AFC North Betting has sometimes been the most predictable of all NFL divisions, and this year appears to be the same old story in the AFC North Lines. Again, this year it may come down to a race between the Steelers and the Ravens, but can we count out the Bengals and the Browns just yet, not on any given Sunday.
The AFC North odds will be going up and down all year as they teams ride the regular season rollercoaster so definitely check back in the sportsbook for updated NFL odds Here is banter the has been circulating around the league about the division before the kickoff of the season:
The Steelers will once again depend on their defense to provide key plays. After all, that is the reason they signed LaMarr Woodley to his $61.5 million dollar six year contract during the off-season. The Steelers again hope that Woodley will team up with James Harrison to provide sacks in very key situations. The Steelers also added depth to the their defense with the signing of Kevin Dockery and Marcho Harris during the off-season. The other great news for the Steelers is that Troy Polamalu is healthy after suffering an Achilles injury during the later part of last year's season.
Pittsburgh offense will be headed by Mike Wallace, who plans on having over 2,000 yards this year.
The Steelers will once again have Ben Roethlisberger as their quarterback. One of the biggest and strongest quarterbacks in the entire NFL, Roethlisberger has been bothered by a large number of sacks. Roethlisberger will be aided by Lawrence Timmons who had 135 tackles last season. One of the questions that remains for Pittsburgh is who will be their cornerback. The Steelers have announced that they will start Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden. If one of them gets hurt the Steelers could be in trouble.
The Steelers came through the pre-season without any injuries to key players. In fact, they only had two injuries in the pre-season. Their number four quarterback, Bryan Leftwich fractured his left arm and was placed on reserves, and Baron Batch injured a knee and was also placed on reserves.
The Steelers vs Ravens will happen in NFL Week 1 and NFL Week 9. The Steelers vs Bengals will happen in NFL Week 10 and NFL Week 13. The Steelers vs Browns will happen in NFL Week 14 and NFL Week 17.d
Like the Steelers, the Ravens rely on their defense to win games. The team allowed only 16.9 points per game last season. Baltimore did have a disappointing 27 sacks last season, a situation that new defensive Coordintor Church Pagario plans to retify. Look for the Ravens to become a leading linerushing team this year. New Raven Lee Evans was impressive during the pre-season. Evans gives the Ravens a much needed vertical threat.
The Ravens are relying on a running game led by Ray Rice, and have added Vonta Leach to their roster. Leach will be blocking for Rice giving him more time to run. Look for Other on the right side and Yanda to move to right guard. The weakness for the Ravens appears to be the lack of a NFL quality pass rush.
Fans will not have to wait long for this game, always a season highlight, as the Ravens meet the Steelers during week 1.
Fans are hopeful that rookie quarterback Andy Dalton will bring a new era to the Bengals. He was a standout in college at Texas Christian University, but he is probably at least a year away from being a successful NFL quarterback. The Bengals have very little to recommend them this year.
The Browns vs Bengals will happen in NFL Week 1 and NFL Week 12.
This is head coach Pat Shurmur first year at the Browns, and he will probably also have a rebuilding year led by second year quarterback Colt McCoy. Look for the Browns to have a brand new look, similar to the Eagles. Colt is not big, but he is quickly becoming one of the smartest players in the NFL. Colt will be going to the air. Unfortunately, he has only young players to throw to. Look for this team to get stronger all year.
2014 AFC North Division odds