Can the Cincinnati Bengals build on last season’s march to the Super Bowl? Is there life after Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh? And who will be under center for the Cleveland Browns when the regular season gets underway? These are just some of the questions facing teams in the AFC North, as the countdown to the start of the 2022 NFL campaign continues. Here’s a look at our AFC north predictions and where each of these teams stands at the sportsbooks going into the season, and where you can find the best value on the NFL futures and season props.
Hobbled by injuries to key personnel, most notably quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Baltimore Ravens quickly fell out of playoff contention while losing their final six games to finish last season with a middling 8-9-0 record. But with Jackson now set to return to full health, the sky is the limit. A threat both in the air and as a ball carrier, Jackson enjoys extra motivation as he enters the final season of his current contract. And in addition to enjoying the easiest schedule in the division, the Ravens should also benefit from the challenges faced by division rivals Cleveland and Pittsburgh. The Ravens’ lack of activity in the free agent market has raised concerns. However, the additions of veteran Morgan Moses and prized rookie Tyler Lindebaum bolsters an improved offensive line that should provide Jackson plenty of opportunities to spin his magic.
The Ravens are set to take on the New York Jets in week 1, check out our NFL predictions for week 1 here. Having missed the playoffs last season, they'll be out to return with a bang, given their full team can remain fit. For more on NFL win total predictions, be sure to check out our comprehensive article.
The Cincinnati Bengals have a tough act to follow after closing out a worst-to-first 2021 season with a march to the Super Bowl. Once again, quarterback Joe Burrow will lead an explosive Bengals attack that closely trailed the league leaders in an array of categories. Burrow’s chemistry with rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase was key to the team’s turnaround. The former LSU Tigers star connected with Chase on 13 scoring passes. More importantly, the team has addressed a porous offensive line that allowed Burrow to be sacked 51 times during the regular season and an additional 19 times in playoff action, signing La'el Collins, Alex Cappa, Ted Karras, and Hayden Hurst. However, last season’s success has come at a cost in the form of the third toughest schedule in the NFL. That makes a fast start crucial to any hope of a repeat trip to the Super Bowl.
The fact that the Cleveland Browns remain off the board at the sportsbooks in both win total betting and odds to make the playoffs tells you all you need to know about this team. The Baker Mayfield era in Cleveland ended with a whimper as the Browns stumbled to the end of last season with just two wins in their final eight games. But who will be under center when the Browns hot the turf for Week 1 action remains anyone’s guess. The squad parted ways with Mayfield after trading for disgraced superstar Deshaun Watson. But with Watson now possibly facing a year-long suspension related to the ongoing legal troubles that have already kept him off the gridiron for all of last season, the Browns may be forced to hand the ball to journeyman backup Jacoby Brissett. Another miserable season is in store for the long-suffering Dawg Pound.
No recommended bet.
Big Ben may have tossed his last pass in Steeltown, but not all hope is lost for a Pittsburgh Steelers squad in transition. With Roethlisberger retired, the Steelers have turned to veteran pivot Mitch Trubisky to lead the offense. Facing low expectations, Trubisky is well positioned to resurrect his career as a starter after spending last season in Buffalo backing up Josh Allen and will be expected to mentor former Pittsburgh Panthers star passer Kenny Pickett, whom the team selected in the first year of this year’s NFL Draft. The question facing the offense is whether the offensive line is equipped to support a pair of passers who possess far more mobility than Big Ben. The addition of rookie George Pickens also boosts a receiving corps that tallied a league-worst 9.5 yards per catch and a meager 23 touchdowns last season. This team does not threaten to win the division but offers plenty of options for sports bettors looking for high-value midsummer betting options.
Ahead of the 2022/2023 season, who are your favorites to take the league? Interested in more Football content? Be sure to read our guide: How To Bet on Football or check out our predictions for the NFC South league and visit our odds comparison tool to compare the latest odds.
Year in and year out, there's excellent value to be found in Week 1 NFL lines. Here are some clues as to where to find that value over Kickoff Weekend in 2022.
In the NFC North, the Packers remain heavy favorites, and the Bears have a lot of work to do. In between them, the Vikings and Lions will be battling for relevance in the NFC playoff picture.