2014 AFC North Division Odds
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) – Will the Bengals successfully defend their division title and win the AFC North again in 2014?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Bengals and Steelers are co-favorites to win the AFC North this season at 2/1 odds. The Ravens, meanwhile, are 5/2 to win the division so their odds are comparable, and the Browns are the clear underdog at 5/1 despite making several offseason additions to both their roster and coaching staff.
What’s a tad unusual is that the Steelers have better odds than the Bengals to win the 2015 Super Bowl at 33/1 to win. Cincinnati, meanwhile, is 40/1 to win next year’s NFL title, as is Baltimore, while Cleveland is a 50/1 long shot. The defending champion Seahawks remain the favorites to win the Super Bowl at 6/1, while the Broncos have the next-best odds at 7/1.
The Ravens added a couple of pieces to their receiving game with the free agent signings of receiver Steve Smith and tight end Owen Daniels. They also traded for center Jeremy Zuttah (Bucs), who should start, and hired Gary Kubiak to replace Jim Caldwell as offensive coordinator. Caldwell was hired by the Lions to be their next head coach. In the draft the Ravens took Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosely, nose tackle Timmy Jernigan of Florida State and safety Terrence Brooks, also of FSU.
The Bengals made a slew of coaching changes as well, hiring Hue Jackson to run the offense and Paul Guenther to replace Mike Zimmer (Vikings HC) as defensive coordinator. The team was quiet in free agency, signing Marshall Newhouse, Dontay Moch and Daniel Manning to add depth to their roster. In the draft, Cincinnati selected Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard, LSU running back Jeremy Hill and West Virginia defensive end Will Clarke with their first three picks.
The Browns made the biggest slpash in the division, if not in the NFL, during the 2014 draft. After selecting Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert, they traded up in the first round in order to nab Texas A&M polarizing quarterback Johnny Manziel. “Johnny Football” will try to win over new head coach Mike Pettine and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in training camp in hopes to win the starting quarterback job. In free agency the Browns signed Ben Tate, Andrew Hawkins, Miles Austin, Karlos Dansby and Donte Whitner.
The Steelers were active in free agency, signing LeGarrette Blount, Lance Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey, as well as safety Mike Mitchell. In the draft, Pittsburgh selected Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier, Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuitt and Kent State running back Dri Archer.