Browns Win Total Released Amidst Watson Controversy

The Cleveland Browns continue to be a team to watch in the AFC North, and they now have an over/under listed for their season win total.

With uncertainty surrounding the franchise and Deshaun Watson, books were hesitant to release a season win total for the Browns, which makes sense knowing that a big piece of their puzzle may not play. There’s no doubt that the public understands the importance of Watson as the signal caller for the Browns, so it will be interesting to follow whether bettors will bite on the line set at 8.5 on the FanDuel Sportsbook.

By all accounts, the Browns were banking on Watson being able to play meaningful games this year. He’s already expected to miss at least the first six games on the schedule against Carolina, the New York Jets, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, the Los Angeles Chargers, and New England Patriots. 

Jacoby Brissett is the front runner to start at least the first six games for the Browns, depending on what happens with the league’s appeal of his suspension. Brissett is undoubtedly a capable backup, but it’s hard to go into the season confidently with him leading the troops. Cleveland should still rely on a potent offensive line and great running attack headlined by a two-headed beast in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Still, opposing defenses will likely be able to stack the box, knowing full well the offense won’t be confident in Brissett’s passing ability. If Brissett falters, things are bleak behind him, with Josh Rosen or Joshua Dobbs the likely next man up.

With question marks on offense and plenty of uncertainty, the defense could be the calling card for whether or not the Browns can hit the over 8.5 wins this season. Last year, with Baker Mayfield leading the charge at quarterback, the Browns disappointed, finishing the year with an 8-9 record. Cleveland was a sleeper team that a lot of sharps felt had the roster to make a Super Bowl run, but they couldn’t find any consistency.

In addition to their win total, the Browns have the 13th highest Super Bowl odds at +2400 on the FanDuel Sportsbook. If Watson can return for a stretch run, that could be a number that interests bettors, but it’s difficult to say with so much uncertainty in the air. 

Judging by the strength of schedule, the Browns currently have the 17th most difficult schedule, meaning it’s not crazy to expect them to pick up some victories early on, even without Watson.

The Browns finish their regular season schedule against Cincinnati, Baltimore, New Orleans, Washington, and Pittsburgh, meaning how they fare in the AFC North could go a long way in determining whether or not they hit the over on their win total this season.