AFC North Odds to Win
Are the Steelers favored to win their division again in 2017? Here are the latest odds to win the AFC North.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Steelers are 5/7 favorites to win the AFC North in 2017. The Ravens have the next-best odds at 5/2, followed by the Bengals at 7/2 and the Browns at 100/1.
The Steelers will return the same offensive core that led them to the playoffs last season. Back are quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le’Veon Bell and receiver Antonio Brown. The team also added JuJu Smith-Schuster in the second round and he could add another dimension to Pittsburgh’s passing game. On defense, Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Bud Dupree, Ryan Shazier and James Harrison all return, plus first-round pick TJ Watt was added to the depth in the front seven.
The Ravens hope some of their offseason additions will get the team back to the playoffs for the first time in three years. The team added receiver Jeremy Maclin, drafted defensive back Marlon Humphrey, as well as linebacker Tyus Bowser and defensive end Chris Wormley. Veterans Joe Flacco, Terrell Suggs and CJ Mosley all return.
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The Bengals missed the playoffs for the first time since 2010 after finishing the 2016 season with a 6-9-1 record. The team couldn’t overcome the offseason changes it made, which included the losses of offensive coordinator Hue Jackson (Browns), as well as free agent departures Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu. That said, Andy Dalton, AJ Green (who was banged up last season), Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard return on offense, plus the team added another weapon in first-rounder John Ross from Washington. Defensively, Geno Atkins, Michael Johnson, Carlos Dunlap, Vontaze Burfict and Pacman Jones return.
While the Browns were prasied for having a successful draft, the team is unlikely to compete in 2017. Myles Garrett and Jabrill Peppers were added via the draft to bolster a defense that also features 2015 first-rounder Danny Shelton, 2016 trade acquisition Jamie Collins, as well as 2010 first-rounder Joe Haden. But while the defense should be improved, the offense still has major question marks, starting at quarterback. Kizer is currently listed behind Cody Kessler and offseason trade acquisition Brock Osweiler and until Cleveland finds a franchise signal-caller, it’ll be a while before the team is a legit contender.