The AFC North continues to be one of the most talented divisions in football from top to bottom. Last season, the Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, and Pittsburgh Steelers finished with a winning percentage above .500, and Cincinnati went on to make its second straight appearance in the AFC Championship Game.
Joe Burrow has stated that the Bengals’ Super Bowl window will remain open as long as he is the team’s starting quarterback. Although the Bengals haven’t hit those heights just yet, Cincy likely will continue to rule the North for the foreseeable future, especially with Lamar Jackson‘s status in Baltimore still hanging in the balance.
Let’s dig into the latest AFC North winner odds to make a prediction and pick our favorite sleeper bet.
AFC North Winner Betting Odds 2023
Note: These AFC North betting odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook and are current as of Tuesday, March 21, at 3 p.m. ET. Be careful, as many of these NFL odds may shift as we get closer to the 2023 NFL season.
- Cincinnati Bengals (+125)
- Baltimore Ravens (+280)
- Cleveland Browns (+350)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (+550)
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To no one’s surprise, the Bengals have opened as the AFC North favorites. Burrow has led Cincinnati to back-to-back division titles and brought about a confidence that has drastically altered the outlook for a franchise without a winning tradition.
The Ravens and Steelers have been perennial contenders in this division since the turn of the century, though it’s hard to know exactly what to expect from both teams this season. Baltimore’s chances are contingent upon its ability to sign Jackson to a long-term contract extension, and talks with the former MVP have seemingly stalled.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh’s quarterback situation is much more settled: The Steelers will be turning to sophomore signal-caller Kenny Pickett. But after throwing seven touchdown passes and nine interceptions in 13 games last season, the former Pitt Panther still has plenty to prove in terms of consistency at this level.
After finishing in the cellar in 2022, the Browns could be a surprise team in 2023. However, that will depend on the play of quarterback Deshaun Watson, who never hit his previous level this past season after serving his 11-game suspension.
AFC North Winner Best Bet
Cincinnati Bengals (+125) | DraftKings Sportsbook
Getting plus-money odds on the Bengals feels like a steal right now, especially given the uncertainty in Baltimore.
Cincinnati is facing a difficult offseason in which it could go all-in for one more Super Bowl run or start planning ahead for the future. The Bengals are set to make Burrow one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in NFL history this summer and will have to pay his top target, Ja’Marr Chase, when he becomes extension-eligible next year.
The team’s cap situation certainly clouds the future of fellow wideout Tee Higgins, who will be a free agent in March 2024, but Cincinnati has rebuffed any rumors of a trade and seems resigned to lose him for nothing if it means taking another shot at the Lombardi Trophy.
The Bengals have already reshuffled their secondary in free agency, losing safeties Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell, but perhaps more importantly, they held onto DC Lou Anurumo, who was widely pursued as a head-coaching candidate in February.
The addition of Orlando Brown Jr. to protect Burrow’s blind side should also go a long way. This team is built to compete right now and shouldn’t have too much trouble winning its third straight division title.
AFC North Winner Sleeper Pick
Baltimore Ravens (+280) | DraftKings Sportsbook
I’m not sure the Ravens fit the bill as a sleeper, but if you’re not taking the Bengals, Baltimore feels like the only other viable option.
This is a bit of a gamble given how the Jackson negotiations have played out and a trade certainly isn’t off the table at this point, but the value is baked into the uncertainty of the situation. If the former MVP signs on the dotted line and the Ravens add a wide receiver or two, these odds will plummet.
Baltimore boasted one of the best defenses in the NFL over the back half of last season and proved it could still compete with Tyler Huntley under center. That obviously wouldn’t be the ideal scenario for this bet over a 17-game regular season, but the Ravens should have eliminated the Bengals from the playoffs in Cincinnati last January.
The difference between these two rosters isn’t as big as the gap in the odds.
AFC North Winner By Year
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