2021-22 NFL Football AFC North Division Futures Odds, Prop Bets & Predictions
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
by LVSB Team

Cleveland, Baltimore, Pittsburgh Figure to be in a Dogfight All Season for Division Dominance

2021-22 NFL Football AFC North Division Futures Odds, Prop Bets & Predictions

2020 saw three teams finish with 11 wins or more in the AFC North. This year figures to be just as competitive as the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns all come into the season with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.

The Cincinnati Bengals are the runt of the litter, but even that is not set in stone, assuming Joe Burrow can knock the rust off after tearing his ACL last season.

The Steelers started last season with 11 straight wins, but the offense dried up for the team in 2020 as Ben Roethlisberger started to look his age, the talented, but young wide receiver group were inconsistent especially in holding onto the ball and the running game was nowhere to be found.

This year we can add a totally retooled offensive line to the list of challenges as longtime stalwarts Maurkice Pouncey (retired), David DeCastro (released) and Alejandro Villanueva (free agency) are gone. The only returning starter is Chukwuma Okorafor, likely sliding in at left tackle to replace Villanueva, but he was the lowest rated of last year’s bunch. Former Pro Bowler Trai Turner leads the new cast coming in.

Pittsburgh also spent a first round draft pick on Alabama workhorse RB Najee Harris to help take pressure off Big Ben. The passing game should be better based on the experience gained and a new offensive coordinator who promises to be less predictable with his play calling.

A team led by one of the best secondaries in the league figures to be strong once more on that side of the ball.

Baltimore’s big jump comes in the form of a vastly improved receiving corps after being a multi-dimensional running team for the majority of Lamar Jackson’s time at the helm of the offense. Second year receiver Hollywood Brown showed lots of big play potential in his rookie season and they have one of the best tight ends in the league in Mark Andrews. Now they added oft-injured, but still dangerous receiver Sammy Watkins and they spent a first round pick on Rashod Bateman. This should make the offense much more dangerous and unpredictable.

The defense can usually be counted on to dominate, but questions persist at linebacker and safety.

Cleveland made the playoffs for the first time in over a decade and even managed to slay their hated rivals Pittsburgh in the opening round. Expectations are high as QB Baker Mayfield seemed to have found a new gear to his game. He’ll also have the benefit of playing in the same offensive system for the first time and has a plethora of elite offensive tools at his disposal led by RB Nick Chubb, TE Austin Hooper and WR Jarvis Landry. Add to that WR Odell Beckham Jr. coming back from injury and this should be one of the best offenses in the league.

Defense was a serious question mark that held the team back, and most of their offseason was spent shoring up that side of the ball. They added Jadeveon Clowney to help Myles Garrett and company bring pressure up front, they drafted highly touted LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in the second round and signed free agent LB Anthony Walker from the Colts. To the secondary they spent a first round pick on CB Greg Newsome II and will have safety Grant Delpit returning from his ACL injury.

Cincinnati is praying that the rust that has been apparent for the 2020 number one pick QB Joe Burrow will be gone by the time the season starts. He’s returning from a torn ACL and now will have his favorite target at LSU, WR Ja’Marr Chase to throw to as part of an impressive cast of weapons that includes RB Joe Mixon and WRs Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd.

The big question mark, which also helped spell doom for Burrow last year is the offensive line. Plenty of resources were spent to improve an atrocious group and we’ll see if it was enough for an unproven unit.

The defense signed a couple of key free agents at cornerback in former Steeler Mike Hilton and former Cowboy Chidobe Awuzie. They are both young vets with the potential to get better as they start their second contracts. Depth remains a serious concern at many positions and that could be a challenge given how injuries are part of the game in the NFL.

Read on to see our picks for the AFC North winner and our favorite prop picks.

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AFC North
Division Winner

Baltimore Ravens   +115
Cleveland Browns   +150
Pittsburgh Steelers   +400
Cincinnati Bengals   +2200

AFC North
Dual Forecast (Pick the two teams to finish 1st and 2nd in any order)

Ravens/Browns   -150
Ravens/Steelers   +280
Browns/Steelers   +400
Ravens/Bengals   +2000
Bengals/Browns   +2600
Bengals/Steelers   +6600

AFC North
Exact Outcome

1st Ravens 2nd Browns 3rd Steelers 4th Bengals   +245
1st Browns 2nd Ravens 3rd Steelers 4th Bengals   +280
1st Ravens 2nd Steelers 3rd Browns 4th Bengals   +525
1st Browns 2nd Steelers 3rd Ravens 4th Bengals   +700
1st Steelers 2nd Ravens 3rd Browns 4th Bengals   +800
1st Steelers 2nd Browns 3rd Ravens 4th Bengals   +900
1st Ravens 2nd Browns 3rd Bengals 4th Steelers   +1600
1st Browns 2nd Ravens 3rd Bengals 4th Steelers   +1800
1st Ravens 2nd Bengals 3rd Browns 4th Steelers   +4000
1st Browns 2nd Bengals 3rd Ravens 4th Steelers   +5000
1st Ravens 2nd Steelers 3rd Bengals 4th Browns   +6600
1st Ravens 2nd Bengals 3rd Steelers 4th Browns   +8000
1st Bengals 2nd Ravens 3rd Browns 4th Steelers   +8000
1st Bengals 2nd Browns 3rd Ravens 4th Steelers   +8000
1st Browns 2nd Steelers 3rd Bengals 4th Ravens   +10000
1st Steelers 2nd Ravens 3rd Bengals 4th Browns   +10000
1st Browns 2nd Bengals 3rd Steelers 4th Ravens   +12500
1st Steelers 2nd Browns 3rd Bengals 4th Ravens   +12500
1st Bengals 2nd Ravens 3rd Steelers 4th Browns   +15000
1st Steelers 2nd Bengals 3rd Ravens 4th Browns   +15000
1st Bengals 2nd Browns 3rd Steelers 4th Ravens   +17500
1st Bengals 2nd Steelers 3rd Ravens 4th Browns   +20000
1st Steelers 2nd Bengals 3rd Browns 4th Ravens   +20000
1st Bengals 2nd Steelers 3rd Browns 4th Ravens   +20000

AFC North
Straight Forecast (Pick 1st and 2nd Place in correct finishing order)

1st Ravens 2nd Browns   +210
1st Browns 2nd Ravens   +240
1st Ravens 2nd Steelers   +550
1st Browns 2nd Steelers   +700
1st Steelers 2nd Ravens   +800
1st Steelers 2nd Browns   +900
1st Ravens 2nd Bengals   +3000
1st Browns 2nd Bengals   +4000
1st Benglas 2nd Ravens   +5000
1st Bengals 2nd Browns   +5500
1st Steelers 2nd Bengals   +9000
1st Benglas 2nd Steelers   +12500

AFC North
Team to Finish 2nd

Baltimore Ravens   +160
Cincinnati Bengals   +1600
Cleveland Browns   +150
Pittsburgh Steelers   +270

AFC North
Team To Finish 3rd

Baltimore Ravens   +350
Cincinnati Bengals   +650
Cleveland Browns   +280
Pittsburgh Steelers   EVEN

AFC North
Team to Finish 4th

Baltimore Ravens   +2900
Cincinnati Bengals   -800
Cleveland Browns   +2000
Pittsburgh Steelers   +550

Odds source: Bovada Sportsbook

AFC North Winner:
About the only thing holding back the Browns is a long history of ineptitude to cause doubt that they can build on last year’s success. But they now have an identity and solid leaders in the front office, coaching and on the field. They are the most complete team in the division.
Pick: Cleveland Browns +150

Straight Forecast:
I believe these will be the top two teams in the division, separating themselves from the Steelers and Bengals in the second half. The dual forecast yields just -150 odds, so I like this return instead. I think the Ravens offense will be incredibly potent, but their defense takes a slight step back, leaving the door open for Cleveland to win the division.
Pick: 1st Browns, 2nd Ravens +240

Exact Outcome:
This is the outcome that I most believe in for this year in this highly competitive division. At the same time, if you believe in change, which is often the name of the game in the NFL then +1600 will get you a result of Browns, Ravens, Bengals, Steelers. Cincinnati has a talented offensive group and an easier schedule than Pittsburgh who are rebuilding their offensive line essentially from scratch and relying on a QB who looked like he might be nearing the end last year.
Pick: 1st Browns, 2nd Ravens, 3rd Steelers, 4th Bengals +280

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alejandro villanueva - baker mayfield - baltimore ravens - ben roethlisberger - chidobe awuzie - chukwuma okorafor - cincinnati bengals - cleveland browns - hollywood brown - jadeveon clowney

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