The 2016/17 NFL season kicks off for the 97th time on Thursday, September 8th with a showdown between the reigning Super Bowl champs the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers. This is the perfect time to check out all 32 teams and see how bet365 ranks them when it comes to their chances of winning the Super Bowl. Fans out in Los Angeles will be rejoicing as NFL’s back in town with the St. Louis Rams returning to the west coast. The regular season will wind down on January 1st with the playoffs getting underway five days later. The 51st Super Bowl will be hosted at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on February 5th.
NFL fans and bettors should be sure to look over team lineups and injury lists before making their wagers since anything can happen from day to day when it comes to injuries and suspensions.
Here’s the 2016 bet365 NFL Betting Preview for the AFC North, where the Pittsburgh Steelers are favorites to win the division at 11/10:
Online NFL Betting Lines – Pittsburgh Steelers:
- 2015 Record: 10-6 (2nd in AFC North)
- Predicted 2016/17 finish: 10-6 first place
- Odds of winning Super Bowl: 10/1
Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin had to deal with numerous suspensions and injuries in 2015, but still made the playoffs due to the team’s offense. Antonio Brown is generally regarded as the league’s top receiver and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is still effective even though he’s in his mid-thirties. Let’s not forget the squad also boasts the likes of DeAngelo Williams and Le’Veon Bell, who is suspended for the first three contests of the new season. Martavis Bryant is also suspended and will sit out the whole 2016 campaign. The defense isn’t as strong as the offense but there is a couple of good prospects in Bud Dupree and Ryan Shazier. Tight end Ladarius Green was acquired in the offseason while offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum left town.
Online NFL Betting Lines – Baltimore Ravens:
- 2015 Record: 5-11 (3rd in AFC North)
- Predicted 2016/17 finish: 9-7 second place
- Odds of winning Super Bowl: 28/1
The Ravens suffered from injury problems last year and missed the playoffs because of them, losing quarterback Joe Flacco with a torn ACL towards the end. The team is leaning toward youth this season with newcomer Ronnie Stanley being added at offensive tackle and Kelechi Osemeleons leaving the team. If the injured players can bounce back this year then Baltimore should give Pittsburgh a run for their money for the division title. This means Justin Forsett, Terrell Suggs and Steve Smith will all have to have good seasons. If they do, head coach John Harbaugh should be able to make the postseason this time around.
Online NFL Betting Lines – Cincinnati Bengals:
- 2015 Record: 3-13 (1st in AFC North)
- Predicted 2016/17 finish: 9-7 third place
- Odds of winning Super Bowl: 14/1
Cincinnati has a habit of enjoying fine regular seasons and then going home early in the playoffs, such as last year’s exit at the hands of Pittsburgh when they self destructed. As a side note to that game, Vontaze Burfict will miss the first three contests of the new season with a suspension. The team lost offensive coordinator Hue Jackson to Cleveland, where he’s the new head coach and Reggie Nelson also left town. Ken Zampese takes over from Jackson this year. On the bright side, coach Marvin Lewis has acquired the services of wide receiver Tyler Boyd after fellow receivers Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones departed. If quarterback Andy Dalton plays up to par the Bengals may make the playoffs.
Online NFL Betting Lines – Cleveland Browns:
- 2015 Record: 6-10 (4th in AFC North)
- Predicted 2016/17 finish: 4-12 fourth place
- Odds of winning Super Bowl: 150/1
There was a lot of activity in Cleveland during the offseason with Hue Jackson taking over as head coach after leaving Cincinnati and then naming newcomer Robert Griffin III as his starting quarterback. Running backs Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson will help the offense along with wide receiver Josh Gordon and Terrelle Pryor. Ray Horton is back as the team’s defensive coordinator and he’s got a big job ahead of him as Cleveland’s defense was among the NFL’s worst last year. They have some good defensive prospects though with the likes of former first-rounders Joe Haden, Justin Gilbert and Danny Shelton. Also leaving the Browns in the offseason was Alex Mack. Cleveland should do slightly better this season.
by Ian S. Palmer