Why Are The Broncos A Favorite To Trade For Deshaun Watson?

Written By Ian St. Clair on 01/19/2021 - Last Updated on March 21, 2024

The NFL is a quarterback-driven league. It’s one of the oldest cliches in sports, but it’s also one of the truest.

The Denver Broncos have had a painful reminder of that the last five years. In that time, the Broncos have missed the playoffs all five seasons and have four straight losing seasons.

A huge reason why is the quarterback carousel in Denver.

The Broncos and the Colorado sports betting market may have finally found an escape from this nauseating ride. By the way, who would have thought a carousel would make people sick?

Over the last few weeks, there have been grumblings that Deshaun Watson is unhappy with the Houston Texans and wants out.

Then, prior to kickoff of Sunday’s divisional round playoff games, ESPN’s Adam Schefter sent a tweet that removed all doubt.

The NFL insider reported that there is a growing sense that Watson has played his final snap for the Texans.

That was enough to send Broncos Country into a dream of Watson in Broncos orange.

Could the Broncos make this happen?

Then shortly after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints kicked off their game, SportsBetting.com released its latest Watson odds.

And the Broncos are third at +600.

That is behind the New York Jets (+250) and Miami Dolphins (+300).

The odds spread quicker on social media than free Girl Scout cookies.

A few weeks later, Betfred Sportsbook and FanDuel Sports Betting now have the Broncos as the favorites to trade for Watson (+150).

And DraftKings Sports Betting now has Denver at +400 (it was +1,200 one point).

But a question is left hanging: why is Denver a favorite at SportsBetting.com? It’s one thing for fans to dream and speculate, it’s another for a sportsbook to actually put odds on it happening.

If a Watson trade comes to fruition, new Broncos general manager George Paton wouldn’t just end the QB carousel, he would take a sledgehammer to it.

As Lenny Estrin, SportsBetting.com lines manager, said to PlayColorado:

“They have trade capital with the No. 9 overall pick in this summer’s NFL Draft, and they could possibly package one of their young receivers or defensive stalwarts into the deal. (Paton) knows he needs a QB to compete in that division, and this may be his best shot.”

Quick note for those who want to take these Watson odds at SportsBetting.com; there is a max bet of $250.

Watson in Denver would close the gap on the Chiefs

Let’s say Paton swings a trade for Watson — you would think that finally closes the gap on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Remember, Denver hasn’t beaten the Chiefs since Week 2 of the 2015 season — when Peyton Manning was the quarterback.

Kansas City is once again host to the AFC championship game this weekend against the Buffalo Bills.

Not that anyone needs a reminder, but Paton and the Broncos have to get a quarterback, and Watson is top five at his position.

This while playing for the Texans, who traded his top weapon and one of the best receivers in the NFL in DeAndre Hopkins.

The offensive weapons Watson would have in Denver are one of the main reasons he might want to come here.

Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick (if he’s tendered), Jerry Jeudy, K.J. Hamler, Noah Fant, and Albert Okwuegbunam could be incredibly enticing for Watson.

And you know the Broncos defense will show up.

Remember, Vic Fangio and his defense held Mahomes and the Chiefs to 22 points the last time they played. That was without a few of Denver’s top defenders, including Von Miller. Denver lost that game in early December, 22-16.

So, Paton’s sale to Mahomes could be: We’re a quarterback away. You come to the Broncos, we can compete with Mahomes and Kansas City.

According to Estrin:

“They would immediately become a trendy pick among bettors to win the West, AFC and Super Bowl. The perennial perception with the Broncos is that they have a championship-caliber defense but no quarterback. Deshaun Watson would alleviate the latter because you know exactly what you’re getting with him. Denver would still be behind KC in the odds, but not far behind.”

Where will Watson play in 2021?

There are still some fans and those betting on the Broncos who don’t believe a trade will happen.

Watson does have a no-trade clause, but the Texans don’t have to make a deal if they don’t get what they want in return.

And there is still a chance this relationship gets mended. Schefter added in his tweet on Sunday that there is still a lot of time left.

Estrin thinks a trade happens. As he said:

“Incredibly likely at this point … maybe 70% chance. See James Harden.”

Since Estrin thinks Watson is done in Houston, where will the quarterback wind up?

“There are going to be a ton of teams in the mix if the Texans are willing to listen. I think he lands in Miami.”

Broncos next QB oddsBetRiversDraftKingsSportsBetting.com
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

Broncos Country can dream

Given the NFL is a quarterback-driven league, you can understand why there is so much focus on Watson and what unfolds in Houston.

With what’s happened the last five years in Denver, that’s especially true in Broncos Country.

As long as the NFL betting odds give the Broncos a chance, some will dream.

Watson tweeted over the weekend: “I was on 2 then I took it 10.”

Broncos Country is hopeful he then takes it to 5280.

Photo by AP / Kirk Irwin
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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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