The beginning of the 2017 National Football League training camps is here as the squads report to their sites across the country. The crew who assemble the odds on the internet have their projections on who might claim victory at Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Observers at the Bovada Online Sportsbook have their outlook of the AFC’s North Division. The handicappers forecast Pittsburgh with the best chance to make it out of the division to the title showdown in February 2018. They put the Steelers at 12/1 with the Baltimore Ravens next in line at 40/1. The Cincinnati Bengals come in at 50/1 while the gang across the turnpike, the Cleveland Browns, being one of three long shots at 200/1. The other two facing such arduous numbers are the New York Jets and the San Francisco 49ers.
Coming together in second place with the best odds to capture the AFC Championship at 7/1 each are the Men of Steel and the Oakland Raiders. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are in first place at 15/4. The Black and Gold begin the regular season Sunday, Sept. 10 on the road against the Browns.
Ben Rothlisberger is fourth on the board at 9/1 to acquire the Most Valuable Player award, behind Brady (4/1), Aaron Rogers (6/1), and the Silver and Black’s Derek Carr (8/1).
Antonio Brown and the Falcons’ Julio Jones both check in as 4/1 favorites to wrap up 2017 with the most receiving yards. Meanwhile, LeVeon Bell is No. 1 at 3/1 to gather the most rushing yards while the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott is second at 7/2.
Baltimore also hits the road Sunday, Sept. 10 to open the season against the Bengals in the Queen City. The bean-counters at Bovada seem to be down on Edgar Allen Poe’s favorite signal caller, Joe Flacco, as he is 150-1 in the MVP race. Jeremy Maclin registers at 200/1 in the quest for the most receiving yards.
For Cincinnati fans, Andy Dalton, the Red Rifle, fairs a little better at 100/1 in the quest for the MVP award. Joe Mixon enters in at 50/1 to record the most rushing yards while A.J. Green is the best bet at 18/1 to obtain the most receiving yards.
When it comes to the team along the shores of Lake Erie, I turn to the TopBet Sportsbook which has Brock Osweiler leading at 6-5 to be under center for Cleveland over Cody Kessler (2/3), Deshone Kizer (8/1), and Kevin Hogan (20/1).
Final Roundup: Nathan Jahnke at ProFootballFocus.com believes the order of finish in the AFC North is Pittsburgh 11-5, Baltimore 7-9, Cincinnati 7-9, and Cleveland 4-12. Further clicks of the mouse reveal Richard Janvrin from Bleacher Report liking the Steelers to put together an 11-5 mark too with the Ravens at 8-8, the Bengals 6-10, and the Browns 2-14. Jonathan Jones of SI.com foresees the AFC North breaking down this way: Pittsburgh 12-4, Baltimore 9-7, Cincinnati 9-7, and Cleveland 2-14.
My Prediction: When I look through the coffee grounds in the early morning, I think I am going to go with Jahnke and Janvrin and stick with the 11-5 prognosis for the Black and Gold. I believe it is a down year for the rest of the division with Baltimore at 8-8, Cincinnati at 6-10, and Cleveland at 3-13. There is not going to be a Wild Card from the AFC North in the playoffs.
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