As we continue our tour of each division going through NFL over under wins predictions, we arrive at what's expected to be an extremely competitive division, the AFC North!
The NFL preseason has arrived as the most recent sign that football is on its way back, starting the countdown to Week 1 for National Football League fans and bettors alike. As the season nears, online betting sites are opening up odds for a wide range of futures, props and conventional lines. Included in the futures betting landscape are 2019 NFL season win totals, which means bettors must select over or under a number of victories for each team over the course of the entire schedule. NFL over under wins wagers are popular bets that provide a rooting interest throughout the course of the whole regular season beyond just one game or week.
After providing some season win totals NFL betting tips, we'll detail the AFC North and make some predictions on the 2019 season.
Football Handicapping Tips For NFL Season Win Totals
Picking NFL over unders for the entire season works the same way wagering on the total of a single game does. The differences aren't in the rules but in the tactics taken in trying to cover an entire team's schedule as opposed to just one contest. When looking to make predictions for NFL season win totals, keep the following in mind:
- How Does The Schedule Look?: Strength of schedule isn't the only measure to go by for making NFL futures bets, but it's a good starting point. It goes by the previous season win-loss record, so additional work will need to be done in the event some teams got much better or worse in one offseason. Check where the team you're considering has to travel for road games, who the out-of-division opponents are, and whether the draw gets easier or more difficult as the season goes. If your research pays dividends, you may come up with a conclusion that helps you make NFL betting picks against the oddsmakers' lines much easier.
- Line Movement: Track movement (if there is any) and shop around among the best NJ sportsbooks for the most profitable number on the side of your choosing. Just like a standard moneyline, the odds on NFL season win totals are likely to adust due to action from the public and professional bettors. It's also common for these wagers to come from fans looking for some additional reason to cheer on their favorite team, so overs can be inflated. By keeping an eye on the line across several sites and trying not to let fandom cloud your judgment, you can find value.
- Separate Budgets: Don't shy away from making futures bets on prop markets like NFL over under wins because of your intent to wager in-season. One is week-to-week while the other is a season-long investment, so keep separate budgets for the two things and don't let one affect the other too much. There's no need to forego gambling on potentially profitable markets or deprive yourself of a season-long rooting interest, just budget for it.
- New Players And Coaches: Changes to the coaching staff and personnel are the most impactful things to a team in the offseason. There are generally more additions and subtractions to a franchise's roster and staff than you realize, so make sure you understand that team's depth chart and playing style. Look for teams deeper than just the starting units as well. Injuries are inevitable and some teams are more equipped to handle that than others due to depth, which can impact your decision on a team's NFL over under wins total.
Below, we continue our NFL season win totals series with DraftKings Sportsbook odds from what should be a closely-fought division in the AFC North!
NFL Over/Under Wins: AFC North Predictions
There's a new, not-so-familiar face at the top of oddsmakers' lists for the AFC North: the Cleveland Browns. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Browns are favorites to win the division at +130, with the Steelers not far behind at +175. The Ravens come off last season's AFC North title with a +300 line in 2019 while the Bengals are a distant last at +1800. Profitable, but unlikely. The division takes on the AFC East and NFC West, which provide both difficult challenges and chances to stack up wins.
Cleveland Browns - Over 9.5 Wins (+115), Under 9.5 Wins (-139)
The Browns are one of the clubs with the most intrigue surrounding them as a team loaded up with talent on both sides of the ball. Baker Mayfield quarterbacks a unit featuring Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb and David Njoku, just to name a few. It also added to an underachieving defense on the line and in the secondary as former offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens takes the reins. The result has been oddsmakers taking them very seriously as the favorite to win the AFC North.
With roster upgrades come expectations, and now the 2019 Cleveland Browns' NFL over under wins total is set at 9.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook after finishing just 7-8-1 a season ago. Are the Browns finally a 10-win team? That depends on whether they can improve the 2-6 road record from 2018, and with some winnable games away from home, we believe they can.
The history isn't pretty as Cleveland hasn't gone over .500 since 2007 or made the playoffs since 2002, and data from DraftKings tells us Cleveland has gone under its NFL season win totals each year since 2014 as well. That said, these are clearly not the same Browns and streaks need to be broken at some point. Take plus-money on double-digit wins for Cleveland.
Pick: Browns Over 9.5 Wins (+115)
Pittsburgh Steelers - Over 9 Wins (-122), Under 9 Wins (+100)
After going 9-6-1 and missing out on the 2018 playoffs, the NFL over under wins total is set right art nine for the Steelers. For the first time in a long time, they aren't the AFC North favorites and are being overlooked a bit following the departure of Antonio Brown.
While it doesn't necessarily equal wins, there's no doubt 37-year-old Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers want to prove their offensive success wasn't merely a result of Brown's dynamic prowess. With Juju Smith-Schuster taking over as the No. 1 and James Connor starring in the backfield, Big Ben is looking to lead a resurgent season. The question is whether the offense can do enough scoring to win one more game than last season with less talent and more chemistry.
Looking at the NFL strength of schedule and who Pittsburgh still has as opposed to who it doesn't, nine or more wins seems feasible for this team. If the Steelers can manage 3-3 or better by the Week 7 bye, the over here remains in play (at least a push at nine wins). This team has won nine games five seasons in a row, and we don't see that step back coming in 2019 despite the rise of Cleveland. Any slip by the Browns and the Steelers can win the division as well, so an NFL betting pick on Pittsburgh at +175 could pay dividends at year's end.
Pick: Steelers Over 9 Wins (-122)
Baltimore Ravens - Over 8.5 Wins (+115), Under 8.5 Wins (-139)
Baltimore has improved by one win each season since 2016, going from eight that season to nine the next and 10 last season in 2018, coupled with a playoff appearance. With an NFL over under wins total at 8.5, the Ravens could win one less game and still get you the win on DraftKings. Sounds easy enough, but we have to fade Baltimore here.
The Ravens' ability to build an offense around Jackson's running ability had them ahead of the curve in terms of overall record last season, but also helped expose a player who clearly has issues with throwing accuracy. There's significant talent on that side of the ball from both the draft and free agency, but Baltimore's success on offense will depend on Jackson's improvement from the pocket.
Another question: will the second-best scoring defense form 2018 be able to put on a repeat performance? The losses off players like Terrell Suggs, C.J. Moseley and Za'Darius Smith on the defense leaves a huge talent and leadership void that isn't easily going to be filled in one offseason, even with the addition of Earl Thomas III.
The schedule offers some easy wins early on, but things get much tougher following the Week 8 bye and Baltimore has trouble getting over .500 in 2019. The value is on the over, but sometimes the juice is worth the squeeze.
Pick: Ravens Under 8.5 Wins (-139)
Cincinnati Bengals - Over 5.5 Wins (-143), Under 5.5 Wins (+118)
The Bengals finally moved on from Marvin Lewis, going with the trend of hiring a young offensive-minded coach in Zac Taylor. While there's room on this roster for young players to step up and make this team better than expected, there are just too many holes to fill at once to make this a contender in this division. As a result, we think the Bengals are left by the wayside under their NFL over under wins mark in 2019.
The Bengals went 1-7 in the second half of 2018 after A.J. Green sustained an injury, and sadly we may need to expect more of the same this season. Green hurt his ankle before August even began and the All-Pro receiver will miss multiple games. Even after his return, it'd be hard to expect him to be in peak form right away, which is tough to swallow for a unit bereft of playmaking talent. Cincinnati also did little besides fire Lewis to help a defensive unit that allowed the third-most points in the NFL last season.
Considering the competition inside the division, it's hard to see the Bengals improving much on the 1-5 mark in the AFC North or the 2-6 record away from home. Take plus-money with the under on the NFL season win total for Cincinnati.
Pick: Bengals Under 5.5 Wins (+118)