NFL preseason odds could favor the Ravens as they look to be one of the most complete teams in the NFL while Pittsburgh has had a lot of football gambling intangibles go against them.
The Pittsburgh Steelers learned just how difficult it is to repeat as Super Bowl champions as they had to rally to finish 9-7 after a terrible mid season slump. The Steelers were a classic overlay last year with just 5 games covered against the spread.
Both sides of the line were inconsistent and there was a noticeable lack of polish and edge to the team compared to just one season prior. The off season was even worse for the Steelers as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault for the second consecutive year and will serve a six game suspension to start the 2010 season.
Cincinnati was something of a surprise winner in the AFC North Division last year as they finished 10-6 straight up although they covered only 7 games. The Bengals won with a solid defense and ground attack as quarterback Carson Palmer was erratic and faded badly down the stretch.
It was no accident or surprise to see the Bengals go down to the Jets in the playoffs as they basically limped in as the beneficiary of an unusually down year in their division.
The Bengals will struggle to overtake the Ravens and even the Steelers if Pittsburgh can regain their focus which is why Cincinnati is not a popular choice with the NFL preseason odds.
The Ravens are loaded on both sides of the line with a punishing defense and versatile offense. Joe Flacco was not as great in his second year as quarterback after a phenomenal rookie season but he is still considered to be one of the best and he will have more weapons to assist him than was the case in 2009.
The Ravens have made the playoffs in back to back seasons and have the confidence of an emerging power team under coach John Harbaugh.
The Cleveland Browns won just 5 games but did cover 10 games with the football odds last year. Cleveland is rebuilding with new team president Mike Holmgren and new quarterback Jake Delhomme. While the post season is unlikely they may improve upon last year and continue to offer good board value.