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By: Kate Magdziuk
The Cleveland Browns announced that starting quarterback Deshaun Watson would be out for the remainder of the 2023 season Wednesday morning. With the Browns and Steelers set to face off in a close race for the AFC North in Week 11, the news could force a huge swing in the division standings.
Incredibly, though, the news hasn’t had much an impact on the odds for Steelers-Browns in Week 1. The Browns remain 2-point favorites over the Steelers despite the loss of their quarterback, with moneyline odds at -130 and the Steelers’ at +110 as betting lines reopened after the news on DraftKings Sportsbook. When odds opened for the week, the Browns were 3.5-point favorites, meaning the Watson news has shifted the line just 1.5 points.
The two-point advantage can be attributed to the fact that it’s a home game for the Browns, but still, it’s a damning indictment of the confidence oddsmakers have in the Steelers’ offense to match up with Cleveland’s defense in a meaningful way. The line will continue to shift, of course, depending on how the public bets in response to the news.
The point total for the game has seen the biggest shift since the news broke, plummeting from 38.5 points before the news down to 34.5.
The Steelers won the first of their two games in Pittsburgh 26-22 back in Week 2, in which LB Alex Highsmith had a 30-yard pick six against Deshaun Watson on the first pass attempt of the game. With some struggles back and forth on each team’s respective offenses, T.J. Watt sealed the deal on the win with a 16-yard fumble return touchdown to take the lead in the fourth quarter.
Originally posted on Behind the Steel Curtain – All Posts