Examining the Over/Under 2019 Win Totals for the AFC North

So it's Cleveland's division to win, right? Maybe not...

The amount of hype that the Cleveland Browns are getting this offseason is almost getting out of control. Yes, in theory the Baker Mayfield-led Browns offense could score 30 points per game with the addition of Odell Beckham Jr., but there are plenty of weaknesses including a mediocre offensive line. I still believe that despite the roster turnover in Pittsburgh and Baltimore that either team is more than capable of winning the division. Let's take a look at each team and see what the Westgate thinks of them.

 

Baltimore Ravens

Over 8.5 wins +110...Under 8.5 wins -130

 

Offense: It's year two for Lamar Jackson, who got some prime experience last year under center for Baltimore. He had six touchdown passes to three interceptions and another five TDs on the ground. Mark Ingram comes over to stabilize the backfield, which was a bit of a revolving door last season. Gus Edwards is not a bad backup along with Kenneth Dixon and rookie Justice Hill in the mix. The wide receivers are first-round pick Marquise Brown, along with fellow rookie Miles Boykin and veterans Willie Snead and Seth Roberts. The offensive line figures to be pretty strong and of course Justin Tucker is the best kicker in the league.

 

Defense: A lot of big names are gone from this side of the ball, but all is not lost. Those no longer on the roster include C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs, Za'Darius Smith, and Eric Weddle. That's a lot of tackles and a lot of years in this league no longer around. Earl Thomas was the huge acquisition on this side of the ball and he'll pair nicely with Tony Jefferson at safety. A cornerback group led by Marlon Humphrey and Jimmy Smith isn't that bad either. The front line is a bit of a concern as well as a youngish group of linebackers.

 

Verdict: Baltimore alternates home and road games all year long. The Ravens do not have any back-to-backs on either side. They get New England and Houston at home, but have to travel to Kansas City and Los Angeles to play the Rams. Closing out the year with the Browns and Steelers could be very important in the AFC North race. I think this team could go over this total.

 

Cincinnati Bengals

Over 6 wins -120...Under 6 wins EVEN

 

Offense: This could be Andy Dalton's last year with the Bengals as they drafted his potential replacement in Ryan Finley. I don't think there's much pressure yet though as reports in the spring had Finley struggling to learn the offense. The injury to A.J. Green (torn ligaments in ankle) complicates things a bit and puts more pressure on fellow wideout Tyler Boyd. Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard represent the running back duo. The offensive line returns virtually intact, but whether that's a good thing is another story. First-round pick Jonah Williams can't be counted on to help because he could miss the entire season due to a torn labrum.

 

Defense: The defense loses Vontaze Burfict and Michael Johnson. Replacing them is going to be tough although once again there wasn't a ton of turnover on this side of the ball. The front line still has Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap while Nick Vigil, Preston Brown and Jordan Evans will likely man the linebacker spots. The corners are a strength with Dre Kirkpatrick and William Jackson III. Jackson has some sneaky stats, according to Pro Football Focus.

 

Verdict: It's a rough start to the year for the Bengals and rookie head coach Zac Taylor with just three home games over the first eight weeks. In Week 8, they'll be in London taking on the Rams. After the Week 9 bye though there's a decent payoff with five home games over the last eight weeks. At this price, I'm 100 percent taking a shot on the under. This team could struggle big time.

 

Cleveland Browns

Over 9 wins -130...Under 9 wins +110

 

Offense: On paper, this side of the ball should be well taken care of. Baker Mayfield has the right weapons and the right coordinator for him to surpass 4,000 passing yards. Getting Odell Beckham Jr. is very good for this team as he'll pair off nicely with Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway. Here's hoping Mayfield can keep OBJ happy with enough work though. Nick Chubb gets the bulk of the carries in the backfield until Kareem Hunt comes off suspension. Duke Johnson is still there even though he wants to be traded. This offensive line is pretty bad though and could be an issue.

 

Defense: The rush defense has to be better if this team hopes to live up to the expectations that everyone has put upon them. Bringing in Sheldon Richardson from Minnesota will be a big help along the defensive line as well as Olivier Vernon from the Giants. Myles Garrett was a beast last year and Larry Ogunjobi is underrated. The linebackers are decent, but the team tried to add a few more in the draft. Denzel Ward locks down one corner spot while rookie Greedy Williams could eventually patrol the other. The safeties are Damarious Randall and Morgan Burnett who comes in from Pittsburgh.

 

Verdict: The Browns have two "Monday Night Football" appearances on tap, both coming on the road against the Jets and 49ers. They come out of their Week 7 bye with road games against the Patriots and Broncos before three straight at home. There's a chance to close strong with a pair of matchups with the Bengals as well as games against Baltimore (home) and Arizona (road). I'm taking a shot on the under because I'm not buying the hype.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

Over 9 wins -125...Under 9 wins +105

 

Offense: This side of the ball saw their two biggest threats leave in Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Ben Roethlisberger is getting older so who knows how much longer he'll last in this league. With Brown gone, it's JuJu Smith-Schuster's show as well as Donte Moncrief, who could be a fantasy football sleeper. In the backfield, it's James Conner once again, but you've got to think that rookie Benny Snell Jr. will see some work as well. Replacing Marcus Gilbert up front will be an issue at tackle.

 

Defense: There will not be a ton of turnover here with Morgan Burnett gone and Mark Barron and Steven Nelson coming in via free agency. Stephon Tuitt, Cam Heyward and Javon Hargrave will most likely front the 3-4 defense. The linebackers should be pretty strong especially with the addition of first-round pick Devin Bush out of Michigan. T.J. Watt, Vince Williams and Bud Dupree all have potential. The secondary has some holes to fill, but Terrell Edmunds wasn't that bad at safety as a rookie.

 

Verdict: Getting New England on the road in Week 1 is a stiff opening test. Pittsburgh has three straight home games after a Week 7 bye. The Steelers will close out their slate with five of their final seven on the road. I think the over is worth a look potentially.

 

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.

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