Online NFL Betting Prepares for AFC North Showdown
Over the last couple of years, the AFC North has swapped hands from the Baltimore Ravens, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Only the Browns have failed to claim the AFC North, which comes as no surprise to online NFL betting players.
So as we prepare for the start of the 2017 season, football betting sportsbook players must be prepared to tackle the question of who will win the AFC North this year. As things currently stand, sports wagering sites are favoring the black and gold – but that doesn’t mean it’s set in stone.
The Ravens and the Bengals could very well rise up and steal the division out from under Pittsburgh, and we’ll get an idea whether or not this is likely to happen this upcoming Sunday when two bitter AFC North rivals prepare to tee off.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals – Sunday, September 10th
When: 1:00 pm ET
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati
Stream: CBS Sports, NFL Game Pass
Online NFL Betting Odds:
Baltimore Ravens +3 (-120) 42 ½ (-110)
Cincinnati Bengals -3 (EV) 42 ½ (-110)
After injuries left their roster depleted in 2015, the Baltimore Ravens were anxious to start the 2016 season and begin their return to playoff form. That wish never materialized however as the Ravens struggled to an 8-8 season in 2016. Although it wasn’t the result they wanted, Baltimore was at the very least able to finish 2nd in the division. That might have more to do with the Ravens sharing a division with the Cleveland Browns, rather than any rightful merit from behalf of the franchise.
Two years removed from competing in the AFC divisional round, the Ravens are confident they can compete for a spot in the playoffs this season and maybe even a spot in the Super Bowl. Football betting sportsbooks don’t exactly share that sentiment, but they aren’t ruling Baltimore out this Sunday either.
The Bengals are one of the most wishy-washy teams in the league. One season the Bengals are 12-4, winning the division and completing in the playoffs, the next they’re 6-9-1 and not even close to sneaking into the postseason. In 2016 Cincinnati delivered the latter and while that may lead online NFL betting fans to believe that the Bengals are on the verge of delivering another disappointing season, the Bengals are so inconsistent that the opposite could very well be true.
Marvin Lewis, one of the longest-tenured coaches in the league, returns this season to lead the Bengals. Apart from winning the division, Lewis and company have one dire goal in front of them: win a playoff game. Lewis took over at the helm in 2003 and even though he’s been able to lead the Bengals to 7 playoff appearances, Lewis hasn’t been able to win a single postseason game.
It might be a bit of a stretch to say that Lewis is on the hot seat. But if he doesn’t find some measure of success in the playoffs, it won’t be long before he actually is.