Cincinnati Bengals Aim for Third Consecutive Smashmouth Victory in AFC North

Published: August 28, 2023, 09:23h. 

Last updated: August 28, 2023, 09:23h.

The Cincinnati Bengals are the favorites in the AFC North division title race with odds of +140.

Joe Burrow Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow looks downfield during an AFC Divisional playoff game against the Buffalo Bills. (Image: AP)

The Baltimore Ravens have odds of +235 to win the NFC North and challenge the Bengals for the title. The Cleveland Browns (+400) and Pittsburgh Steelers (+500) are also contenders in a closely contested division.

Known for its physical playstyle, the NFC North is widely regarded as the most competitive division in the NFL.

The Steelers last won the NFC North in 2020, while the Ravens secured back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019.

The Browns have never won the NFC North since its inception in 2002 when the NFL restructured divisions. Their last division title came in 1989 in the defunct AFC Central division.

Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow and the Cool Cats Aim for a Third Consecutive Title

  • AFC North Odds: +140
  • Super Bowl Odds: +1100
  • 2022 Record: 12-4
  • 2023 Win Total: 10.5 o/u

The Bengals faced a scare in training camp when Joe Burrow suffered a non-contact leg injury. Luckily, it was just a strained calf, and he is expected to start in Week 1.

The Bengals bolstered their offensive line this season with the addition of tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to protect Burrow’s blind side.

Burrow has the luxury of throwing to one of the NFL’s best wide receiver trios, including Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd. Both Chase and Higgins recorded 1,000-yard seasons in 2022.

The Bengals have challenging games against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs on the road, as well as matchups against the Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, and Minnesota Vikings at home.

The Bengals have odds of +550 to win the AFC Championship, and +1100 to win Super Bowl LVII, making them the fifth-highest team on DraftKings’ futures board.

Baltimore Ravens: L-Jax Signs Extension and Offense Gets Revamped

  • AFC North Odds: +235
  • Super Bowl Odds: +1800
  • 2022 Record: 10-7
  • 2023 Win Total: 10.5 o/u

After a tense offseason that included trade rumors, the Ravens secured quarterback Lamar Jackson with a contract extension worth $260 million over five years. Since taking over as the starting quarterback halfway through his rookie season, Jackson has led the Ravens to a remarkable 45-16 record.

With the contract situation resolved, the Ravens can now focus on reclaiming the division crown from the Bengals.

Todd Monken, a part of two college football national championship teams with the Georgia Bulldogs, was hired as the Ravens’ new offensive coordinator. He will work on creating a playbook for the versatile Jackson.

The Ravens upgraded their offense with veteran wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor. They also drafted Zay Flowers from Boston College, one of the top rookie wide receivers.

The Ravens face tough road games against the Los Angeles Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and San Francisco 49ers late in the season. They also have notable non-divisional home games against the Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, and Seahawks.

The Ravens have odds of +1100 to win the AFC Championship, making them the fourth-highest team on the board. They offer the best value in their division with +235 odds to win the NFC North.

Cleveland Browns: Watson’s First Full Season

  • AFC North Odds: +400
  • Super Bowl Odds: +3500
  • 2022 Record: 7-10
  • 2023 Win Total: 9.5 o/u

Deshaun Watson missed the first 11 games of the previous season due to a suspension for misconduct. Upon his return, Watson struggled, completing a career-low 58.2% of his passes with seven touchdowns and five interceptions.

Now, Watson has the opportunity to play his first full season with the Browns. He has talented wide receivers in Elijah Moore and Amari Cooper to target.

If Watson returns to his previous form, the Browns have a chance at a winning season and making it to the playoffs. In 2020, Watson recorded over 4,000 passing yards and a career-high 33 touchdowns.

Myles Garrett anchors the Browns defense, which has been further strengthened with the additions of Za’Darius Smith, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Juan Thornhill. They also brought in Jim Schwartz as their defensive coordinator.

The Browns have a win total of 9.5 o/u, and they host non-divisional home games against potential playoff teams like the 49ers, Jaguars, and Jets.

According to DraftKings, the Browns have odds of +115 to make the playoffs and -135 to miss the postseason.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Tomlin’s Streak in Jeopardy?

  • AFC North Odds: +500
  • Super Bowl Odds: +5000
  • 2022 Record: 9-8
  • 2023 Win Total: 8.5 o/u

Head coach Mike Tomlin has managed to avoid a losing season throughout his career, a streak that spans 20 years. In his 16 seasons as head coach, Tomlin has a 163-93-2 record, with three 8-8 seasons. He has led the Steelers to ten playoff appearances and one Super Bowl victory.

However, the Steelers have only made the playoffs three times in the last six seasons and have not

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