The Browns will be without Deshaun Watson, their most prized and polarizing addition of 2022, for the first 11 games of this season after the NFL and NFL Players Association negotiated a suspension for the star quarterback. Accordingly, oddsmakers are already lowering expectations for Cleveland. Hours after Watson’s final punishment was announced, Caesars Sportsbook projects the Browns are now far from locks to post a winning record, while dropping them outside the top 15 Super Bowl favorites.
Here’s a look at how the Browns’ Caesars odds have changed since Watson’s 11-game suspension became official:
- Projected wins: 9.5 (before), 8.5 (after)
- Super Bowl odds: 25-1 (before), 35-1 (after)
- AFC title odds: 13-1 (before), 18-1 (after)
- AFC North title odds: 3-1 (before), 4-1 (after)
SportsLine has also updated its projections for the Browns post-suspension; its simulations give the team a projected 8.6 wins, with a 35.3% chance of making the playoffs, a 16.2% chance of winning the AFC North, a 2.6% chance of winning the AFC, and just a 1.1% chance of winning the Super Bowl.
Notably, SportsLine simulations have the Browns’ average win percentage from Weeks 1-11 at 46%, compared to 59% in the final six games. They also project the Browns will average 21 points per game without Watson, and 24.5 points per game with him. Former Patriots, Colts and Dolphins backup Jacoby Brissett, signed this offseason as the Browns’ new No. 2, is expected to start in place of Watson during the 11-game suspension.