Deshaun Watson or Drew Lock: Who You Got?

Written By Ian St. Clair on 03/02/2021 - Last Updated on March 17, 2021

The next quarterback of the Denver Broncos is (likely) one of two guys.

Drew Lock

Deshaun Watson

That’s based on reports from various NFL insiders, like James Palmer with the NFL Network.

Of course there is speculation that the Broncos could also look to bring in a veteran to serve as the “backup” to Lock.

But in that scenario, Lock is still the guy in 2021.

The thought behind that is no one else is a drastic improvement over Lock. So just run it back with the third-year pro.

Watson is a dramatic upgrade over Lock.

Watson is one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL and would move Denver to contender status the second a trade is announced.

Who makes the Broncos a contender?

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But who would give the Broncos the best Super Bowl betting odds?

Since it was announced that Watson could be on the move, a debate has started in Broncos Country over whether the franchise should trade for him.

It seemed that Watson is a pipe dream since the Houston Texans still aren’t taking calls.

Now there’s Houston Chronicle reporter John McClain saying that he expects Watson to be traded. That’s a drastic change from early January when McClain said he had a better chance of being the next Texans head coach than Watson has of being traded.

As for who would give the Broncos the best odds, Johnny Avello shared his thoughts with PlayColorado.

Avello is the DraftKings sportsbook director of operations.

“Let’s see where we’re at right now. We’re at Denver 60-1,” he said. “Let’s say they stay pat, this 60-1 is with Drew Lock as the quarterback, so their odds probably stay at that. Now, if others improve in the division … (and) if one of those quarterbacks was to go to the Raiders, that would make them stronger. That would increase the odds of the Broncos. But if it stays the way it is right now, no one makes any other improvements at the quarterback position, I think that’s where they’ll stay. Unless we don’t take much money on them, and, therefore, have to move them up to attract more money on them.”

Drew Lock most likely option

Since Lock is the most likely option at this point, we can move on to the move that has captivated and irritated Broncos Country.

As Avello said:

“I like Watson. I think Watson has potential. But Watson hasn’t won anything yet. So Watson probably drops their odds down to the 40-range, 35-40 range.”

Despite the fact the Broncos are still a favorite to trade for Watson, who does Avello think will take the first snap at quarterback for Denver in 2021?

“You’ve got a guy (George Paton) at the helm there who knows the value of a quarterback,” he said. “So I feel that he knows that Drew Lock is probably not going to be the guy. Drew Lock can be good at times. But is Drew Lock a guy who is going to lead the Broncos to a championship over the next five years? There’s a chance they don’t even contend for a championship. Whereas a guy like Deshaun Watson would. I think they would like to bring one of those guys in. The question is how much is this going to cost me and is it worth it? But I certainly think they’d take a hard look at it.”

Unusual NFL player movement

The fact fans, media, and bookies are even talking about this is remarkable.

The NFL betting market has already seen two big-name quarterbacks move this offseason in Matthew Stafford and Carson Wentz.

“It’s rare to have that many quality guys on the move,” Avello said. “It happens with one or two guys maybe, but very rarely you see four. I don’t remember it happening in the past. Now, some of these guys may stay put, some may not. Obviously we’ve had four teams that either don’t want to pay the money, are unhappy with who they have, or want to go a different direction because it’s just not working there right now. But to have four quality guys like that is, yeah, we don’t see it in normal years.”

Broncos QB odds

Broncos next QB
Who will Deshaun Watson play for in 2021? (Top five)Panthers +150
Texans +300
Broncos +400
49ers +400
Jets +600
Dolphins +800
Panthers +150
Texans +300
Broncos +400
49ers +400
Jets +600
Dolphins +800
Dolphins +250
Broncos +300
Jets +300
Panthers +600
Saints +700
Bears +1,200
Washington +1,200
Eagles +1,200

From a Colorado sports betting perspective, it’s even more rare for people to wager on markets such as this. And, no, they’re not just a way for the sportsbooks to gin up interest.

“We actually didn’t do it in Las Vegas for a long time,” Avello said. “Where’s a player going next? We never actually offered it. We talked about it, but it wasn’t offered. It’s something different. And it’s something that our marketing team is constantly looking at each and every day for whatever the hot topic is for us to either book it or throw up some kind of free pool on it. So we’re aware of the new moves out there, and we try to react on it one way or the other.”

As a bookmaker and fan, Avello loves the speculation and the fact people who are betting on the Broncos can do so on who their next quarterback will be.

“I really enjoy it,” he said. “It’s just that you need to stay on top of it. You can’t let your mind wander for an hour into something else without looking. Somebody on the team needs to constantly be looking at it. So with that being said, it’s pretty much 24-7 keeping your eyes and ears open.”

Photo by AP / David J. Phillip
Ian St. Clair Avatar
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Ian St. Clair

Ian is an award-winning sports journalist and a University of Northern Colorado graduate. He’s a Colorado native and has over a decade of experience covering college and professional athletics. He broke into the gambling industry right as Colorado launched legal sports betting in 2020. Ian now manages the sites for some of the biggest gambling markets in North America and is an analyst for PlayColorado.

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