AFC 2021 Futures Betting: AFC North Division
The AFC North Division landscape has changed dramatically since last season. The Steelers have dominated the AFC North in previous years, but Big Ben’s NFL career seems to be heading toward the last tick of the clock. The Ravens have one of the most exciting playmakers in the league with Lamar Jackson. The Bengals have a promising young roster ready to make a splash. Oh, and the Browns have a top-three offense in the league. With all these promising outlooks, which team has the best chance to win the division? Keep reading to find out. First, let’s take a look at how these teams finished last season:
Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4
Baltimore Ravens 11-5
Cleveland Browns 11-5
Cincinnati Bengals 4-11-1
The following lines for these division futures bets will be pulled from PointsBet unless otherwise noted.
Bengals Odds to Win the AFC North Division: +2300
It was an unfortunate ending to Joe Burrow's rookie season. After starting 10 games, his knee was wrecked, and any hope the Bengals had of making a run went down with him. On a positive note, in the games where Burrow did start, he looked pretty damn good. Despite having a Swiss cheese offensive line, he was consistently putting up 300+ passing yards every week. He definitely passed the eye test for me. This roster is stacked with young talent. Burrow might have died a little inside when the Bengals didn’t draft him offensive line help with the first pick, but Ja'Marr Chase isn’t to be glossed over. With the departure of A.J. Green, Burrow needed more offensive power around him and he definitely got it with their first-round pick.
Is There Any Value?
Let’s just get it out of the way. No, there isn’t. Despite what the Bengals reporting says, we really don’t know how Burrow’s knee is going to hold up for 17 games. That’s not the only issue. This defense was in the bottom of the league last year and didn’t do the offense any favors. While it’s going to be fun watching Burrow, Mixon, and Chase play together – save it for daily fantasy.
Steelers Odds to Win the AFC North Division: +400
What an absolute meltdown by Big Ben and company. After going 11-0, they lose to the Washington Football Team and – two games later – the Cincinnati Bengals. Woof. To make matters worse, this debacle continued into the playoffs, where they were absolutely shit on by the Browns.
Their roster is stacked with talent. They have one of the strongest receiving corps in the league. James Conner was a serviceable running back and their defense led the league in sacks, so what happened? Honestly, I don’t have an answer. Maybe the coaching has gone stale or Big Ben’s age is catching up to him. Whatever it is, this is not the team fans are used to watching.
Is There Any Value?
If there’s a trap being set by sportsbooks, it’s this line. I think the way the Steelers’ season ended is just the tip of the iceberg. This isn’t the dominating corp of players from the last few years. They managed without Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell for a little while, but this team has changed. The running game was non-existent and the offense was inconsistent. They did address these issues in the draft, but am I betting on the Steelers to bounce back? Not at +400.
Ravens Odds to Win the AFC North Division: +115
How fun is it watching Lamar Jackson play quarterback? I know we hear this every Sunday, but the dude looks like he’s straight out of Madden with that agility. This team had a great season, finishing strong before being routed by the Bills in the divisional round. They proved they could hang in there with Juggernaut units like the Browns and Titans, and this should continue with the emerging talent they have on the roster.
Is There Any Value?
This is a tough one. I love the young, talented roster but it still has a ways to go to become the best in the division. I don’t expect the Steelers to win nearly as many games, so I could be shooting myself in the foot. Bottom line – this team is too damn inconsistent. Mainly Lamar. One week he’s proving naysayers wrong by throwing 400 yards and squeezing passes through tight windows, and the next week he’s seeing ghosts and holding the ball too long. I will be betting individual, select Raven games but not this line. Although, I wouldn’t blame you if you did.
Browns Odds to Win the AFC North Division: +145
Wow, the Browns are nearly tied for favorites to win the AFC North. Cue the Drake lyrics, “Started from the bottom, now we're here." What a turnaround the last few years. I mean when you have the number one draft pick a decade straight – you’re bound to hit on at least one of them. I know, they didn’t have 10 first overall picks in a row but it definitely felt like it. Listen, this team is crazy good. Mayfield is shaping up to be the gritty, lay-it-all-on-the-field type of player that we loved watching in college
, and his playstyle is great for this organization. The Browns' offense is hands down one of the best in the league. They have electrifying receivers and can grind teams to a pulp with Hunt and Chubb if they wish. Their defense is nothing to write home about, but they get the job done.
Is There Any Value?
Hell to the yes. This is my pick to win the division. I love this roster going into this season. This team can trade blows with any opponent. That playoff game against the Steelers was their Super Bowl. Never mind the loss to KC the next week, that divisional win is all the momentum they need to hit the ground running. Hammer it.
So that concludes the division futures for the 2021 NFL season. Remember, if you see a line you love – grab it. These odds can swing daily depending on breaking news. You’ll want to lock in any value before it’s gone. For more sports gambling content, head over to Twitter and give us a follow.