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AFC North Odds: Does Joe Burrow Have the Bengals Primed To Win the Division?

After an all-time statistical performance in a blowout win on Sunday, Joe Burrow and the Bengals are odds-on favorites to win the AFC North Division.
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AFC North Odds: Does Joe Burrow Have the Bengals Primed To Win the Division?

It has been quite some time since the Queen City had this much excitement surrounding their football teams. No, we’re not talking about the Cincinnati Bearcats, the first non-Power 5 program to make the College Football Playoff. Cincinnati has a winning team at the professional level as well. After completing a season sweep of the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals now top the AFC North odds with just two games remaining.

While the Bengals have won the AFC North division four times since the turn of the century, they have not won a playoff game in over 30 years. It was much more recently that Cincinnati finished with the worst record in the NFL and earned the right to draft national championship-winning QB Joe Burrow at No. 1 overall. Fast-forward through a rookie season cut short by injury and Burrow has the Bengals on the verge of capturing their first division crown since 2015.

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How did he do it? Well, let’s just say Burrow’s Week 16 performance was one for the ages. He took full advantage of an injury-depleted Ravens’ secondary to pile up a whopping 525 passing yards and four touchdowns to lead the Bengals to a 41-21 divisional win. This is the second time that Burrow has lit up the Baltimore defense this season. He had over 400 yards passing and three scores in the first meeting. Cincinnati outscored the Ravens 82-38 in their two matchups this season.

The bevy of playmakers that the Bengals have surrounded Burrow with all made an impact on Sunday. Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase both smashed the 100-yard mark while the former caught two touchdowns. Tyler Boyd (80 yards receiving), Joe Mixon (70) and even tight end C.J. Uzomah (36) also joined in on the fun. Mixon added 65 yards and a score on the ground as well. 

AFC North Division Odds

The AFC North odds have been one of the craziest divisions to follow this season. All four teams have shown flashes of great potential at times. Each has also endured multiple disappointing losses. After Sunday’s win, the Bengals now stand alone in first place. The NFL betting odds now list Cincinnati as the odds-on favorites to win the division.

TeamDivision Odds
Cincinnati Bengals-111
Baltimore Ravens+180
Pittsburgh Steelers+750
Cleveland Browns+900

One of the big reasons why is their success on the field against their division cohorts. The Bengals are now 4-1 within the AFC North and have swept each of the Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers this season. Although the Cleveland Browns got the better of Burrow and the Bengals in the first meeting, Cincinnati will undoubtedly be favorites in the Week 18 rematch.

While Joe Burrow’s performance this week will garner all of the headlines, bettors should not overlook the impact that an improved Bengals defense has had all season long. In particular, pass-rusher Trey Hendrickson has rewarded Cincinnati for spending big on him in free agency. With another sack in Sunday’s win, Hendrickson has now recorded at least half a sack in 11 straight games and 13 of 15 on the season overall. 

With a star-studded offense and an underrated defense, the Bengals are deserving favorites in the AFC North odds. Cincinnati will have the chance to clinch the crown at home next week against the Kansas City Chiefs.


Henry has had a passion for sports that few can match for as long as he can remember. What started out as a five-year-old taking interest in the New York Jets and their green jerseys has since become a full-fledged career as a writer and sports betting analyst. His coverage primarily includes the NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, college football, and college basketball. In 2020, he ranked among the top-10 most accurate experts ATS in the BettingPros NFL season contest. You can follow Henry’s sports work on Twitter and other social media platforms @HankTimeSports.


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