AFC North division odds scramble as Steelers plummet further and Browns rise

  • Steelers hit rock-bottom in division odds after just one week
  • Are the odds tempting enough to bet on them yet?

Pittsburgh Steelers, Kenny Pickett
Pittsburgh Steelers, Kenny Pickett / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

We are just one week into the 2023 season, so it's not time to hit the panic button. However, I don't think most folks would have predicted how things would have turned out for teams in the AFC North following their first game of the year. The Pittsburgh Steelers were hammered by an insanely talented 49ers team, while Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals struggled mightily in their blowout loss to the Browns.

The results of Week 1 in the AFC North certainly did a number on betting odds. After just one game, Cleveland has skyrocketed to the top of the division with +220 odds to win the North, courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.

In a corresponding move, the Bengals flopped from first to third in division odds entering Week 2, while the Ravens more or less stayed the same after a Week 1 win over the Houston Texans.

Unfortunately, the Steelers plummeted even further from their division rivals. They are now just +750 odds to win the AFC North in 2023. No other team has worse than +245 odds to do so. Oddsmakers are showing you just what they think of Pittsburgh right now, and they are essentially daring you to bet on them to win the division.

Is now the time to bet on the Steelers to win the AFC North?

With that type of potential payout, it's certainly tempting. While Pittsburgh looked flat and pathetic against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1, we can't assume that what we saw is going to be the case moving forward. There are a lot of flukey things that tend to happen in Week 1, and I'm willing to bet that Burrow never has a game that bad again all season (maybe even in his career).

But even though I do believe the Steelers will turn things around for the better, it's hard to have enough confidence in them at this point to win the AFC North in 2023. Pittsburgh showed that their offense is nowhere near where we would like it to be, and Matt Canada's passing concepts are still a huge issue. Likewise, Kenny Pickett is coming off arguably the worst game of his NFL career, and he needs to take a significant step forward before we place our trust in this team.

It's true that this division should be tight enough that it will be incredibly difficult to predict the ultimate champion of the AFC North this year. It's hard to say how it's going to turn out when looking at just a one-week sample size, and we need a bit more time for the waters to settle down.


Week 2 will be very telling, as the Steelers and Browns face each other on Monday Night Football. With a win, Pittsburgh could greatly bridge the gap in divisional odds. However, with a loss against Cleveland, they could fall into the abyss as the Browns start off the season 2-0 against the AFC North.

If you are one of those folks who has a lot of confidence that the Pittsburgh Steelers will turn it around starting on Monday Night Football this week, I'd say throw a few bucks on the +750 odds. This is a nice payout. But if your confidence is shot following a discouraging Week 1 performance, you may want to hold off and see how they perform over the next few weeks.

Serious questions arise after Steelers were served a slice of humble pie in Week 1. Serious questions arise after Steelers were served a slice of humble pie in Week 1. dark. Next