Sean Pendergast

Betting Odds Lay Out Deshaun Watson's Future Options

Tyrod Taylor is the heavy favorite to start Week 1 for the Houston Texans.
Tyrod Taylor is the heavy favorite to start Week 1 for the Houston Texans. Photo by Sean Pendergast
Deshaun Watson wants to get traded away from Houston as soon as possible. The Houston Texans want to trade Deshaun Watson, are listening to offers from teams around the league, and are willing to trade him for the right package. These are all things that we KNOW. What we don't know is when Watson's legal mess — 2 civil lawsuits, investigations by the NFL and HPD — will be resolved.

The timing of resolution will impact which teams are in the Watson market, as some teams that could be landing spots for Watson in 2022 are already committed to quarterbacks in 2021. Other teams may be more willing to deal imminently if there is appropriate clarity on Watson's legal entanglements. As usual, Vegas has its take on all of this via the betting odds board.

Let's start with how the oddsmakers see the Texans' QB situation playing out to start the 2021 season:

Houston Texans Starting QB Game 1 2021-22 Regular Season
Tyrod Taylor 1/5
Davis Mills 3/1
Deshaun Watson 7/1
I have been at every Texans practice this summer, and I can tell you that, as of right now, the only way Taylor is NOT starting in Week 1 of the regular season is if he somehow loses a limb. Not INJURES a limb, but actually has a limb fall off of his body. Davis Mills is second at 3/1, and he is not even close to ready to play an NFL game. Watson at 7/1 is horrible value, as he will never suit up for the Texans again. By and large, though, Vegas has the proper vibe on this one.

So, from there, we have to wonder "Ok, could Watson be traded before or during the 2021 season, and if so, to whom?" The favorites in the clubhouse appear to be the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins, both owners of a glut of multiple first round picks over the next couple drafts. What are the oddsmakers saying about both of these teams?

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Will Jalen Hurts QB Eagles Game 1 2022-23 Season?
Yes EVEN (1/1) No -140 (5/7)

MIAMI DOLPHINS
Will Tua Tagovailoa be QB Dolphins Game 1 2022-23 Season?
Yes -120 (5/6) No -120 (5/6)
Ironically, Tua and Hurts were teammates at Alabama, with Tua very famously replacing Hurts in a national title game and tossing the game winning touchdown a few years ago. Of the two teams listed here, I see the Dolphins as a more viable Watson landing spot, and thus, see value in fading Tua. Also, whether they land Watson or not, I am not sure the Eagles are so sold on Hurts that he should be essentially a coin flip to start for them in 2022.

Among the teams that we outlined in this space a couple weeks ago as franchises that are hoping Nick Caserio trades Deshaun Watson AFTER the 2021 season, we have three where Vegas has posted odds on the future QB situations for those teams — Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, and the New York Giants:

PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Will Ben Roethlisberger retire after this season?
Yes -300 (1/3) No +200 (2/1)
Roethlisberger retiring after 2021, a heavy favorite, would open the door to somehow land Watson to skipper a roster that always seems to be ready to compete in the postseason.

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
Will Derek Carr be QB Raiders Game 1 2022-23 Season?
Yes -140 (5/7) No EVEN (1/1)
Carr remaining a Raider is the betting favorite, but it feels like Gruden always has his head on a swivel looking for the next QB for the Raiders.

NEW YORK GIANTS
Will Daniel Jones be QB for Giants Game 1 2022-23 Season?
Yes -180 (5/9) No +140 (7/5)

While Jones remaining the starter in 2022 is a significant favorite, this would be a team I'd root for as a trade partner if I'm a Texans fan (which I am).

BONUS WAGER on J.J. WATT
JJ Watt Games Missed 2021-2022 Regular Season
Over/Under 3½

Man, it pains me just to think about betting on Watt's potential for injury. While he is no longer a Texan, I am rooting (and always WILL root for) J.J. Watt. That said, at age 32 years old, asking him to stay healthy for 14 games in order to win an UNDER bet feels like a tall order, especially if the Cardinals load-manage him during a 17-game season. He is already dealing with a pulled hamstring in training camp.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast