The Ohio Slate is a weekly look at developments in Ohio’s gaming industry – including betting angles – as the state prepares to launch legal sportsbooks on Jan. 1, 2023.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will be suspended for 11 games of the regular season, according to reports Thursday that detailed a negotiated settlement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association.
The Browns had hoped that they would have their $230 million quarterback on the field for more than half of the regular season games. On Aug. 1, NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, a retired judge, recommended that Watson be suspended six games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy as a result of dozens of accusations of sexual misconduct during his time with the Houston Texans. The NFL didn’t accept the recommendation, however, leading to the settlement that also calls for Watson to pay a $5 million fine and undergo mandatory evaluations.
Watson’s suspension officially begins Aug. 30, and he will not be eligible to return to the field until Nov. 28. Jacoby Brissett is positioned to fill in behind center during his absence.
After the lengthier penalty was reported, DraftKings and FanDuel both listed the over/under season win total for Cleveland at 8.5 wins, but at different prices making the team an underdog to go above that number. DraftKings put the over at +110 and the under at -140, while FanDuel had the over at +135 and the under at -160.
BetRivers posted odds of +400 on the Browns winning the AFC North while offering shorter odds of +140 on Baltimore and +170 on the defending AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals.
The NFL and #Browns QB Deshaun Watson have struck a deal on a disciplinary settlement. As part of it, he’ll be suspended 11 games and pay $5M.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 18, 2022
“Now that a decision on discipline has been reached, we understand this is a real opportunity to create meaningful change and we are committed to investing in programs in Northeast Ohio that will educate our youth regarding awareness, understanding, and most importantly, prevention of sexual misconduct and the many underlying causes of such behavior,” Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam stated on the Browns’ official website.
Major homestand for Guardians
What may be the Cleveland Guardians’ most important homestand of the season is taking place this weekend when they host American League Central rival Chicago White Sox for three games at Progressive Field beginning Friday night.
The Guardians (63-55), Minnesota Twins (61-55), and White Sox (61-57) are in a tight race to win the division. How the head-to-head series plays out could go a long way in determining if Cleveland will ultimately hold onto the lead or look back on the third weekend of August as when it lost momentum.
BetMGM has odds of +150 on the Guardians winning the division while offering odds of +170 on the White Sox and +220 on the Twins. DraftKings is also offering odds of +150 on Cleveland winning the division, while FanDuel sees an even tighter race with equal odds of +160 on both the Guardians and White Sox.
First in line for Type C licenses
The Ohio Casino Control Commission posted the first 200 applicants that received approval for Type C sports gaming host licenses on Wednesday afternoon.
The list includes 11 applicants with Cleveland addresses, 11 with Columbus addresses, 11 with Cincinnati addresses, eight in Canton, eight in Youngstown, five in Dayton, five in Akron, four in Parma, and two in Toledo.
Among the pre-approved hosts for Type C sports betting licenses are 63 Giant Eagle and 42 Kroger supermarkets. None of those locations were among the 200 that have received final approval that will guarantee the opportunity to be up and running on the universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023.
ICYMI: What happened in Ohio gaming this week
Image: Blundell Designs