north divisions ho!
cincinnati - 9: over (-105) under(-125)
this is a real interesting one. we'll use fredo's SI litmus test for this one. what's more likely to appear in sports illustrated, a story about how carson palmer has defied history and all medical science to come back from a major major injury to lead the bengals to another hot start, or a story about how the bengals fans are tortured and cursed and palmer's injury is causing problems. give me the latter. as much as i love chad johnson and rudi, i just don't see how carson palmer can come back from an ACL tear and kick as much ass. under, big time.
pittsburgh - 10: over(-125) under (-105)
again, i think vegas has it all wrong. do the steelers have the look or feel of a team on the beginning of its dynasty run, or do they look like a pretty good team that maybe won because of some questionable calls in the super bowl. again, give me scenario #2, and i'll take the under here as well. on a side note, i think it'd be a pretty good gag for ben rothlisberger to play the first series of the first game without his helmet.
cleveland - 6.5: over(-150) under(+120)
i'm not sure why vegas likes the browns so much. seriously, what about them scares you, i don't even know who any of the skill position starters are. jesus h. christ does this division stink so far. i'm going to take the under here as well.
baltimore - 8: over(-150) under(+120)
i'm not real high on the ravens truth be told. mcnair may be better than boller, but come on, is there any doubt that he'll only play 9-11 games? but geez, someone has to win this horrible division, by default, i will take the over here.
chicago - 9.5: over(-130) under(even)
vegas has such little faith in the bears. it seems like they always encourage the under for the monsters of the midway. i still hate their offense (i'm predicting grossman to get injured in the third quarter of week 1), but i think the running game is pretty sound, which is perfect for their defense. factor in a rather weak division and you've got the looks of 10 wins and a wild card loss. over.
minnesota - 8: over(-125) under(-105)
i can't get behind brad johnson for another year, but i can get behind chester taylor runnign behind a pretty good line. i'm not sure where taylor is going in fantasy drafts but i'm guessing a season similar to lamont jordan's season last year. in that this is his first year at the man, so he'll get yards by default, but not consistently from week to week. i think i'm going to angle for him in my drafts. in terms of wins, the schedule looks fairly easy, so i'll side with vegas and take the over.
detroit - 7: over(even) under(-130)
with the harrington era finally over, detroit can finally begin the process of rebuilding. that's right erik, rebuilding. and that means another losing season. i actually like john kitna and josh mccown. but here's the deal, detroit sucks. what are the odds that a city has winners in basketball, baseball, and football in the same year. the schedule looks pretty easy, but i just can't bring myself to do it. this team doesn't have a single proven starter on offense. not a one. this team has 4-6 wins written all over it. vegas hit this one on the head, under all the way.
green bay - 6.5: over(-110) under(-120)
it sure is nice of brett favre to treat us all like idiots and proclaim that this team is the most talented he's ever been on. ridiculous. ahman green coming off an injury, no javon walker, and a qb who has abso-effing-lutely nothing left in the tank. i'll go ahead and also set the over/under on favre ints at 19...give me the over on that one and the under on the season.
of all the divisions in the NFL, i think that the north division is my least favorite.