Betting on the AFC North Division hasn't been particularly difficult since
The Browns snagged Robert Griffin at quarterback, and if he recaptures any of the magic from his rookie season in Washington, he'll be an ugrade. But they are still weak everywhere else—on both sides of the ball.
The Ravens, after winning just five games in 2015, basically did some house maintenance. They retained kicker Justin Tucker and added a superb safety in Eric Weddle. But that's about it.
The Bengals kept safety Adam Jones and cornerback George Iloka, which is, again, just a little housekeeping. They should be just as good defensively, but we cannot bank on much improvement.
The Steelers, the team with, in theory, the least amount to do actually did the most. They added tight end Ladarius Green, beerfing up an already scary air attack, and they retained offensive guard Ramon Foster, ensuring their superior blocking remains intact.
Thus, this division is the same as it's been in years past, at least structurally. The Steelers are your divisional betting favorites, though some action can be placed on the Bengals. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are also the two best AFC and Super Bowl plays. The Ravens are your supreme long shots on all futures fronts, and the Browns have no business being in your big picture repertoire even slightly.
AFC North Betting Lines Today
Here are all the necessary betting lines for the AFC North this week. They include kickoff times, in addition to moneylines, spreads, overs and unders.
When betting on the NFL, it's always important to revisit this page a bunch of times right up until you place your wager. Since there are usually days between the published odds and kickoff, the lines tend move.
Injuries and excessive action on one team force those changes. If you get in on the action early, good for you. But if you like to wait until Saturday or Sunday to place your bet for weekend games, it's best you study these lines daily, accounting for any and all possible tweaks.
Even after you place your bets, this is still a valuable tool—especially if you've invested in one wager or side early on.
For example, say you place a bet on the Pittsburgh Steelers to cover the spread on Sunday's game on Tuesday, but then find out on Thursday that wide receiver Antonio Brown, arguably the best wideout in football, won't be ready to rock.
You can then adjust your bet, even if it contradicts your other one, and hope you counteract your potential losses. You can also leave that game alone and instead look for another game on which gamble so that your weekend isn't a total bust.
AFC North Standings Right Now
These are the AFC North's currenting standings. Though they are extremely straightforward, they're also extremely useful.
How To Win At AFC North Betting
If you're a moneyline bettor, records can help be your guide. It's often the equivalent of betting blind, and the NFL's "Any Given Sunday" effect comes into play. But records, especially late in the season, can also tell you which team is the better squad. That may be enough evidence for you to invest moneyline plays on one side, be it on or against an AFC North unit.
This look at the standings is even more useful, though, if you're a futures nut. By keeping track of where each team sits, you can see which squads have the best chance at helping you profit off division futures.
The Cincinnati Bengels and Pittsburgh Steelers are the presumptive favorites in this department, but that could easily change. The NFL window has a quick turnaround.
If it does, you'll be aware of any unsudden rises made by the Cleveland Browns or Baltimore Ravens by checking in with the records frequently right here.
There are a few different ways for you to make money while betting on the AFC North.
First rule: Know your favorites. Right now, that's the Pittsburgh Steelers or Cincinnati Bengels. No preseason bets to win the AFC North should be placed on the Cleveland Browns under any circumstances. For the Baltimore Ravens, you're free to view them as super duper long shots. Incredibly small wagers on them are acceptable, though not necessarily encouraged.
It's the same story for conference and Super Bowl odds, only more stringent. Steer clear of the Browns and Ravens entirely. Use only the Bengals and Steelers on those fronts. If either the Browns or Ravens enter the championship picture, you'll have to adjust for it during the middle of the season. That's the safest, and savviest, approach to take.
On the game by game front, each team should have its own identity that allows you to rely on certain types of bets on a weekly basis. You should check past results and study upcoming opponents to confirm these trends, but if these teams play anything like they did last year, you'll want to take the blueprints that follow very seriously.
The Steelers are fantastic over plays. They ranked first in total yards per game during the 2015 season and should only be more dangerous when they're not covering up for injuries (Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell) or suspensions (Bell, Martavis Bryant). Their defense is stellar but not great just yet, only increasing their over pull. And even if they iron out the wrinkles on defense, their offensie is still potent enough, both on the ground and in the air, to cover the over singlehandedly.
The Bengals are your spread gambits. They do an excellent job at covering these odds. They ranked third in the AFC in points scored per game and first in points allowed per game. That balance should allow them to turn back opponents at the sportsbooks with relative ease.
For the Ravens, consider under plays on a weekly bassis. Both their offense and defense recently ranked near the the bottom of the conference. Though they have some of the tools in place to rebound defensively, that will only drive down the potential combined scores of their games. The offense, by comparison, isn't even close to figuring things out. So be sure to monitor their under potential.
There isn't a ton of statistical evidence to support betting the over on the Browns. There is some, but not a lot. They ranked second to last in points allowed per game in the AFC last year, while the offense was dead last in points per contest.
With Robert Griffin III under center, they should be able to improve ever so slightly offensively, though. They have a few good receivers around him, too. The defense won't be so lucky, suggesting they'll relinquish a ton of touchdowns. That, in turn, should make them fantastic over plays.