Heading into the 2017 NFL season, the Pittsburgh Steelers remain the betting favorites to win the AFC North.
The last time the Pittsburgh Steelers won the AFC North division title in back-to-back years they ended up winning the Super Bowl. That happened following the 2008 season when the Steelers knocked off the Arizona Cardinals for their sixth and most recent Vince Lombardi Trophy.
This year, Pittsburgh is listed as a +110 favorite (bet $100 to win $110) on the odds to win the AFC North for the eighth time at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Steelers had won the AFC Central 15 times before finishing atop the AFC North seven times. They have made 30 playoff appearances overall in their storied history and figure to make the postseason again as long as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown can all stay healthy.
The competition from the rest of the division appears weaker than in previous years as well. The Baltimore Ravens are listed as the +175 second choice to win the AFC North and hope quarterback Joe Flacco will be ready to start the regular season.
Flacco has been dealing with a back injury and will not play during the preseason, but the Ravens are planning to have him under center in Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Baltimore (8–8) was second in the division behind Pittsburgh (11–5) a year ago, with the Cincinnati Bengals (6–9–1) and Cleveland Browns (1–15) finishing third and fourth, respectively. The Browns were obviously the worst team in the NFL last season, with a 20–17 win over the San Diego Chargers in Week 16 keeping them from going winless.
Cleveland is a +3300 longshot to win the AFC North, something the team has never done, and dead last on the odds to win Super Bowl 52. The Browns, with their annual quarterback questions, have not won a division title since taking the AFC Central in 1989.
The Bengals are +250 and won the AFC North in 2015, but injuries kept them from being able to repeat. Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green had 66 receptions for a career-low 964 yards and just four touchdowns in 10 games due to a hamstring injury. It marked the first time in Green’s six-year career that he failed to break 1,000 yards.
Tight end Tyler Eifert also played in only eight games and had offseason back surgery.