The New Orleans Saints have emerged as the betting favorite to acquire quarterback Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans.
Colorado-based sportsbook MaximBet opened the market Saturday on which team Watson will play for next with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers opening as the +300 favorite.
However, those odds shifted dramatically with Sunday’s NFL Network report that New Orleans and Carolina have made the first two offers to Houston. That vaulted the Saints up to the +150 favorite to acquire Watson, followed by the Panthers (+250) and Buccaneers (+500).
Other teams are believed to have strong interest in Watson as well, with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks both being offered at +1000 by MaximBet.
Deshaun Watson Next Team Odds (Opened At)
New Orleans Saints: +150 (+900)
Carolina Panthers: +250 (+1000)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +500 (+300)
Pittsburgh Steelers: +1000 (+400)
Seattle Seahawks: +1000 (+1200)
Minnesota Vikings: +1400 (+900)
Houston Texans: +1400 (+1000)
Miami Dolphins: +1400 (+1400)
Las Vegas Raiders: +1400 (+1500)
Detroit Lions: +2000 (+2100)
DraftKings is not offering a Watson-specific market, but he is among the top three favorites to be the Week 1 starting quarterback for four different teams.
Watson’s shortest odds are the Seahawks, where he is being offered at +150 along with Drew Lock behind “Any Rookie QB” at -110. He also has the second-shortest odds to land with the Saints at +350 behind Jameis Winston at +300.
Watson is being offered at +500 by DraftKings to be the Week 1 starter in either Pittsburgh or Tampa Bay. Mason Rudolph is the +300 favorite for the Steelers, followed by Any Rookie QB at +400. Second-year quarterback Kyle Trask is the +300 favorite with the Bucs, followed by Watson and current 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Panthers, per reports, are operating under orders from owner David Tepper to do what it takes to land Watson.
Watson, who learned Friday he would not face criminal charges for sexual misconduct related to claims from 22 women of wrongdoing, vowed not to play for Houston again in January 2021. He was inactive for all 17 regular-season games last season.
The Texans fired head coach David Culley after one season and promoted Lovie Smith to the role, but Houston’s position established by general manager Nick Caserio hasn’t changed: The franchise will deal Watson if it helps Houston.
Caserio hasn’t confirmed that the asking price includes multiple first-round draft picks and additional assets — either draft capital or NFL players — but multiple reports Friday said the Texans have not shifted from their original ask of suitors.
The Panthers and Lions have veteran quarterbacks under contract they acquired in trades last offseason who could be included in any deal, and each team owns a pick in the top 10 of the 2022 NFL Draft.