NFL AFC North Betting Preview: Division Odds, Win Totals, and More for 2020
Last updated: July 22, 2020
The AFC North has a new juggernaut, and that is the Baltimore Ravens. After an incredible regular season last year that saw the Ravens win 14 games, the team is a sizeable favorite to win the division for a second consecutive season. In this AFC North betting guide, we’ll review each team’s odds to win the division, win totals, and more.
*All odds in this article per FanDuel Sportsbook as of July 22, 2020, and subject to change.
Odds to win the AFC North
|Team||Odds as of July 22|
Baltimore Ravens (-200)
Lamar Jackson is coming off an NFL MVP season. Jackson was the lifeblood of Baltimore’s offense, throwing for 3,127 yards and 36 touchdowns, plus rushing for 1,206 yards and 7 touchdowns. He really was a one-man show on the field and a huge reason why the Ravens finished the regular season at 14-2. But in the playoffs, the Ravens fell short. After getting a bye, they faced the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round and lost 28-12. It was a rather bitter ending to a season that had so much promise.
In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Ravens did all right. The team added LSU linebacker Patrick Queen with its late first-round pick and he should be a nice fit into the tough Baltimore defense. The team also added defensive tackle Justin Madubuike and linebacker Malik Harrison in the third round.
On offense, the Ravens drafted running back J.K. Dobbins. Mark Ingram did very well for the Ravens last season, but he’s 30 years old and that’s on the older side for running backs, especially with how hard Ingram runs. There’s a good amount of upside with Dobbins and Baltimore could get out of Ingram’s contract after next season with a fairly small cap hit.
In other moves, the Ravens traded for Calais Campbell and signed Michael Brockers who should be able to provide a lot to the defense.
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Pittsburgh Steelers (+340)
There are a lot of question marks regarding how good the Pittsburgh Steelers can be and many revolve around quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who is coming off a season that saw him get hurt in the second game and be out for the full year. Coming into the season, the 38-year-old Roethlisberger had signed a two-year extension worth $68 million. A year older, prone to injury, arguably overweight, and not having played football in a year – does Roethlisberger still have what it takes to get this Steelers team to the playoffs?
There are also question marks behind Roethlisberger. Right now, the depth chart has Mason Rudolph, Devlin Hodges, and Paxton Lynch listed, but we saw how Pittsburgh’s QB situation was a nightmare last season after Roethlisberger went down. As of May 20, the team has yet to address the quarterback position further. The team didn’t draft anyone and don’t appear as if someone like Cam Newton would be pursued.
Running back James Conner had a productive 2018 campaign. In 13 games played, Conner had 973 yards and 12 touchdowns rushing, plus 497 yards and 1 touchdown receiving. He only played 10 games last season and his production went down. Last season, Conner went for 464 rushing yards, 4 rushing touchdowns, 251 receiving yards, and 3 touchdowns.
Pittsburgh’s defense was a bright spot last season and we’ll see if it can replicate that performance once again. We also know that the Steelers have a lot of success pumping out wide receivers and the team drafted Chase Claypool out of Notre Dame.
Cleveland Browns (+480)
Coming into last season, the Cleveland Browns were the talk of the AFC North. On paper, the team had a lot of talent and many picked them to win the division. The team ultimately fell very much short of expectations and didn’t come anywhere near meeting the hype, finishing 6-10 in the regular season and third in the division.
Head coach Freddie Kitchens was canned and Kevin Stefanski, the former offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings, has been given the job. We’ll get to see if he can take an offense that has Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, Austin Hooper, and David Njoku to the next level.
In the draft, the Browns picked offensive tackle Jedrick Wills to help fix up the offensive line. That’s after the team signed Jack Conklin. If Wills can play, there should be no excuses when it comes to pass protection for Mayfield. The team also added LSU safety Grant Delpit in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Cincinnati Bengals (+2600)
The longshot to win the AFC North is the Cincinnati Bengals. The team had the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and selected Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow to be the team’s franchise guy, but he’ll only be a rookie and the Bengals have plenty of other problems.
Joe Mixon is a very good running back and Cincinnati has a ton of depth at wide receiver, but the big question is the offensive line. Can the line hold up and give Burrow the time he needs to make things happen? Only time will tell. If the line does hold up, Burrow will have A.J. Green, John Ross, Tyler Boyd, Auden Tate, and Tee Higgins as options at WR.
On defense, the Bengals also need to improve, but they did add a few linebackers and an edge rusher in the draft. All three of the linebackers could very well be starting NFL players, which would be a much-needed boost to the Bengals defense.
It’s going to be a longshot for the Bengals to win the AFC North, especially with the Ravens in the division. Rather, Cincinnati will be looking to get its young players off in the right direction and establish building blocks for the future.
AFC North win totals
The Ravens lead the way in the win-total department, with a line set at 11.5 wins. That’s a win total as high as the Kansas City Chiefs and one that could be a hard mark to achieve. The Ravens have a very good team and play some weaker non-division opponents like the Washington Redskins, New York Giants, and Jacksonville Jaguars, but getting to 12 wins in the NFL won’t be easy.
|Team||Wins||Odds as of July 22|
|Baltimore Ravens||Over 11.5||+100|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Over 9||-110|
|Cleveland Browns||Over 8.5||-110|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Over 5.5||-145|
AFC North odds to make NFL Playoffs
|Team||Make Playoffs?||Odds as of July 22|