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Odds to Win the AFC North: Jackson, Ravens Set to Continue Their Ascent

Odds to Win the AFC North

Heading into the 2019 NFL season, the Cleveland Browns were the favorites to win the AFC North. But after only a few weeks, it became clear the offseason makeover the Browns underwent didn’t make them contenders in the AFC. Instead, the Baltimore Ravens emerged as the true heavyweights in the division.

Oddsmakers are clearly expecting the upstart Ravens to continue their success, as Baltimore is the -200 favorite to win the AFC North in 2020 at Bovada. The Pittsburgh Steelers (+375) and the Browns (+450) are within striking distance, while the Cincinnati Bengals (+2200) are well back of the pack.

The Sky is the Limit for Jackson

In his first year as the Ravens’ starting quarterback, Jackson instantly broke into superstardom. The Louisville product finished the year with 36 passing touchdowns and 3,127 yards through the air along with 1,206 yards and seven scores on the ground. Jackson broke Michael Vick’s single-season record for rushing yards by a QB and was the unanimous NFL MVP winner.

The window for the Ravens to compete for a Super Bowl is right now. General manager Eric DeCosta has been busy injecting more talent through free agency and the trade market. The Ravens will be an extremely tough team to beat in 2020 and should run away with the AFC North.

Roethlisberger’s Return Provides Stability for Steelers

The Steelers looked like they were headed for the AFC basement after a 1-4 start last year, but wins in seven of their next eight games put them back in playoff contention. The quarterback play wasn’t the same after Ben Roethlisberger was sidelined for the campaign, and it’s clear how much the grizzled veteran means to this team.

Roethlisberger is projected to enter the 2020 season with a clean bill of health, so Pittsburgh should be in the mix for a wild-card spot at least. I can’t see them overcoming the Ravens, however, so backing them to win the division at the +375 price comes with risk.

2019 Was More of the Same for the Browns

No team had as much hype as the Browns last season. What followed was yet another disappointing year in Cleveland, as the Browns once again found themselves outside the playoff picture at 6-10.

Baker Mayfield suffered through a miserable sophomore season and the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. failed to make much of an impact for an offense that frequently looked like it was stuck in the mud.

So, can the Browns finally break through this time around? After last season, it’s tough to predict Cleveland taking a significant step forward and winning the AFC North for the first time since the franchise returned to Ohio in 1999.

Burrow Will Give Bengals Hope

There’s no denying it – the Bengals were a disaster across the board in 2019. While Cincy fans had to suffer through a 2-14 year, the result was the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and the right to select the undisputed top player in the draft, quarterback Joe Burrow.

Cincinnati has some decent weapons on offense, with A.J. Green, Auden Tate and Joe Mixon holding down the fort. With the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner in the fold, the Bengals will be an improved group going forward. It’s going to take some time for them to come together, but the future is bright in Cincinnati right now.

For more football content, head over to our NFL page.

Odds to Win the 2020 AFC North
TeamOdds
Baltimore Ravens-200
Pittsburgh Steelers+375
Cleveland Browns+450
Cincinnati Bengals+2200

Odds as of May 12 at Bovada


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 -300

Pittsburgh Steelers +500

Cleveland Browns +700

Cincinnati Bengals +100000

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 Baltimore is going to win the AFC North. If you were to bet $125 on them, you’d get a payout of $166.67 – your original $125 is returned along with your winnings of $41.67. Conversely, that same $125 on the Browns would give you $1,000 – you get your $125 back coupled with your loot of $875.

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.

Check out our Odds Calculator to see how much you’d win based on the odds and bet amount.

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.