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AFC North Looks For Home Advantage in Week 10

After a mixed bag of results for the AFC in Week 9, the division will look to take advantage of home games this week. On Sunday the Ravens host the Raiders and the Bengals host the Giants. Monday Night Football sees Pittsburgh play under the bright lights, welcoming Kansas City. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns take a bye week to prepare for the second half of the season.

Oakland Raiders (3-5) at Baltimore Ravens (6-2)

Sunday 1 PM ET

A banged-up Baltimore side will be looking to get past an Oakland team that could be tougher than most expect.

Baltimore (6-2, 4-0 home) welcomes Oakland (3-5, 1-3 road) to M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday in a game that could be a lot closer than most bettors might think.

Oakland arrives on the East Coast nursing a loss this past weekend to Tampa Bay and the ‘Muscle Hamster’. The loss snapped a two-game winning streak that had the Raiders looking improved on a deficient early season.

Baltimore meanwhile managed to get out of Cleveland with a 25-15 win in a game that was closer than it sounded. With key injuries stifling the Ravens, the team can expect another close one against Oakland. Whether John Harbaugh’s side can once again better adversity on the day could go a long way to determining how far the banged-up side can go this season.

Baltimore has owned the head-to-head series against Oakland, winning six of seven games, including the previous three meetings. But the defensive-minded Ravens side of the past seems to be missing this season.

Baltimore ranks 26th in total yards gained by the opposition, with the pass defense giving up 246.8 YPG (22nd) and the rush defense conceding 139.5 YPG (28th). Believe it or not, the Raiders rank higher in all three categories. Importantly though, the Ravens are giving up 22 points per contest (15th) which is where the two sides really differ; Oakland is conceding 28.6 PPG (28th). In short, Baltimore is giving up a lot of yards but not when it matters most.

The Ravens opened as six-point favorites, a number that has already risen to nine with some bookmakers. Both sides are 3-5 ATS this season, while Baltimore is 1-6 ATS in its last seven home games. Oakland is looking like a good bet to cover the spread.

The over/under is 46. The total has gone over in four Ravens games and five Raiders fames this season. 10 of the last 15 Oakland games have gone over the total.

New York Giants (6-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-5)

Sunday 1 PM ET

The Bengals’ hot start to the season has made way to a four-game losing streak and the suggestion that this year’s side may well be destined for a vacation instead of the playoffs.

This week, Cincinnati (3-5, 1-3 home) will welcome the New York Giants (6-3, 3-1 road) to Paul Brown Stadium, hoping that a woeful home record is reversed.

The Giants are coming off a loss to Cincinnati’s AFC North rivals, Pittsburgh. Amidst the damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy, it was Ben Roethlisbeger and Co. who took a trick from the Giants’ playbook and orchestrated a come-from-behind win, snapping the Giants’ four-game winning streak in the process. Now the Bengals look to hand the New York side its second straight loss.

Cincinnati leads the all-time head-to-head series (5-3) but has won just one just one game from four against the Giants since 1994.

The Giants opened as six-point favorites but that number has fallen to 4½ in the wake of Sunday’s loss. The Giants are 4-4-1 ATS this season, while Cincinnati is 2-5-1. In fact, the Bengals are 3-11-3 ATS over the last 17 games.

The over/under is 48½. The total has one over in seven of the last 10 Bengals games, including five this season. However, the total has gone under in 12 of the last 16 New York Giants games, and five of the last six when the G-Men are on the road. Bettors have some food for thought to consider there.

Kansas City Chiefs (1-7) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3)

Monday 8:30 PM ET

Looking to have found a rhythm this season, the Steelers will be heavy favorites against Kansas City on Monday night.

If Kansas City stinking up the joint wasn’t bad enough on Thursday Night Football, get ready for the least anticipated edition of Monday Night Football in, well, forever.

The lowly Chiefs (1-7, 1-3 road) make the journey east to Pittsburgh (5-3, 3-0 home) with absolutely no expectations on their shoulders. After all, this is a team that has yet to lead a game during regulation – an overtime win over New Orleans is the sole bright spot on this season’s report card.

The Steelers meanwhile have navigated some early season choppy waters and have won four of the last five games, including three straight.

Understandably, the Steelers are heavy favorites heading into this game. The spread opened at 11½ and has already risen to 13. Expect more activity before we get to Monday night. Pittsburgh is an even 4-4 ATS this season, while the Chiefs’ 2-6 ATS record is only marginally better than their straight up record.

The over/under is 43 points. As expected, the defensive-minded Steelers have played a lot of low-scoring games this season, with the total going under five times. The total has gone under in four of the last five games played at Heinz Field. However, Kansas City is conceding 30 PPG (29th), and as such the total has gone over six times this season.

Now, before you head off to back Pittsburgh hard, consider this one remaining nugget: in the series, no team has won two straight games since 1992. The sides have flip-flopped wins and losses over the past 11 outings. Pittsburgh won 13-9 last season, which makes it Kansas City’s turn, right?

Browns Rest Up

Whilst the rest of the division is hard at work, Cleveland (2-7) will take a bye week to prepare for a clash with the Dallas Cowboys in Texas on November 18. The Browns are now playing for experience, particularly at the quarterback and running back positions, as well as a high draft pick. The team could also adopt a spoiler role, starting with a win over the Cowboys (3-5), who must win if they’re to remain in the hunt for the NFC East.

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