The arms race in the AFC took another turn on Friday when the Cleveland Browns acquired Deshaun Watson in exchange for three first-round picks, a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick.
As news of the trade was breaking, DraftKings Sportsbook lowered the Browns’ Super Bowl odds from 35/1 to 15/1, as Cleveland is now tied with the 49ers as the seventh choice on the board with the San Francisco 49ers. In the loaded AFC, the Browns have the fourth-shortest odds, trailing the Buffalo Bills at + 650, Kansas City Chiefs at + 800 and the Denver Broncos at 14/1.
The acquisition of Watson also propelled the Browns to the + 150 favorite in the AFC North. The Baltimore Ravens and reigning AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals are + 225.
This ends the tumultuous Baker Mayfield tenure in Cleveland after he requested a trade and had it denied on Thursday, one day after sending out a cryptic tweet thanking the fans for his tenure in the city and with the Browns.
Watson was in the AFC to begin with, but is now on a legitimate contender with the Browns. That means that there are seven playoff spots available for teams led by Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Russell Wilson, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow.