The NFC North is normally one of the more hard-hitting divisions in football. Last season the division was down a lot. However after an entire offseason, the AFC North might be one of the more competitive divisions in the NFL Odds.
Cincinnati Bengals (+200)
After winning the division in 2013, the Bengals come back this season as co-favorites to win the AFC North from Bovada. Even though the Bengals are basically dealing with a new coordinating staff, this is still a very good football team. However losses on both sides of the football could hurt this team. Another question heading into camp is whether or not Andy Dalton will continue his growth without Jay Gruden. Gruden is now in Washington, D.C., and without him Dalton could see some regression this year. Hue Jackson should be a good coach for this team, but I fear Dalton isn’t good enough to implement the deep passing that Jackson made famous in Oakland.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+200)
The Steelers come in as co-favorites in the AFC North and with a revamped team the Steelers are no joke. Their NFL Odds reflect that, and if they can get their defense back to where is has been over the last several seasons, the Steelers are by far the best value in this division. With the addition of Mike Mitchell to an already excellent secondary, the Steelers are going to make it very tough to pass on them this season. Adding to that, Ben Roethlisberger might once again have to air the ball out some this season. Losing Emmanuel Sanders will sting some, however the Steelers signed both, Lance Moore and Darius Heyward-Bey to give them some depth at that position.
Baltimore Ravens (+250)
Bovada has the Ravens as slight underdogs to the Bengals and Steelers this season, and even though they didn’t defend their title very well, the Ravens are still going to be a solid football team. Their defense was good at times last season and it should be again. However their prolific offense from the Super Bowl didn’t show up at all last season. They could not run the ball, and I fear it may be their undoing again this season. They have done little to upgrade their offensive line, and with Ray Rice missing the first two games of the season, they could dig themselves into a hole again and not escape. Don’t wager on the Ravens’ NFL Odds this summer.
Cleveland Browns (+500)
With all the media coverage ESPN is giving to the Browns, as a casual fan you might think they could win a Super Bowl. However they likely won’t even win their division, especially with Josh Gordon facing a season-long suspension. He is appealing his suspension, however assuming he won’t play this year; it’s hard to believe the Browns are going to have value. Their defense is surely going to be good, however without Gordon, their offense likely won’t get too far. I do like the addition of Terrence West at running back. However when your best skill player is a rookie, your ceiling is capped somewhat.