AFC North 2021-22 Divisional Betting Odds Analysis

  • The Baltimore Ravens have +125 odds to win the AFC North.
  • The Cleveland Browns are next, with +200 odds to take the division.
  • After the Browns are the Pittsburgh Steelers, at +260 odds.

BALTIMORE – The AFC North was hotly contested in the 2020 season, with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns all making serious playoff pushes.

The AFC North was arguably the best division in football, with three teams winning more than 10 games.

The Cincinnati Bengals were the odd man out, but it’s hard to blame them when Joe Burrow went down during the season.

The Super Bowl sportsbooks have already released odds for the AFC North in 2021, and they’re pretty compelling, so let’s take a look.

AFC North Odds

  • Baltimore Ravens +125
  • Cleveland Browns +200
  • Pittsburgh Steelers +260
  • Cincinnati Bengals +1800

Baltimore Ravens, +125

The Ravens seem to be a safe bet, as they look to return in mostly the same form as they have been, and have been relatively consistent over the past two seasons.

One big potential loss is Orlando Brown, who has asked for a trade to a team that will play him at LT as opposed to RT.

Brown filled in for Ronnie Stanley last season and evidently wants a chance to be a star on his own as opposed to moving back to RT with Stanley’s return.

That said, the Ravens finished only a game back of the Steelers this season, and it seems clear at this point that the Steelers’ run involved a lot of luck going their way.

It’s not hard to see the Ravens as favorites to win this division in 2021, although the competition will be fierce.

Cleveland Browns, +200

The Cleveland Browns dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs in a cathartic victory.

The Browns then played the Kansas City Chiefs, and managed to keep the game close with a combination of good play and an injury to Patrick Mahomes.

It was an ending to the season that the Browns could be proud of, and they’ll look to make their mark on the division in a bigger way in 2021.

They finished 2020 tied with the Ravens for second place in the division in terms of record, but effectively in third place due to tiebreakers.

The Browns spent 2020 as a surprise team, they were playing with house money. In 2021, when expectations are higher, will they be able to meet them?

Pittsburgh Steelers, +260

The Steelers started the season 11-0. The Steelers finished the season 1-5.

That might be all that needs to be said about this team. They started out as one of the most elite teams in the NFL and completely fell apart down the stretch.

Their offense was one note – they passed the ball 42.6 times per game, which was not only the highest in the league but was almost three attempts more per game than second place.

Despite passing the most times per game, they only finished seventh in terms of passing yards per game, because they were 24th in the league in yards per pass attempt.

The problem is clear – they don’t have the ability to do anything offensively other than work the short passing game. They can’t run the ball, and they can’t effectively take deep shots on a regular basis.

This problem will only get worse as nine-time Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey leaves the team, leaving a huge hole in the offensive line.

The Steelers have huge flaws offensively, potentially fatal flaws, but their excellent defensive personnel could keep them afloat just like they did in 2020.

TJ Watt was arguably the best defensive player in the NFL this year, losing out on DPOY to Aaron Donald in what some might call a questionable decision.

NFL bettors might want to hold off to see if the Steelers manage to fix anything in terms of their offensive gameplan going forward.

Cincinnati Bengals, +1800

Look, nobody expects the Bengals to be in contention for the division given the quality of the other teams involved.

That said, there are some genuine bright spots for this franchise. QB Joe Burrow looked like a quality NFL player when he played, although the Bengals gameplan was uniquely pass-heavy behind a poor offensive line.

They were without RB Joe Mixon for much of the season, and his return to the lineup could alleviate some of the pressure on Burrow.

Finally, rookie WR Tee Higgins excelled when Burrow was playing, and, despite falling off after Burrow’s injury, managed to put up over 900 receiving yards in his rookie season.

There are certainly reasons to be excited about the future of this franchise, but that future could be a long way off.

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