The Baltimore Ravens (5-1) and Pittsburgh Steelers (5-0) are on a collision course to determine the best team in the AFC North, with the Ravens the favorites at -160 odds compared to +140 for the Steelers. The Steelers are one of three undefeated teams remaining in the NFL, whereas the Ravens are one of three teams with five wins and just one loss.
The Baltimore Ravens are eying their third-straight AFC North crown and came into the season at -225 odds to win the NFL’s smashmouth division, according to preseason odds by DraftKings. The Steelers were +375 odds to pull off an upset in the AFC North.
|NFC NORTH ODDS (As of 10/23/20)|
- Baltimore Ravens -160
- Pittsburgh Steelers +140
- Cleveland Browns +1400
- Cincinnati Bengals +50000
The Cleveland Browns (4-2) sunk to +1400 after losing to Pittsburgh last week. Baker Mayfield is banged up and on the verge of a benching. Coming into the season, the Browns were +500 to win the division. The Browns jumped out of the gate 4-1 for their best start of the season since 1994 when Bill Belichick coached the team.
The Bengals (1-4-1) are +50,000 or 500/1 odds long shots to pull off a miracle and win the AFC North.
Pittsburgh’s Quest for Perfection
If Pittsburgh wins in Week 7 to improve to 6-0, their perfect season will come under duress in November with a couple of AFC North divisional tilts. The Steelers meet the Ravens twice in November, plus they play the Titans once more in a rematch.
The Steelers are in the middle of a difficult stretch of games. They easily beat Cleveland last week, but those AFC North divisional games are taxing on the mind, body, and soul. If the Steelers come out flat against the Titans, you can chalk it up to smashmouth football fatigue.
- HOME: Cincinnati, Baltimore, Washington, Indianapolis
- AWAY: at Tennessee, at Baltimore, at Dallas, at Jacksonville, at Buffalo, at Cincinnati, at Cleveland
The Steelers are on the road for the next three weeks with games at Tennessee, Baltimore, and Dallas. They have seven more away games that include a showdown with the Bills Mafia in Week 14.
Win or lose in Week 7, the Steelers hit the road next week for a battle against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens in Baltimore. If The Steelers continue their winning streak, they’ll certainly earn every inch of that 7-0 record.
Pittsburgh hosts only four more home games for the rest of the season, with two of those being divisional brawls against Baltimore and Cincy.
Ravens Back on Track?
The Ravens don’t look like the high-octane machine that destroyed teams last year. The offense got off to a sluggish start, but the way everyone has been trashing the Ravens, you’d think they were 2-4 and not 5-1.
The Ravens have a bye week this weekend and will have a chance to rest up before a tough test against the Steelers in Week 8. They also added Dez Bryant to bolster their wide receiving corps.
- HOME: Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Dallas, Jacksonville, NY Giants
- AWAY: at Indy, at New England, at Pittsburgh, at Cleveland, at Cincinnati
The Ravens are facing a couple of difficult road conference games, including at Indianapolis and at New England. They also have two more smashmouth games on the road at Pittsburgh and at Cleveland.
The Ravens are blessed with an easy schedule in December (aside from one division contest at Cleveland). They host Dallas, Jacksonville, and the New York Giants. All three teams are a combined 4-15. The Ravens close out the season with one final game against the Bengals in Cincinnati.