Lamar Jackson has been the Baltimore Ravens' full-time starting quarterback for two seasons, and in those the Ravens have averaged 12.5 victories. Of course, those were 16-game seasons and the NFL has added a 17th game for 2021 and going forward. Even though Baltimore is set at "only" Over/Under 11.0 victories, bettors at William Hill Sportsbook are solidly leaning Under. On the flip side in the AFC North, the Over 10.5 wins is being obliterated on the Cleveland Browns. For the defending division champion Pittsburgh Steelers, it's a mixed bag.
A total of 57 percent of tickets sold and 83 percent of all money wagered on Baltimore's win total are on the Under victories. That's somewhat surprising because most teams take Over leans this time of year as all fans are "optimistic." Baltimore is one of three AFC teams to have the majority of total number of tickets and total dollars wagered on the Under of its win total, joining the Jets and Texans.
The Ravens did trade away Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Brown and also lost fellow offensive linemen Matt Skura and Marshal Yanda but added right guard Kevin Zeitler and right tackle Alejandro Villanueva as well as receiver Sammy Watkins. The club also drafted wideouts Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace. The Ravens are +120 division favorites.
Cleveland broke its long playoff drought last year with an 11-5 record and upset the Steelers in the wild-card round. The Browns are set at Over/Under 10.5 victories for 2021 after a busy offseason spent upgrading the defense, including signing Jadeveon Clowney. A whopping 92 percent of all money on the team's win total is on the Over as is 87 percent of the tickets. This actually isn't a shock as the Browns took a crazy amount of Over/Super Bowl money last offseason, too. Cleveland is +145 to win the division.
"We're drowned on Browns Over money," said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US. "I believe their Over is our biggest decision on any win total right now. They're betting Cleveland in every form and fashion this offseason. We opened Over 10 -115 and now we're at 10.5 flat [-110], so a full half-game move. They're just enamored with the Browns, maybe rightfully so. Maybe we undervalued them, but we'll know in about four months."
Pittsburgh won the AFC North last year at 12-4 but the wheels started falling off at the end, punctuated by that blowout home playoff loss to Cleveland. In what is expected to be Ben Roethlisberger's final season, the Steelers are set at 8.5 victories. Oddly, 66 percent of tickets are on the Pittsburgh Over but 66 percent of money on the Under. It is +400 to repeat in the AFC North.
"Good two-way action on the Steelers win total," Bogdanovich said. "We opened at Over 9 -125, now we're at Under 8.5 -120. The sharps are all over the Under, they're pounding it. The public is still betting the Over because the Steelers have won 9 games in their sleep in recent seasons. So you have two forces going against one another on this one."
Cincinnati has had five straight losing seasons and was 4-11-1 a season ago – that win total probably is higher if then-rookie QB Joe Burrow doesn't suffer a season-ending injury in the 10th game. The former Heisman winner will be fine for camp and has a new target in former LSU teammate and receiver Ja'Marr Chase, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2021 draft.
The Bengals are set at 6.5 victories and are taking a 71 percent lean on both tickets sold and money wagered. That has pushed the Over to a -120 favorite. Cincinnati is a +2500 long shot in the division.
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