AFC North Predictions, Odds & Projections 2021/2022
- The Baltimore Ravens led by QB Lamar Jackson are slightly favored here
- The NFL Coach of the Year Kevin Stefanski has his Browns ready to win
- The Steelers can still compete, but the Bengals have a lot of roster slots to fill
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The AFC North has turned into a quarterback’s division with the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson, the Browns’ Baker Mayfield, the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger, and the Bengals’ Joe Burrow, so expect the race to finish first in that division to be worth watching and use these predictions, odds and picks to help make a winning bet. Good luck!
AFC North Division Winner Odds
Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, updated on December 23, 2021.
|Cincinnati Bengals||+125 |
|Baltimore Ravens||+160 |
|Cleveland Browns||+550 |
|Pittsburgh Steelers||+700 |
Odds from DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or check out more offers and promo codes for the best online sportsbooks.
AFC North Division Predictions and Picks
The Ravens and Steelers should be good again in 2021, but the Browns are a team on the rise with great leadership and a roster full of playmakers on both sides of the ball, so take Kevin Stefanski and Baker Mayfield here to steal this prop bet in 2021.
How to Watch 2021/22 NFL Regular Season
|2021/22 NFL Regular Season|
|What||2021/22 NFL Regular Season|
|Where||USA + International|
|When||Thu, Sept 9 thru TBD|
|How to watch||CBS/ESPN Fox/NBC/NFLN|
Favorites to Win
The 11-5 Ravens made the playoffs last season, but for some reason, they did not look as unstoppable as they have in the past, perhaps on account of the other NFL teams finally figuring out how to defend against the mobility and arm strength of QB Lamar Jackson.
In the postseason with the 24-year-old Jackson under center, the Ravens are just 1-3 with their single playoff victory coming last season over the Tennessee Titans in the Wild Card round, 20-13, but to get any closer to the Big Game, general manager Eric DeCosta will have to find a few more playmakers this offseason.
Many mock drafts have Baltimore adding young depth to their lines on both sides of the ball, perhaps using their 27th overall pick to snag the likes of Oklahoma’s offensive lineman Creed Humphrey or Penn State’s star edge rusher Jayson Oweh, with both predicted to be immediate starters in the NFL.
With the high level of offense, the Browns are now capable of thanks to the killer RB duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt plus the accuracy of QB Baker Mayfield throwing to the sure-handed targets he has been given, like WRs Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham, count on Cleveland to focus defensively this offseason.
Like most NFL general managers, the Browns’ Andrew Berry must deal with salary cap issues on top of a late first-round draft pick, so his options on the defensive side of the ball could be limited, but this team is only a few pieces away (safety, linebacker, edge rusher) from being complete.
Most mocks have the Browns taking a young edge rusher in the draft with their 26th pick overall, with names like Wake Forest’s Carlos Basham Jr. and Miami’s Gregory Rousseau popping up, though do not count out TCU safety Trevon Moehrig is he is still left on the board.
He took a pay cut to do it, but Steelers’ longtime quarterback “Big” Ben Roethlisberger is back on Pittsburgh’s roster, though his lackluster performance towards the end of the last regular season and in the playoffs has some NFL talking heads doubting whether he still has the arm left to play in the big leagues.
For many years now, the Steelers have prided themselves on their top-notch defense, last season that squad having a major impact on Pittsburgh’s initial 11-0 run to start the season, but it is on the offensive side of the ball, mainly its rushing attack, that left general manager Kevin Colbert a lot of offseason work to do.
A couple of the names that keep coming up in mock drafts for the Steelers to snag with the 24th pick overall are Alabama’s elite running back Najee Harris if he is still available, or Wake Forrest edge rusher Carlos Basham Jr., two players who would immediately improve the team in 2021.
No Chance to Win
The only reason the Bengals looked remotely qualified to play in the NFL last year is the play of their rookie QB Joe Burrow, and once he went down for the season with an injury to his left knee – torn ACL and MCL – the team quickly became a non-factor in their division.
The team will need to figure out a way to protect their young superstar QB if they expect to keep him on the field making plays, so team president and GM Mike Brown will need to work the salary cap and use free agency and possibly the draft to score some help on the offensive line.
The name that keeps coming up in a lot of mocks for the Bengals with their fifth overall pick in the upcoming draft is Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell, an offensive tackle who could have an immediate impact in Cincy on both the passing and run games in 2021.
Which Team Has Won the Most AFC North Divisional Titles?
Which AFC North Team Has Won the Most Super Bowls?
That honor goes to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have six Lombardi’s and the associated fat Super Bowl rings that go along with them: IX in 1974, X in 1975, XIII in 1978, XIV in 1979, XL in 2005 and XLIII in 2008.
The Ravens, who have won two AFC championships, turned both of those into Super Bowl wins XXXV in 2000 and XLVII in 2012.
The Cincinnati Bengals, who have won two AFC championships, were unable to turn those into Super Bowl wins.
Finally come the Cleveland Browns, who have never won an AFC championship or been to a Super Bowl, but they have won four old-school NFL Championships (pre-Super Bowl) and four AAFC Championships (pre-NFL Championships).
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]