorites to finish last, but have come off a season of nine wins and a playoff berth. The combination of Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett couldn’t be worse than the Ben Roethlisberger version we saw last season. As mentioned above, Mike Tomlin’s teams are always in the mix. We saw him coach a team with Duck Hodges to the 8-8 record a few years ago. If you give me Jacoby Brissett and Kevin Stefansky at +400 to finish without Mike Tomlin, I take it all day.
The Ravens finished last in the division in 2021, but it’s really hard to imagine that repeating itself. In fact, the Ravens are currently the preferred bet to win the split at +165. They were 8-3 last season before injury to Lamar Jackson and a boatload of other important players in their season. As long as Baltimore does not have another disastrous season on the injury front, they will avoid the basement.
A lot of people around the NFL expect the Bengals to take a step back in 2022, which isn’t a bad thing. They won the AFC title last year; It would be easy to undo it. However, with Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase going another year, I certainly wouldn’t expect them to fall into the basement of the department.
If we’re counting on a lengthy commentary of Watson and plenty of Jacoby Brissett under the Browns position this season, a +400 odds of finishing last in the division seems like a good bet.