It’s early days, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t value early on these NFL divisional futures! Here’s my breakdown and pick for this year’s AFC North Winner:
Cleveland Browns @ +135
Pittsburgh Steelers @ +175
Baltimore Ravens @ +300
Cincinnati Bengals @ +2000
The Browns are currently the public and betting favorites to have a big year in the AFC North. It’s been a long time coming, but with Baker at the helm, and an all-star receiving core, it could be an exciting year for the former long-time struggling franchise.
Pittsburgh narrowly follow the Browns as the second most favored team in the division. I personally have Pittsburgh chalked up for a tough season, with them now missing LVB and AB84. They’ve still got plenty of options, but I’m not buying that Big Ben is back to his best. Last season was impressive for him, but multiple times he came close to being sidelined, and it just seem like last year was his absolute ceiling, and even then they only hit nine wins.
2018’s AFC North divisional champs, the Ravens, find themselves slotted into third by the oddsmakers’ estimations. I think this is a fair price for Baltimore, last year was a good year for them, and especially their defense. I think this year they could defensively reproduce, but my expectations of Lamar Jackson and them as a whole, will remain reserved for the time being.
The Bengals once again find themselves sitting forth in the odds, and by quite some margin. I don’t think Cincy is quite a bad as everyone else thinks they are, but I also don’t think they are close to contention this year.
Although I think the Bengals’ price should be a touch shorter, I think we’ve got to make a play on the Browns here. I’m not really one for siding with the public opinion, but with my expectations tempered on the Ravens, and my doubts about the Steelers, this really could be the Browns’ year to claim their first divisional title since 1989.
1u – Cleveland Browns to Win the AFC North @+135