Odds to Win the 2008 AFC North

Written by:
Dan Shapiro
Published on:
Jul/29/2008

Oddsmakers have the Pittsburgh Steelers with +115 or near even odds to win the 2008 NFC North. Likewise, odds to win the 2008 AFC North include Cleveland with just shy of 2/1 odds (+185). The Bengals and Ravens bring up the rear with +400 and +850 odds, respectively. All odds courtesy of SBG Global.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are favorites despite the fact that they are facing the NFL's toughest schedule. Opposing coaches sizing up the Steelers for Athlon Magazine suggest that they need to add depth in the secondary. "When backups were asked to stop in and play, this team struggled," said one coach. The offensive line does need a little work.

With Cleveland, free agency really helped this team.

Jeff Risen of RealGM.com predicts:

The Browns are clearly improved, but the non-divisional schedule is brutal, and this team still has some questions. So long as all the key parts stay relatively healthy, put the Browns down for 6-4 out of division and 4-2 in the weakened AFC North. That would be a 10-6 finish and an AFC North division title. This team is going to need a lot of luck and great execution to win a playoff game from IND, NE, SD, or JAX, but the potential to make the AFC title game is certainly there.

As for the Cincinnati Bengals, NFL Football Preview had this to say:

The Bengals didn't make any moves to shore up an inconsistent offensive line, and head coach Marvin Lewis's calling out of Chad Johnson is liable to backfire to T.O.-level proportions once the team has piled up a few key losses. Lewis had better hope the team comes out firing in 2008 and avoids the pitfall of a Chad Johnson meltdown else he'll be trolling the classifieds for jobs come 2009.

Here is the bottom line:

Whatever team wins the 2008 AFC North will earn it. AFC North teams will face four of the seven most difficult NFL schedules in 2008. Pittsburgh has the NFL's toughest schedule, facing teams with a combined winning percentage of .598. Baltimore will have the league's fourth-most difficult schedule (.551) followed by Cincinnati and Cleveland at No. 6 and No. 7 (both face teams with a combined winning percentage of .547).

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Dan Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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