Who Will Win The AFC North 2019?
The Cleveland Browns are not used to success. But their fans can no longer be labeled delusional for believing in Cleveland’s chances of winning the AFC North division, which they have not done — ever. Are the Browns for real? Or will they get exposed by the traditional powerhouses in the AFC North?
Nitrogen Sports Blog breaks down the division and reveals the Browns’ and two other teams’ odds to win the AFC North this 2019.
Favorites: The Cleveland Browns need to be taken seriously
Cleveland Browns (+130)
The Browns have long been a laughing stock in the NFL. But it looks like things have started to finally turn in favor of Cleveland football. The team boldly took the brash Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick in 2018 and made major tinkering on their roster to form what is now a formidable team that can no longer be overlooked. In fact, they are the AFC North favorites to win the division.
This offseason, the Browns have been busy. They surrounded Mayfield additional elite talents. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and running back Kareem Hunt are on board, adding to Cleveland’s deep lineup of offensive weapons.
They also improved the defensive line in a big way. They added a couple of Pro Bowlers in tackle Sheldon Richardson and pass rusher Olivier Vernon.
Overall, the Browns look good on paper. However, they are perennial underdogs who may not be quite ready for the big time. Although Cleveland is a highly talented team, the team’s youth could leave the door open for sleepers.
You can check out Cleveland’s odds to win the AFC North in 2019 on Nitrogen Sports.
Sleepers: Steelers, Ravens in the backseat of the AFC North
Pittsburgh Steelers (+185)
The Steelers lost some considerable talent, mainly wide receiver Antonio Browns, who is now an Oakland Raider. But in the NFL, the “next man up” mentality is essential, plus at least the Steelers still have quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and JuJu Smith-Schuster, who should keep Pittsburgh in contention for a division title, as reflected on their odds to win the AFC North this 2019.
Ben Roethlisberger will still lead the charge with JuJu Smith-Schuster. The wideout is definitely going to be the go-to guy of Big Ben downfield while he’ll still have other great options around him in running back James Conner, who proved himself more than just among the AFC North sleepers players a season ago with a breakout campaign, and the newly acquired Donte Moncrief.
The Steelers also added a potential beast in linebacker, Devin Bush. The first round pick has been turning heads during OTAs and many are predicting him to lead the team in tackles as a rookie. The Steelers are +2500 to win Super Bowl 54.
Baltimore Ravens (+260)
In their first season following the departure of long-time quarterback Joe Flacco, the Ravens are going to determine their new identity, part of which has already been laid out in 2018, with the ascension of Lamar Jackson to the No. 1 quarterback status.
Moreover, the Ravens are unlikely to stray too far from their loyalty to their ground attack, which ranked second in the NFL a season ago. Baltimore’s new offensive coordinator, Greg Roman, says Jackson will be featured much more in the 2019 playbook.
Jackson ran for nearly 700 yards in only seven starts last year, but the Ravens won’t be shy to design runs for the speedy QB in 2019.
The AFC North has never been short of intrigues, and there will be a lot in the upcoming 2019 NFL season. The Browns want everybody to know that there’s a new boss in the division, though, you can expect the Steelers and the Ravens to have a say about that.
Will we see a complete power shift in the division, as suggested by the current odds to win the AFC North 2019? We will all just have to wait and see. For now, why not read other division previews, including a rundown of the 2019 NFL NFC favorites, and sports betting guide pieces on Nitrogen Sports Blog.