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AFC North Odds: Ravens, Steelers, Browns To Battle

The AFC North projects to be, as always, one of the tightest divisions in football. Without a minus-money favorite, and with three teams solidly in contention, the Baltimore Ravens currently lead AFC North odds at +115.

However, the Cleveland Browns (+150) and Pittsburgh Steelers (+425) will push the Ravens all season, making this one of the most entertaining divisions to handicap.

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Latest Odds To Win AFC North Division Title

2021 AFC North Odds 
TeamOpening Odds
Baltimore Ravens+115
Cleveland Browns+150
Pittsburgh Steelers+425
Cincinnati Bengals+2000

Odds as of September 9 at Bovada

AFC North Favorite: Baltimore Ravens (+115)

Two years after his NFL MVP season, Lamar Jackson will try to take his Ravens to the next level in 2021. With Jackson notching his first career playoff win and the team finishing 11-5 (tied with the Browns and a game behind the Steelers), the Ravens posted a solid 2020 season despite key late-season injuries to the offensive line.

The Ravens have added to a unique attack, with receivers Rashod Bateman and Sammy Watkins set to catch passes from Jackson, but Baltimore’s 2021 hopes rely on a remade O-line. If the Ravens are to live up to the +115 favorite hype in AFC North odds, Ronnie Stanley will have to return healthy, Alejandro Villanueva must prove a capable replacement for Orlando Brown Jr. at right tackle, and Kevin Zeitler can elevate the line at the right guard position.

AFC North Value Picks

Cleveland Browns (+150)

Pressure will never not be on Baker Mayfield and the Browns’ core to deliver playoff success to a team and franchise that so desperately craves it. After an 11-5 season — one win away from snatching the division for themselves — the Browns now find themselves as near-favorites to win the North in 2021.

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With +150 odds to win the AFC North, the Browns expect the offensive core of Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham Jr. and a solid offensive line to continue their steady growth and cohesion. Big improvements, however, could come on the other side of the ball. Adding Jadeveon Clowney and John Johnson III and drafting Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Cleveland boasts top-tier talents on offense and defense this season — the Browns just have to put it all together.

Pittsburgh Steelers (+425)

The Steelers are caught in the middle, and their odds reflect that. Despite winning 12 games, rattling off a lengthy win streak and winning the division, AFC North odds position Pittsburgh as +400 third-place finishers. With an aging Ben Roethlisberger who wasn’t even a sure thing to return to the Steelers, major losses to the O-line and the departure of one of their key pass rushers, Pittsburgh could take a step back in 2021.

However, Roethlisberger could continue to lead a great passing attack, running back Najee Harris could diversify the offense and T.J. Watt’s defense has the potential to still be a top-tier group.

AFC North Sleeper 

Cincinnati Bengals (+2000)

The Cincinnati Bengals will go as far as Joe Burrow can take them. Adding Ja’Marr Chase to a receiving group that already boasts Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins, it is clear Bengals management is set on providing Burrow with every opportunity to succeed.

2021 may not be the year for Burrow and the Bengals, but if he can stay healthy and produce at the 1.1 level he has flashed, Cincinnati could take a major step.

How to Read AFC North Odds

Before you make a bet – we’ll get to that in a bit – you’ll need to understand how odds work. In the case of the AFC North, sportsbooks will list the betting lines like this:

Baltimore Ravens -4000

Pittsburgh Steelers +1800

Cleveland Browns +2300

In this scenario, the Ravens are the clear favorite since they have a minus sign (-). The rest of the teams are underdogs. You can tell this by the plus sign (+).

Let’s imagine that you believe Pittsburgh is going to win the AFC North. If you were to bet $100 on them, you’d get a payout of $1,900 – your original $100 is returned along with your winnings of $1,800. Conversely, that same $100 on the Browns would give you $2,400 – you get your $100 back coupled with your loot of $2,300.

Dogs will give you bigger returns because there’s more risk involved. But don’t bet on them blindly. When oddsmakers set the odds, they take into consideration players and coaches, schedule and past performances. If a team has +100000 odds, it’s for a good reason.

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What Is An NFL Divisional Futures Bet?

A futures bet is a wager made on events that will take place in time. Technically, all sports bets are made on events that have yet to happen. However, you can bet futures weeks or even months in advance of the season starting. For instance, you can bet on the odds to win the AFC North in August as soon as the lines are released.

As the season progresses, the odds will move to reflect injuries, staffing changes and trades. If you see lines you like, take them as early as you can before the odds shift so much that they’re not viable.