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Ravens Are The #4 Favorites To Win The AFC North

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NFLThe Baltimore Ravens are the defending Super Bowl Champions.  Joe Flacco is now one of the highest paid athletes on the planet. Oddsmakers taking a close look at the Ravens and their chances of repeating in Super Bowl XLVIII and finding that Baltimore is not even going to be listed as favorites to win the AFC North, much less the Super Bowl.

In fact, the Ravens are the handicapper’s fourth choice to take the AFC North title with only the Cleveland Browns given less of a chance in that division. That means that both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburg Steelers look better to the oddsmakers than do the Ravens.

One theory is that the Ravens are now paying so much money to Joe Flacco… in excess of 20 million bucks a year… that they cannot afford to make any further upgrades to the teams’ roster.  And Flacco, in the first preseason game at least, is still looking like plain old Joe to most of us in spite of the big bucks contract.

Add to that the fact that Baltimore has also lost team leaders such as Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and we start to see why the handicappers are selling the Ravens short this season.

At the beginning of preseason play, the Ravens season total was set at 8.5 games giving bettors the option to wager on the over or the under on that total. Some of the large Nevada books are now also offering the season win totals right on the number in addition to the Over and Under totals.

As for winning the AFC North, Baltimore is listed at +300 to take the division. They do have the advantage of playing 3 of their 4 most difficult opponents on their home field in Baltimore where they are 16-2 SU over the past two seasons.  For 2012, the Ravens were 10-6 Straight Up and 6-9-1 Against the Spread.

The Cincinnati Bengals went to the playoffs in 2012 for the second year in a row. The combination of quarterback Andy Dalton throwing to wide receiver A.J. Green once again promises to be an explosive duo and their defense should be much improved under DC Mike Zimmer.  For 2012 the Bengals were 10-6 SU and 9-6-1 ATS.  Their odds to win the AFC North are set at +190 with a season win total also of 8.5 games.

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