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How to bet Browns win total with Deshaun Watson’s 11-game suspension

Cleveland’s win total sits at 8.5.

Cleveland Browns v Jacksonville Jaguars
Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns warms up prior to a football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on August 12, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns will play at least 11 games without quarterback Deshaun Watson, as his six-game suspension has been extended after the NFL appeal. The NFL and NFLPA have reached an agreement to push the suspension to 11 games, along with a $5 million fine for Watson.

Cleveland’s win total for the 2022 NFL season now sits at 8.5 games according to DraftKings Sportsbook. The over is listed at -135 and the under sits at +105. Here’s a look at Cleveland’s first 11 games, which the Browns will play without Watson.

Week 1: @ Panthers
Week 2: Jets
Week 3: Steelers
Week 4: @ Falcons
Week 5: Chargers
Week 6: Patriots
Week 7: @ Ravens
Week 8: Bengals
Week 10: @ Dolphins
Week 11: @ Bills
Week 12: Buccaneers

Wins over the Jets and Falcons seem likely, with games against the Dolphins and Panthers being potential swing games. The Browns probably find themselves with four or five wins in this first stretch. They get Watson back for the final six games, and here’s that schedule.

Week 13: @ Texans
Week 14: @ Bengals
Week 15: Ravens
Week 16: Saints
Week 17: @ Commanders
Week 18: @ Steelers

The Browns probably get wins over the Texans, Saints and Commanders here, but that still puts them right at eight wins if we assume five wins through the first 11. Watson will likely be ineffective for a game or two, so he’s not necessarily the antidote for any offensive struggles Cleveland could experience through the early part of the season. Betting the under seems like the safer play for now, especially at plus money. It’s hard to see that ninth win on the schedule given Watson’s suspension.