Midseason Update Through 8.5 Weeks Of Play
The Baltimore Ravens sit atop the AFC North leading into play in Week 9. The Ravens travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints, and will need a win to keep their solo hold on the divisional lead. A loss would mean the third place Browns are just a game and a half back as well.
Looking at current divisional odds, the Ravens are a fairly large favorite, and that is simply not warranted at this time. The -360 price tag on the Ravens at this moment is simply absurd. The Bengals could find themselves in a tie with the Ravens at the end of Week 9, and the return on them is a wildly more favorable +350. The Steelers are all but eliminated and a non factor this season. That said, the Browns currently offer a massive return. You get +1200 on a Browns team to win this division. Despite a 3-5 record that should objectively be at least 5-3, the Browns are perhaps the top team in the league that have performed better than their record suggests. The Browns actually have a positive point differential, and get Deshaun Watson under center in three more games. There is no better candidate in the league to make a run down the stretch and the +1200 divisional pricing is absurdly favorable. Both the Bengals and Browns bring real value on a divisional wager at this time.
Despite the pricing for the Browns to win the division, the potential for a late season surge is not fully lost on the oddsmakers. The Browns win total is currently off the board. Not so for the Bengals. In a worst case scenario for the Bengals, whose outlook is either the same or just one game back of the Ravens through nine weeks, their win total is set at only 9. On the other hand the Ravens are set at 10.5. If attacking a win total at this time, the over 9 on the Bengals is absolutely the best avenue. They would need to just 4-4 over their last eight games to push on that line. There is no shortage of value options for a midseason attack on the AFC North.
2022 AFC North Futures & Betting Odds
Preseason AFC North Breakdown
Continuing our NFL divisional previews for the 2022 season, we get to the AFC North. The AFC North is likely to be the most tightly contested division of any in the league. The Bengals were the team to take an unexpected leap forward last season, making it all the way to the Super Bowl. The Ravens, Browns and Steelers are all playoff contenders as well. The gap in set win totals for all the teams in the division is just 2.5 games from the highest to the lowest.
AFC North Odds Betting Preview
A look at the current odds at time of writing to win the AFC North division and regular season win totals:
- Cincinnati Bengals +170 To Win AFC North, 10 Over/Under Win Total
- Baltimore Ravens +140 To Win AFC North, 9.5 Over/Under Win Total
- Cleveland Browns +380 To Win AFC North, 8.5 Over/Under Win Total
- Pittsburgh Steelers +1000 To Win AFC North, 7.5 Over/Under Win Total
AFC North Preview
The AFC North is the one division in the league where we will not have a betting pick. The range of outcomes for multiple teams is simply too large to find a true value on any of the betting lines. The Browns have the huge question mark of whether Jacoby Brissett can keep the team’s head above water until Deshaun Watson returns for the twelfth game. The Steelers will have the quarterbacking question mark as well, with offensive line issues mixed in. The Ravens will find out if they have enough ability in terms of pass catchers to see the offense to true effectiveness. The Bengals are likely the best team, and will have to fight the ills of a potential Super Bowl loss hangover.
With no betting pick to officially recommend, there is one lean, albeit a homer one. The Browns win total of 8.5 seems the most likely to go over. The Browns will still get six games with Deshaun Watson at the helm and have an otherwise complete roster. Assuming they can win four of those games with Watson, they would have a good chance of hitting the over. They would then need to go just 5-6 in the remainder of the games without him.