Trouble Brewing in the AFC North
The AFC North is notorious amongst online betting blogs for being one of the most hard-nosed divisions in the NFL. The last time they produced a Super Bowl Champion was in 2013 but the division winners are always in the mix. Therefore winning the AFC North not only signifies the strength of one’s team but puts the winner in a very good position to compete for the Super Bowl. The AFC North used to be a competition between the Steelers and the Ravens but recently the Bengals have been proving that this is their division as well. Let’s check the odds across the best football betting sites to see how the competition is shaping up for 2013.
Odds to Win Super Bowl LI
Baltimore Ravens +2950
Cincinnati Bengals +2050
Cleveland Browns +21500
Pittsburgh Steelers +980
Odds to Win AFC North
Baltimore Ravens +330
Cincinnati Bengals +190
Cleveland Browns +2050
Pittsburgh Steelers +130
The Steelers are coming in as fan favorites, media favorites, and online betting favorites to win the AFC North. With so much hype surrounding this team it’s hard not to jump on the bandwagon. In fact there is so much love for this team that many sports analysts are projecting a 13-3 season for the Black & Gold. They’ll start the season with a stone in their shoe due to the fact that Le’Veon Bell will be serving a suspension. However, the Steelers are a Super Bowl caliper team from top to bottom and the management elected to keep DeAngelo Williams aboard. Williams should be more than capable of carrying Bell’s load while he serves his suspension. The Steelers defense struggled against the pass in 2015 but with the right changes in the scheme they should be able to manage.
Just like the online betting odds predict, this division will likely come down to either the Steelers or the Bengals. In the end it’s likely that both teams will be appearing in the playoffs. The Bengals have come out on top in the North the last several years and with the continued progress of their young quarterback, Andy Dalton, it’s likely they will continue to do so. Cincinnati’s defense was solid in 2015 and it likely will be again, barring any suspensions. The Bengals are notorious for their off-the-field issues and it wouldn’t be surprising if there was an online betting line to see if they suffer at least one suspension in 2016.
Last season some critics projected the Ravens to reach the Super Bowl.
However, after a barrage of season ending injuries took out the likes of Joe Flacco, Steve Smith, Terrell Suggs, and Justin Forsett Baltimore struggled to stay above .500. They may have only won 5 games last season, but they were in no way dominated; 14 of their ballgames were decided by 8 or less points. Now with Joe Flacco returning healthy there’s little doubt this team will have a winning season. If this team can stay healthy then this division might just have three tickets to the playoffs, just like they did in 2011.