The most popular NFL futures prop in terms of handle over the past month at Caesars Sportsbook is Baltimore to win the AFC North. Lamar Jackson & Co. have shifted from +220 to +160 favorites to take it for the first time since 2019. Two big questions surrounding the franchise, however, are whether Jackson and the team will agree on a long-term extension -- and if the former MVP winner might force his way out if they can't.
Jackson skipped offseason workouts for the first time in his career but participated in the team's recent mandatory minicamp. Jackson is a rare NFL player who has operated his entire career without an agent and there are reports he wants something north of the fully guaranteed $230 million contract that the Browns gave Deshaun Watson. Jackson is simply a better all-around player and has no off-field baggage so he is justified in wanting more. Jackson could end up playing this year on his $23.016 million fifth-year option, and then the Ravens could always slap the franchise tag on him next winter.
Jackson's receiving corps leaves a bit to be desired after the team traded Marquise Brown to Arizona at the draft and didn't select a receiver in turn – the starters for now appear to be Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay and James Proche II. The Ravens do have one of the NFL's best tight ends in Mark Andrews. At running back, J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards are still rehabbing surgically repaired knees and aren't locks to be ready for Week 1.
Last season, the Ravens lost their final six games and became the first team in the past 19 years to go from being the No. 1 seed in the conference to missing the playoffs six weeks later.
It could be that bettors are crushing the Ravens in the AFC North simply as they aren't high on Cincinnati (regression?), Cleveland (likely will be starting Jacoby Brissett at QB this season with Watson facing a potential year-long suspension) and Pittsburgh (likely will be starting Mitchell Trubisky at QB in Week 1).
Baltimore is given an Over/Under win total of 2.5 inside the AFC North. Cincinnati is at 3.5 and Pittsburgh 3.0. Cleveland's total isn't active because the books are waiting on Watson's suspension. You can't bet on most AFC North exotics right now because of that. The Bengals are +180 second favorites to win it followed by the Browns (+300) and Steelers (+900).
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