The AFC North has been one of the most competitive divisions in football this season, with every team above the .500 mark. So while the Baltimore Ravens look like the team to beat, the Browns, Bengals, and Steelers are right in the mix.
The Steelers escaped with another win on Monday night against the Bears, while the Ravens took care of the Vikings on Sunday in overtime. Finally, in Ohio, the Browns prevailed in a key divisional road game against the Bengals to hand Cincinnati its second straight loss. So let’s look at the rankings and see what we can expect in sports betting this week.
AFC North Rankings
Baltimore Ravens 6-2
Pittsburgh Steelers 5-3
Cleveland Browns 5-4
The Ravens look like the team to beat in the division and improved their record to 6-2 after an overtime win last Sunday. The offense is clicking and near the top of the league (second in total yards per game at 442.6), while QB Lamar Jackson appears to be back to MVP form.
The Steelers haven’t done much on offense this year, but they keep finding ways to win close games, which can’t be overlooked. Meanwhile, the Browns appear to be back on track after releasing disgruntled receiver Odell Beckham Jr. with a solid win last week.
Despite losing two straight, the Bengals are still 5-4 and will look to get back to their winning ways after a bye week.
AFC North Betting This Week
While the Bengals are on bye, the other three teams from the AFC North are in action. The Ravens kick off the week on Thursday night in a primetime matchup against the lowly Miami Dolphins. Lamar Jackson has been a stud in primetime games with a 40-14 record. The Ravens are favored by 7.5 points and should easily cover in this one.
The Browns are in for a more difficult challenge, heading to New England to take on the upstart Patriots. Cleveland is currently a 1.5-point underdog in a game that could go either way. The Pats held running back Christian McCaffrey to just 52 yards on the ground last week. This week, Nick Chubb will be out due to testing positive for COVID-19. However, in my mind, the Browns still have the better team, so look for Cleveland to pull off a close one.
The Steelers will have a short week after playing on Monday but likely won’t need much rest to beat the winless Detroit Lions this week. Pittsburgh is a nine-point favorite, which I don’t believe will be a problem to cover.
Who Will Win the AFC North?
The Ravens are the current favorite to win the division at -170. However, the division is tight, and there’s some money to be made on the other three teams. The Browns are paying out +450, and I could see them making a serious run down the stretch.
Cincinnati is at a whopping +700, which seems too high for a team with just one less win than the division leader. The Steelers are at +500 to finish on top, but I’m not a fan of this bet. It seems that Pittsburgh has been playing over its head and is due for a regression in the second half.
What Teams Are You Backing This Week?
Aside from the three AFC North matchups this week, there are plenty of other great games on tap for your NFL betting fix. Can the Seahawks get a win in Green Bay now that Russell Wilson is back? Will the Titans continue to dominate without Derrick Henry?
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