- The AFC North odds now show the Baltimore Ravens as the +175 favorites to win the division
- The Ravens whipped the Miami Dolphins 59-10 in Week 1 of the NFL season
- The Bengals, Browns, and Steelers all lost their openers
One week into the NFL season and already the AFC North odds have been turned in favor of the Baltimore Ravens.
“Once upon a midnight dreary,” begins Edgar Allen Poe’s famous poem “The Raven”. But in this case, that opening line applies to everybody but the Ravens.
While Baltimore was pummeling the Miami Dolphins, 59-10, the rest of the AFC North was being submerged.
The Cleveland Browns, preseason chalk to win the division, were drilled 43-13 at home by Tennessee. The Pittsburgh Steelers visited the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots at took it on the chin, 33-3.
Only the Cincinnati Bengals, 21-20 losers to the Seahawks at Seattle, gave a good accounting between the hashmarks. But they are still 0-1 and missing their best player (AJ Green) and left tackle (Jonah Williams).
The result is that the Ravens now find themselves as the +175 favorites to win the North in the NFL divisional odds.
2019 AFC North Odds
|Team||Preseason Odds||Current Odds at Bovada|
*Odds taken on 09/09/19.
Baltimore won the AFC North title in 2018. It was the first title won by the Ravens since 2012.
Ravens Get Jiggy With It
The Ravens took their talents to South Beach in a big way. They scored 42 first-half points and compiled 643 yards of total offense against the hapless Dolphins.
Baltimore set an NFL record for points in the first half of an opener. The offensive yardage gained and 59 points scored were franchise highs. Quarterback Lamar Jackson’s five touchdown passes tied a team record.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 8, 2019
On the first two touches of his NFL career, rookie wideout Marquise Brown – Antonio’s cousin – was on the receiving end of 47 and 83-yard TD catches.
Defensively, Baltimore held Miami to 21 yards’ rushing. The Ravens compiled three sacks and 12 QB hits.
No team was more hyped heading into the season than the Browns. They were talked about so much during Sunday’s pregame shows that it was easy to wonder whether any of the other 31 NFL teams were going to even bother to show up this season.
The Titans showed up, and they showed the Browns how to play football.
Live look at the Cleveland Browns hype train. pic.twitter.com/AinN9tYRlY
— Jared Haibon (@haibon_jared) September 8, 2019
Cleveland didn’t just get beat. The Browns completely lost their composure. They came apart at the seams.
Cleveland took 182 yards in penalties. Tackle Greg Robinson was ejected for kicking a Titans player in the head. QB Baker Mayfield threw a trio of fourth-quarter interceptions.
Curtains For Steelers
All summer long, the odds on Pittsburgh being among the top-third of Super Bowl contenders seemed based more in reputation than reality.
This was a team that watched its best runner (Le’Veon Bell) and receiver (Antonio Brown) depart in successive seasons.
The 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers pic.twitter.com/xODQ1NLcrk
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) September 9, 2019
The numbers appeared to gloss over the fact that Pittsburgh finished 2-4 down the stretch last season to hand a division title to Baltimore that was the Steelers’ for the taking.
Sunday night, the Patriots showed the football nation all the warts that afflict Pittsburgh. It could be a very long year in the Steel City.
And Then There’s The Bengals
Cincinnati gave itself ample chances to pull off the upset at Seattle. But in true Bengals fashion, they did just enough to lose.
Andy Dalton: “We’re a team that’s going to fight. We proved that today.”
— Marisa Contipelli (@BengalsMarisa) September 9, 2019
Cinci ran for just 34 yards as QB Andy Dalton dropped back to pass on 56 out of 70 snaps. The Bengals ventured inside the Seahawks’ 40 four times during the second half but came away with just three points.
It Comes Down To Ravens vs Browns
Just as it’s easy to assume the Browns aren’t as bad a team as they looked to be in Week 1, people shouldn’t anoint the Ravens as Super Bowl contenders because they obliterated an awful Miami team.
Both teams are relying on second-year QBs to lead the way. The difference is the Ravens have been there and done that. They were in the playoffs a year ago, while the Browns were still under .500.
The Browns and Ravens meet in Week 4 at Baltimore. That should be a good litmus test of where these two teams are truly at compared to one another.
In the long run, Baltimore’s experience should give it the edge over Cleveland.
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