Should Pittsburgh Be NFL Betting Favorites in the North?
Posted by: Charlie Smith
The online NFL betting season is almost here and pretty soon bettors’ weekends will consist of finding the perfect parlay. But since we’re still a while’s away from opening day, most sports wagering fans will be looking to make Super Bowl predictions. One division that is often in the race for the Super Bowl is the AFC North.
In the last 12 years, the AFC North has produced 4 Super Bowl appearances, which means that the division produces a title contender every 3 years on average. However, it’s been 5 years since a team has risen from the AFC North to try and claim the NFL title. Will the North keep up its average by giving us a Super Bowl contender in 2017?
Odds to Win AFC North: +255 Odds to Win Super Bowl: +3550
The Ravens were that AFC North team to compete for the title 5 years ago in Super Bowl XLVII, which they won 34-31 over the San Francisco 49ers. However, Baltimore did not enjoy that type of success in 2016.
Baltimore turned in an 8-8 record last season, marking the second consecutive season that the Ravens failed to make the postseason. The latest injury report out of Baltimore’s camp thrusts some doubt into this upcoming season as well. The latest news reveal that Flacco has suffered a back injury that will keep him on the sideline even after the season begins.
Rumors have floated around suggesting that Baltimore is looking to sign Colin Kaepernick as a back-up. Whatever they decide, it’s safe to assume that the Ravens offensive issues will continue early on in the season. This will likely leave the team in a hole too big to climb out of.
Odds to Win AFC North: +310 Odds to Win Super Bowl: +6550
The Bengals might be the biggest online NFL betting Wild Card in the entire league. One season, they are clear-cut playoff contenders. The next, they can’t even manage to post a winning record.
Before posting a 6-9 record in 2016, the Bengals manage to put forth a strew of playoff appearances. 5 to be exact, none of which resulted in any playoff victories. Now the Bengals will be looking to make the postseason once again and it’s anybody’s guess whether they’ll find success or not. The NFL sportsbook lines don’t seem to think so however.
Odds to Win AFC North: +5050 Odds to Win Super Bowl: +30000
If there’s one team you can feel comfortable betting against in the NFL it’s the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have won 4 games in their last two seasons and it’ll be a miracle if they finish above .500 in 2017. However, the franchise has begun to show a change in its philosophy, opting not to pick a quarterback with their first pick of the draft – like they had done on so many previous occasions, but rather selecting Myles Garrett – a defensive end out of Texas A&M. With a bit of luck, and consistently smart decisions, the Browns could begin to contend for the AFC North title in a couple of years.
Odds to Win AFC North: -130 Odds to Win Super Bowl: +1225
The Steelers are the odds-on favorite to win the AFC North and rightfully so. The Steelers have won the division 2 out of the last 3 years. This upcoming season represents one of the few that the team has left with Roethlisberger and they’ll be looking to capitalize on it.
Luckily enough for Pittsburgh, they have all the makings of an online NFL betting contender. They have a great running game that is made up of Le’Veon Bell and a solid offensive line. Granted, Pittsburgh is currently having some contract disputes with Bell that need to get settled. Bell is one of the best in the league, so the Steelers will likely cave.
In addition to their supreme running game, the Steelers have one of the most explosive aerial attacks in the NFL. Roethlisberger can avoid sacks like few others in the league, and he has the arm to deliver beautiful bombs to the likes of Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, and Eli Rogers.
Lastly, the Steelers’ should have a solid defense next season. Last season Pittsburgh’s defense finished 12th overall and bettors can expect the same physicality from them that gave them their nationwide notoriety.