With the NFL draft now over, more NFL odds are starting to come out. LVH Sportsbook in Las Vegas has released their divisional future odds, and with the AFC North looking wide open, there could be great value with these odds.
The Bengals were a great value at this time last year, and I correctly picked them to win the division. They were 3 or 4 to 1 back then, but after their performance in 2013, they are the favorites in these NFL Divisional odds. They should be a solid value, but they may be a little over-priced, considering their weaknesses. Even though they retained a lot of their core this offseason, they are still faced with a quarterback who is very inconsistent. Andy Dalton will have to take a big leap forward if this team wants to take that next step, and I don’t know if I’d be willing to risk this price on Dalton’s progression.
Baltimore still has some issues, but their defense should be pretty solid, and their offense should take some steps this season. If they can get their running game going, they will take a big step up from last season. It starts with the offensive line, but we will see in time whether or not that part of their game is better this season. Steve Smith is also now in the fold, which makes for a nice combo of receivers in Baltimore. While they still have some holes, they should put forth a much better year than 2013. They are very appropriately priced as a betting pick.
Pittsburgh comes in about the same price as Baltimore, and although I don’t think they are as strong as the Ravens, they are the same price. I’m afraid this offense might not have enough punch to compete with the tough defenses of this division, and even though their defense should be pretty solid, it’s not as good as the Ravens’ or the Bengals’ defenses. Pittsburgh also seems to be very overvalued in the Super Bowl, and the AFC Conference future odds, and even though they do have some upside, I do not like any of the prices with Pittsburgh right now.
Cleveland is in all sorts of disarray, and even though they seemed to have an above average draft, no one seems to know who is going to start on offense. With the suspension of Josh Gordon, the Browns’ offense basically disappeared over night, and not only are they entering an offseason of QB controversy, but they also don’t have much to offer whoever starts. They drafted running back Terrence West in the third round from Towson. I live close to Towson, and although I’ve never seen him play, I have read good things. He and Ben Tate look to be the top options in the backfield, but other than that, there isn’t much offensive talent on this roster. The good thing is that their defense should be pretty good, so even if they can’t score points, the ‘under’ might be a great bet in Cleveland this season. Even at +600 though, I don’t think the Browns provide any value as an NFL pick with the news that Gordon is suspended for the season.