2022 NFL Division Futures: Bengals To Repeat in AFC North?

  • NFL Division Futures view the AFC North as a true toss-up with the Bengals, Browns, and Ravens all hovering around +200
  • Pittsburgh (+1100) has the longest odds of winning the division despite never finishing below .500 in Mike Tomlin’s 15 years as head coach.
  • Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson could be facing a lengthy suspension from the NFL.

Joe Burrow and the Bengals are only slight favorites to repeat in the AFC North despite going all the way to the Super Bowl last February. Could oddsmakers be underrating Cincinnati because of a long history of organizational failures and overrating their divisional opponents in Cleveland and Baltimore?

Before we look at the latest AFC North futures, here’s where you can check out the top betting sites for NFL football in 2022 and see our Super Bowl betting guide.

AFC North

BetOnlineBovada
Cincinnati Bengals+190+200
Baltimore Ravens+200+200
Cleveland Browns+220+200
Pittsburgh Steelers+750+1100

Browns are hard to bet on

It’s hard to believe the Browns (+220) have the same odds to win the AFC North as the Bengals (+200) and Ravens (+200) on some betting sites. With new Deshaun Watson accusers and allegations surfacing almost daily, the likelihood of a long suspension increases. That would leave journeyman quarterback Jacoby Brissett at the controls, assuming Baker Mayfield couldn’t be wooed back.

Even with a soft opening schedule (@CAR, NYJ, PIT, @ATL) and an otherwise strong roster, Cleveland is more likely to miss the playoffs in a loaded AFC than they are to win their division.

 

AFC North royalty

Baltimore (+200) and Pittsburgh (+1100) have won the AFC North a combined 15 times in the past 20 years. However, with Ben Roethlisberger’s merciful retirement, the Steelers will roll with rookie Kenny Pickett and Mitchell Trubisky under center. While Mike Tomlin always finds a way to finish over .500, it sure looks like Steel City’s proud tradition of winning football will be put on hold until 2023, at minimum.

Meanwhile, the Ravens look to rebound from an injury-filled season that claimed Lamar Jackson, running back J.K. Dobbins, and multiple offensive linemen and cornerbacks. Receiver Marquise Brown was shipped to Arizona, but with a top-tier defense and LJ8 at full health, John Harbaugh’s club should be able to outscore most opponents.

Baltimore Ravensto win AFC North
star iconstar iconstar iconstar iconstar icon
+200
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Cleveland Brownsto win AFC North
star iconstar iconstar iconstar iconstar icon
+220
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Bengals beef up their offensive line

After Joe Burrow was sacked 70 times last year (including the playoffs), the Bengals added three new starters on the offensive line: Ted Karras, Alex Cappa, and former Cowboy La’el Collins. If the additions can keep Burrow healthy and upright, he should have no problem connecting downfield with the league’s best wide receiver tandem in Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.

With quality depth up front and across the secondary, the NFL’s most underrated defensive coordinator, Lou Anarumo, has what he needs to frustrate elite AFC QBs, as he did with Patrick Mahomes in the AFC Championship Game.

Try to forget the fact that Cincinnati has been embarrassed so often by the Steelers and Ravens over the past two decades and instead realize that Burrow gives the Queen City an edge over every other team in their division. The Bengals will own the AFC North for years to come.

AFC North Pick: Cincinnati Bengals (+200)

Cincinnati Bengalsto win AFC North
star iconstar iconstar iconstar iconstar icon
+200
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Steve Starr

Steve is one of the many Americans who spends Sunday watching football on the couch and gorging on delicious eats. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.