AFC North News, Notes & Betting Odds
Baltimore Ravens 14-2 last year, 1st place in the AFC North
-Season win total this year 11 -115, -105
-Odds to win AFC North -225 favorite
-Odds to win AFC +320
-Odds to win Super Bowl +650
-Odds to make Playoffs -715
-Remember, this was a team with a season win total of 8.5 juiced to the Over last year at +115. Lamar Jackson was as high as 200-1 to win the MVP, and they were the 3rd favorites behind the Browns & Steelers to win the Division. They were +300 to win the division last year...Regression?
-I absolutely love the addition of Defensive End Calais Campbell from the Jags. If you can point to one glaring weakness last year on a 14-2 team, past rush was it. He should really help the up front.
-One key thing to look for is how many times they let Lamar Jackson run the football. He ran it 176 times last year. For comparison purposes, starting RB Mark Ingram ran it 202 times. I think they are of the correct mindset that that amount of attempts for any QB is just not sustainable in terms of avoiding injury.
Pittsburgh Steelers 8-8 last year; 2nd in the AFC North
-Season Win total this year 9 -120, +100
-Odds to win AFC North +350
-Odds to win AFC 12-1
-Odds to win Super Bowl 25-1
-Odds to make Playoffs -137
-Huge transition last year for Pittsburgh as they adjusted to life with LeVean Bell and Antonio Brown..and it showed. They looked out of sorts throughout the year, and of course a lot of that had to do with their QB situation as they lost Big Ben to season ending elbow surgery early on. Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges split time and were within a game of getting this team into the playoffs.
-I've continued to say this about Mike Tomlin for years now--Awful in game manager in terms of game situational calls, but a terrific motivator and great at getting the most out of his players. He returns for his 14th season and is 141-81 overall.
-They bring in Eric Ebron from the Colts, 2 years / $12m. They do lose Javon Hargrave to the Eagles. He had 10.5 sacks the past 2 seasons and they'll miss him up front.
Cleveland Browns 6-10 last year, 3rd in the AFC North
-Season win total this year 8.5 -120, +100
-Odds to win AFC North +550
-Odds to win AFC 18-1
-Odds to win Super Bowl 40-1
-Odds to make Playoffs +130
-One of the most talked about teams last year for all of the wrong reasons. It's possible they actually downgraded at coach going from Hue Jackson to Freddie Kitchens, which is remarkable to do considering Hue Jackson was 3-36-1 as Browns coach.
-This team had all the hype in the world coming into last year, were favorites to win the division, had a season win total of 9.5, and only won 6 games. They fire Kitchens, and bring in Stefanski, who they hope will bring some much needed stability to the locker room.
-On paper, they bring back much of what landed them as the favorites last year, and also bring in Austin Hooper, Andrew Billings, and Jack Conklin. The talent has never been the issue for this team, it's the locker room and off the field craziness that seemed to get them in trouble last year. Flying under the radar this year perhaps?
Cincinnati Bengals 2-14 last year, Last place in the AFC North
-Season win total this year 5.5 -125, +110
-Odds to win AFC North 25-1
-Odds to win AFC 66-1
-Odds to win Super Bowl 150-1
-Odds to make Playoffs +625
-The Joe Burrow era officially begins in Cincinnati, and much like Tua, I think having no preseason games is really going to hinder the initial progress of Burrow. So that's something to watch for.
-The other thing to look for is the health of AJ Green. The team has indicated he's healthy and ready to go. They do lose Tyler Eifert at TE, as well as backup Andy Dalton, which would have been a nice locker room mentor for Burrow. But there was no way they could keep Dalton based on the cap numbers.
-Zac Taylor left a lot to be desired in his rookie year at head coach, posting a 2-14 overall record. Will the addition of a franchise QB save his job?