AFC North Bet Preview

NFL cappers know that the Baltimore Ravens made a big splash by acquiring receivers Anquan Boldin and Dante Stallworth in the offseason.

It’s fairly clear that if the Ravens offense lacked weapons before, there is no shortage now. With Ray Rice running and Joe Flacco orchestrating the show, scoring points shouldn’t be a problem in Baltimore anymore.

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Team On The Decline: Cincinnati Bengals
Sportsbook odds makers were shocked last year when the Cincinnati Bengals swept their three division rivals, and then won the division. This year, they’ll have a much tougher time in doing so. While the Bengals roster has improved, so has their strength of schedule. Not only will they have to face Baltimore, Pittsburgh, they’ll have to play at New England, versus Miami, at Atlanta, at Indianapolis, at the New York Jets, versus New Orleans and versus San Diego. That’s one heck of a schedule.

Predicted Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers
Some betting sharps won’t appreciate this pick, but we’re sticking with old ye faithful: the Pittsburgh Steelers. When Troy Polamalu is healthy and Ben Roethlisberger is in the lineup, they are the team to beat.

When Polamalu is healthy, the Steelers defense is the best in the division. Sure, the Bengals are up there and Baltimore’s is too – but they’ll have to plug some leaks at cornerback – but nobody’s defense is coached better and has more experience in the North.

NFL betting pundits know that Baltimore may have the most explosive unit now, but Pittsburgh can definitely do enough. With Hines Ward, Antwan Randle El, Mike Wallace and Heath Miller, they have plenty of weapons. Plus, running back Rashard Mendenhall keeps getting better.

NFL Picks: It won’t be pretty, but the Steelers are a good value pick to win the AFC North.

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Posted: 8/25/10 6:15PM ET

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