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AFC North Analysis and Future Odds Update

There have been a lot of surprises in the NFL this year already, particularly in the AFC North.  The race to see who will control the division is still up in the air.  However, a picture is beginning to develop as to what teams are front runners, given performance and the odds at the sports books.

Cincinnati Bengals   -150

The Cincinnati Bengals have the best shot at winning the AFC North division according to the odds.  The Bengals currently sit at 2-1 with their loss coming against the undefeated Chicago Bears.  It was a close loss though, 21-24.  However, they may have made up for that loss with a win against the Green Bay Packers.  While their defense is far from perfect, the Bengals are showing that they have the capability to beat any team in the NFL.

Baltimore Ravens    +150

The Baltimore Ravens are still a bit of a question mark for us.  After dropping a huge game against the Denver Bronco, losing by a substantial margin, the Ravens went on to have a less than stellar performance against the Cleveland Browns.  The Ravens only barely edged out the Browns, 14-6, in a game that should have been a blow out.  The Ravens then went to Houston, where they dominated a very good Texans football team.  One of two things are happening here.  Either the Ravens have shaken off their early season jitters and are pulling it together, or they are showing an inconsistency that may haunt them all year.

Cleveland Browns    +1200

Here is something exciting, the Cleveland Browns have a win.  They were able to secure a victory over a Minnesota Vikings squad that is having a bit of an identity crisis, 31-27.  I do not think the Browns are going to be sneaking up behind the Ravens or the Bengals to challenge them for the division, but a win is progress.  They also had a decent showing against the Ravens last week.  They will face another big test when they take on the Bengals in Week 4.  If they put up a fight in that game, or walk way with a surprise victory, I may change my condescending tone when it comes to the Browns.

Pittsburgh Steelers   +1200

When we were in the preseason many people who do what we do for a living were saying that it was the Steelers time.  The popular prediction was that this squad of veterans were going to dominate the AFC North and make one last run at a Super Bowl.   As it turns out that prediction was very wrong as the Steelers just may be among the worst teams in the NFL.   I mean they are Jacksonville Jaguars bad.  After, losing to the Tennessee Titans in Week 1, in a game that was closer on the scoreboard than it was in the actual game, The Steelers went on to be dominated by the Chicago Bears and the Bengals.  The perception of them being among the worst teams in the NFL may be due to a surprisingly good Titans squad and a tough schedule, but even if that is the case they are no where near a Super Bowl caliber team.

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