QB Uncertainty Means Limited Options For Cleveland Browns Season Wins Total

With the NFL schedule released, Ohio football fans and bettors can begin wagering on Cleveland Browns win totals. The first Sunday of the NFL season kicks off in 118 days. While that may seem like a ways off, the time will melt away like an ice cube at training camp.

NFL bettors won’t have the easiest time tracking down Cleveland Browns win totals. However, Caesars Sportsbook lists the Browns’ total at 9.5 wins with a little extra juice on the under (-115). Over bettors will be required to lay a slightly more modest -105. The steeper price on the under reflects the uncertainty surrounding the immediate availability of quarterback Deshaun Watson.

The reason many sportsbooks are staying away from listing the Browns on their win total board is Deshaun Watson’s status — or lack thereof. Watson remains under the NFL’s disciplinary microscope stemming from 22 civil lawsuits. While he won’t be criminally charged, the NFL could still suspend him under its player conduct policy.

Even half a season from Watson will equate to the best quarterback situation they’ve enjoyed in decades. However, it’s awfully tricky for sportsbooks and bettors alike to forecast the Browns’ outlook without knowing Watson’s potential ban. Caesars is presumably factoring in a suspension into their number.

It does not seem likely that sports fans will be able to place bets in Ohio before the NFL season begins, but there is growing optimism that Ohio online sports betting will launch at some point during the season.

Elsewhere in the division: Cincinnati Bengals season wins total analysis

Cleveland Browns Quarterback Comparison

Backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett will hold down the fort for as long as Watson is unavailable. He’s no world beater, but he has delivered similar production in some respects to Baker Mayfield.

QuarterbackGamesBest QBRQB RatingCompletion %TD-INT
Jacoby Brissett6052.18360.236-17
Baker Mayfield6065.587.861.692-56

Brissett will neither be asked to nor expected to put the Browns on his back during Watson’s absence. The Browns will lean on a deep roster that features talent across multiple position groups on both offense and defense.

Offensively, Cleveland will continue to feature a pair of dynamic running backs in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The Browns attempted the ninth most rushes in 2021 46% of their plays and will remain run-heavy this season. And when it’s time to throw the rock, Brissett will have plenty of weapons in the passing game. Free agent wide receiver Amari Cooper has five 1,000-yard seasons. Donovan Peoples-Jones is a third-year receiver with big-play ability and the opportunity to ascend to the No. 2 role. The offense will also feature a pair of capable tight ends in David Njoku and Harrison Bryant.

The Browns will require stout performances from their defense as well. It’s a unit led by two-time All-Pro Myles Garrett that features the caliber of talent that can steal or game or two with a couple of big defensive plays.

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When Will NFL Act On Potential Deshaun Watson Suspension?

There’s no current timetable for when the NFL will officially levy and announce a Watson suspension, although the latest update came Monday afternoon when CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson reported that Watson will meet with NFL officials this week.

Bettors should expect more sportsbooks to list win totals when more clarity comes to the situation. Bettors can often find better value in the offseason when certain questions are still being asked. However, this may be a situation where it pays to practice patience.

AP Photo/Ron Schwane

About the Author

Craig Williams

Craig Williams is a Charlotte-based sportswriter who has worked professionally in the gaming, fantasy, and sports business industries. He’s an avid fantasy football player, managing over 100 leagues across multiple formats. When he’s not pouring over Vegas odds and statistics, he’s indulging in soccer and enjoys anything from LigaMX to Champions League.