Ravens and Bengals are Favored in AFC North

Ravens and Bengals are Favored in AFC North

The AFC North is a direct descendant of the old AFC Central. Correlate the division was formed in 1970 when the AFL and NFL merged. The  American Football Conference North took in the following former AFC Central franchises: Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, and Cincinnati Bengals. The Baltimore Ravens used to be the original Cleveland Browns before moving to Baltimore in 1996. However, the Ravens acted as a separate franchise, allowing the Browns to keep all their trademarks and old records. Cleveland returned to the NFL in 1999 as a pure expansion team that inherited the previous iteration’s NFL odds history.

AFC North Division Championship Odds

Baltimore Ravens+140
Cincinnati Bengals+165
Cleveland Browns+480
Pittsburgh Steelers+750

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2024 AFC North Overview

The AFC North has been one of the most competitive and even divisions in the NFL. Since their return, the Cleveland Browns are the only one of the four teams that comprised the AFC North that has never won the division title. Instead, the Browns have made three wild card online betting appearances.

Last year, the Ravens won the AFC North for the first time since 2019 but for the fifth time since 2011. The Cincinnati Bengals won the division in 2021 and 2022, while the Pittsburgh Steelers took the title four times from 2014 through 2020.

This year, the AFC North could be the most competitive in pro football. Certainly, gamblers see it that way. The Ravens are a slight favorite over the Bengals, with the Browns and Steelers further back.

Last year, the Ravens took the AFC North with an NFL betting odds record of 13-4. The records were reminiscent of 2019 when they won the division with a record of 14-2. On both occasions, the Ravens were the top seed in the AFC Playoffs. The Ravens made it to the 2023 AFC championship game but lost to the visiting Kansas City Chiefs. Additionally, more painful was the irony that Lamar Jackson was named the NFL MVP in 2019 and 2013, only to fall short of the Super Bowl.

Namely, John Harbaugh took over the Ravens in 2008 and has proven to be the perfect fit. Harbaugh has a career record of 160-99 with a playoff record of 12-10 and the 2012 Super Bowl championship. Such stability and excellence are a hallmark of Baltimore’s success.

The Cincinnati Bengals are eager to return to the top of the AFC North. Last season, Cincinnati failed to gain the playoffs. Cause by QB Joe Burrow was injured for the final weeks of the regular season stretch drive. Burrow is expected to be back at 100%. And that means Cincinnati will be a serious threat to win the AFC North, at the very least.

Cleveland is the second-oldest team in this division, but the Browns only have six division titles. They haven’t claimed a division title since re-joining the NFL as an expansion team. And that’s been tough for their fans to deal with over the years. Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore all have very recent AFC North crowns. But Cleveland has not won a division title since 1989.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ dominance of the AFC North goes back to their dynasty years in the 1970s. Accordingly, head coach Chuck Noll led such stars as quarterback Terry Bradshaw, running back Franco Harris, wide receivers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth, and the Steel Curtain defense. Pittsburgh won four Super Bowl titles. It was arguably the most talented roster ever assembled.

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