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AFC North future bets – SportsUntapped.com
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Added July 30th, 2010 by Frank Benjamin

AFC North future bets
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The AFC North division has been historically contested between two teams –  the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens.  But every few years, like last year, the Cincinnati Bengals step up to the plate and win the division. 

This year the sportsbooks have the Ravens as the favorite to win the AFC North at -210.  They signed Anquan Boldin to give quarterback Joe Flacco a big time receiver.  Flacco has been heralded as some kind of wonder quarterback that came out of left field to play great football.  I haven’t bought into this.  If you have watched a good bit of Raven games you would have seen that he lack the decision under pressure.  Boldin is a great addition to the team, but Flacco still has flaws, but people are willing to look and accept them. 

Another issue for the Ravens is their defense.  Ed Reed is on the physically unable to perform list and will miss the first six games after hip surgery this offseason.   The rest of this great defense is getting old.  They have been losing a step every year for the last few years.  They only reason they could still compete is that they were just that good in years before.  Though they still have a bunch of talent, they can’t stay on top for ever.  With Reed out for a while and other key players slowing down, the Raven might contend for the division crown, but -210 is not the best value bet. 

The Bengals were at +350 up until Terrell Owen finally arrived at camp.  The defending AFC North champions now have 2 playmaking wide outs.  And don’t forget the also signed Antonio Bryant.  They have a proven quality quarterback and the helm to pass the ball down field to the Dynamic Duo.  Running back Cedric Benson saw 8 guys in the box all season and still managed over 1200 yards last season.  He will see less of that now with defenses having to worry about the T.O. and Chad Ochocinco. 

The Bengals have been building their defense over the years and were 4th in the NFL in yards per game.  The Ravens were 3rd by one yard per game. 

With question marks about the Steelers because of the suspension of Ben Roethlisberger, the Bengals are the sexy team to pick and a great value even though they have fallen to +300 over at Diamond Sportsbook.

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