Favorite NFL Futures: AFC North


I will be doing a series on all 8 NFL divisions and targeting the NFL Futures Bets that I like. I’m not going to bet on every team. I am looking for value in the bet and picking my spots for bets I like. After reviewing offseason moves, NFL Draft picks, Strength of Schedule, and more, these are the bets I like for the AFC North.

 

NOTES:

-Current Win Totals are provided by FanDuel Sportsbook. Obviously, shop around for the best lines. I used the same Sportsbook for consistency.

-The NFL Strength of Schedule – see the full list and all the details here.

 

Baltimore Ravens

Current Win Total:   10.5 wins (OVER +100 / UNDER -120)

Strength of Schedule:  23rd

Additions: OT Morgan Moses, DT Michael Pierce, S Marcus Williams

Departures: WR Sammy Watkins, G/C Bradley Bozeman, Edge Justin Houston, DT Brandon Williams, CB Anthony Averett, CB Tavon Young

Draft:  S Kyle Hamilton, C Tyler Linderbaum, Edge David Ojabo, DL Travis Jones, OT Daniel Faalele, CB Jalyn Armour-Davis, TE Charlie Kolar, P Jordan Stout, TE Isaiah Likely, CB Damarion Williams, RB Tyler Badie

My Favorite Bets:

-None

Reasons Why?

Since QB Lamar Jackson’s 2019 MVP season consisting of 36 passing TDs and just 9 interceptions, his statistics have declined the last two seasons. Most notably, his TD% was 10th lowest last season and his interception % was the highest with 13 interceptions in just 12 games played in 2021. Will his contract negotiations be a distraction? The Ravens say no of course. But I’m a little more bearish on the Ravens, with Jackson’s looming contract extension and the loss of WR Marquise Brown. This receiving core is really now just WR Rashod Bateman and TE Mark Andrews.

Because they have the easiest schedule in the division, I’m not going to be the under. But I’m also not going to bet the over or the Ravens to win the AFC North.

 

Cincinnati Bengals

Current Win Total:  9.5 wins (OVER -130 / UNDER +110)

Strength of Schedule:  3rd

Additions: TE Hayden Hurst, OT La’el Collins, G Alex Cappa, G/ C Ted Karras

Departures: TE C.J. Uzomah, OT Riley Reiff, DT Larry Ogunjobi

Draft:  S Daxton Hill, S Cam Taylor-Britt, DL Zachary Carter, OT Cordell Volson, S Tycen Anderson, Edge Jeffrey Gunter

My Favorite Bets:

-Over 9.5 wins -130

-To Win the AFC North +165

-To Win the Super Bowl +2200

Reasons Why?

Let me get this straight, the AFC Champions are not the favorite in the AFC North? Yes, they have the toughest schedule in the division and nearly in the league. But the Achilles heel of the 2021 Bengals was their offensive line, and they upgraded three starting OL positions. So now you’re giving QB Joe Burrow, who had the highest completion % in the league (70.4%) and the 3rd highest TD rate (6.5%) more time to find wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.

I think the AFC Champs are being vastly overlooked and I’ll happily fade the public and bet the over 9.5 wins and take the plus odds to win the AFC North +165. I also took the Bengals for the FanDuel Sportsbook Super Bowl futures special at +2200.

 

Cleveland Browns

Current Win Total:   8.5 wins (OVER  +135 / UNDER -160)

Strength of Schedule:  T-17

Additions: QB Deshaun Watson, QB Jacoby Brissett, WR Amari Cooper, WR Jakeem Grant, Edge Chase Winovich, DT Taven Bryan

Departures: QB Case Keenum, QB Baker Mayfield, WR Jarvis Landry, WR Rashard Higgins, TE Austin Hooper, C J.C. Tretter, Edge Jadeveon Clowney, DT Malik Jackson, S Ronnie Harrison

Draft:  CB Martin Emerson, Edge Alex Wright, WR David Bell, DL Perrion Winfrey, K Cade York, RB Jerome Ford, WR Michael Woods, Edge Isaiah Thomas, C Dawson Deaton

My Favorite Bets:

-Under 8.5 wins -160

Reasons Why?

This one is easy for me. QB Deshaun Watson will be suspended 11 games. While QB Jacoby Brissett can be a good game manager, I do not think they’ll win many games with him under center. Smash the under here at -160 and I would actually look at alt under of under 6.5 wins.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

Current Win Total:    7.5 wins (OVER -105 / UNDER -115)

Strength of Schedule:  T-12

Additions: QB Mitch Trubisky, G/C James Daniels, C Mason Cole, LB Myles Jack, CB Levi Wallace

Departures: QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR James Washington, WR Ray-Ray McCloud, LB Joe Schobert, CB Joe Haden, S Terrell Edmunds

Draft:  QB Kenny Pickett, WR George Pickens, DL DeMarvin Leal, WR Calvin Austin, FB Connor Heyward, LB Mark Robinson, QB Chris Oladokun

My Favorite Bets:

-Over 7.5 wins -105

Reasons Why?

In HC Mike Tomlin’s 15 seasons as the Steelers coach, he has never had a losing record. As a Washington fan, that stat blows my mind! I may be in a minority, but I think QB Mitch Trubisky is an upgrade to the aging QB Big Ben. With a middle-of-the-pack strength of schedule, I think Tomlin and company have a winning season yet again.

What do you think of my AFC North bets? Will you be tailing any of these bets with me?

 

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