last time out, we went over the AFC and NFC west. today we'll hit up the north divisions. for some reason, bodog.com doesn't have all of the season over/under lines up anymore so we're gonna go with betonsports.com for the numbers this week. the numbers seem to be a little bit different, and the odds don't seem as generous, but i think that they're only a half game off at the most. what are you gonna do with these unreliable online sports book? anyways, on with the picks.
BAL - 10: over(-120), under(-120)
i just can't get behind kyle boller kids. he looks like the next coming of joey harrington or jeff fiedler. not bad players in terms of wins and losses, but don't count on them to win you games when you need them to. however, word on the street is that the defense is supposed to be even better than it was last year. schedule wise, they have the early bye and the tough part of their schedule comes at the end of the year. i just don't know on this one. but because i'm down on pittsburgh this year, i think i like the ravens to win the division, give me the over.
CIN - 8: over(-140), under(even)
i can't remember the last time everyone just assumed that the bengals would just be the doormat. it seems like every year people want them to be the surprise team of the season. i blame chris berman. in any case, carson palmer looked good at the end of last year. he played like you really want a franchise quarterback to play. inconsistent, only because he's young, but flashes of brilliance to show that he can win with a little more practice. that and i love the johnson brothers, rudi and chad. this is the year. add in the fact that gamblor likes the over...i will obey my master, give me the over.
CLE - 4.5: over(-140) under(even)
the browns on the other hand, still look like a doormat to me. trent dilfer at qb heh? good luck with all of that. lee suggs is the only thing that's going, yet vegas likes the over. like the niners, it is only because that winning only four games in a 16 game schedule is tough to do. however, i count only six winnable games on their schedule, and do i think they'll win 5 out of those six. nope, give me the under.
PIT - 9.5: over(-160) under(+120)
hmmmm....is it possible for vegas to set a trap this early in the season? surely like i have, vegas sees that big ben can't possibly have as good as a season as last year (which in reality wasn't that good). surely vegas also sees that the bus is too old to have two great seasons in a row. surely vegas sees that plaxico burress was a big part of that arsenal and while antwaan randle el may be pretty good, he's a gimmick player at best. i think that pittsburgh disappoints in a big way this year. give me the under.
CHI - 6.5: over(-160) under(+120)
one word: chutch. the good news is that chad hutchinson will only be at the reins for a week. and it's pretty clear that last year was a disaster for their defense injury wise. two of their three best players played three games between them. i expect that their defense is going to be pretty damn good again this year. however, it won't be enough to make up for a month of chutch though, but it'll be good enough for 7-9. give me the over here.
DET - 8.5: over(-145) under(+105)
my roomate will undoubtedly be happy to see that vegas likes the over for his hometown heroes. just barely though. sorry i just don't see it. kevin jones will help, but he's no julius jones. also, they brought in jeff garcia, to no doubt take over the hopeless harrington (don't let the preseason fool you kids, it doesn't mean anything!) but come on man, do you see jeff garcia hitting the lottery twice and having another good season? the problem in detroit is the front office. matt millen sucks and it's amazing to me that he's kept his job for as long as he has. he seems to have no clue in how to build a team. this year's draft pick of mike williams is one of the loonier picks of all time on a club that already basically has 2 rookie wide recievers who are starting. get an o-lineman to pave the way for jones. under! under! under!
GB - 8: over(even) under(-140)
as i mentioned in the last post, vegas doesn't like the packers' chances this year. here's my thinking though, davenport will take over for green this year, and javon walker will continue to develop as a top receiver. favre still seems to have something left in the tank, and the defense is always pretty decent. the lambeau mystique is gone, but i dunno, i like the pack this year. i'll take the over.
MIN - 9.5: over(-140) under(even)
this is a case where i think vegas and i agree but for different reasons. unlike virtually everyone else, i think that minnesota's offense is emphatically not better without randy moss. their offense won't be as explosive, especially since they have a gaggle of slightly below average running backs. i don't think anyone will step up. but....someone has to win the division and that daunte culpepper is really good. so good, i'm tempted to take him above manning. give me the over.
again, please leave your picks in the comments section, no doubt erik will have something to say about the detroit pick.