AFC North Over/Unders
The NFL Draft has been completed, most of the impact moves in free agency have been made months ago and the 2013 schedule is out. Perhaps most importantly, Las Vegas has weighed in and set the over/unders for each NFL team. We are going to take a look at each team, division-by-division and speculate on whether they will finish better or worse than their numbers show.
Baltimore Ravens- Over/Under- 8.5 Wins
Is this bettable? It is bettable. The Baltimore Ravens are probably being disrespected more than any defending Super Bowl champion in recent history. Not only do the Ravens have to go on the road in the season opener, but their over/under line is just 8.5 victories. We know the AFC North is very competitive but I challenge anyone to find me a better team in that division. Sure, Baltimore lost future Hall of Famers Ray Lewis and Ed Reed but those guys didn’t play at a Canton-like level a season ago. Joe Flacco should take his game to the level it was in the playoffs and Baltimore will win more than 9 games.
Cincinnati Bengals- Over/Under- 8.5 Wins
Is this bettable? In a word, no. The Bengals are very solid pretty much everywhere. They’ve made back-to-back playoff appearances and they should be competitive again. The only problem is at quarterback with Andy Dalton. Dalton has been good but not great and he struggles against good competition. With four games against the challenging NFC North, it’s no guarantee that the Bengals will be a better than .500 team (or much worse than that).
Cleveland Browns- Over/Under- 6 Wins
Is this bettable? It is not. Cleveland has all the makings of an improved football team. That said, they have the worst quarterback in the AFC North and that usually equates to a last-place finish. Winnable games against the AFC East should balance out their NFC North schedule and matchups with the Jaguars and Chiefs may prove to be victorious. Cleveland should be in the 5 to 7 win range and unless they have a significant injury this is a wager you should stay away from.
Pittsburgh Steelers- Over/Under- 9 Wins
Is this bettable? It is bettable. The Steelers have been trending downward and there are numerous issues with the offensive line, backfield and skill positions. Although many Steelers fans were resigned that the team would move away from Mike Wallace, they still don’t have a home run threat on the outside. Ben Roethlisberger’s health has been a major concern and Pittsburgh’s secondary hasn’t been particularly good. I can’t imagine the Steelers winning more than 9 games so this should be a solid bet.
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