NFL Betting 2012-13: Division-by-division ratings for every team in the AFC

The nuts? Dalton could be set for a big year at Cincinnati (with our apologies for the anglo-centric word play)

With less than a week to go before the season curtain-raiser, Luca Bercelli methodically applies his punting brain to every team in the American Football Conference...

"With running back Chris Johnson fully focused and improvement at the QB spot in the form of Jake Locker Tennessee could be worth a nibble at the current 6.05/1."

AFC East
New England Patriots - 1.341/3 to win division, 7.613/2 to win Super Bowl

The Pats are a skinny 1.341/3 to top this division but they're short for a good reason and it would be a brave man to bet against them. They went to the big show last year despite defensive frailties; a problem they addressed in the draft. This is a team with almost more ticks than boxes, and if you throw in the best coach in the league, which Bill Belichick undoubtedly is, they are going to be formidable opponents. An easy schedule cements the deal so they can't really be opposed in this division.

New York Jets - 8.07/1 to win division, 60.059/1 to win Super Bowl
I hate to admit that the Planes are my team because they're something of a laughing stock, which is a shame as they've got a great defence and a masterful defensive coach. Unfortunately that defensive coach, Rex Ryan, is also the head coach. Touchdowns have been scarce during pre-season (one in four matches!) and the sooner Tim Tebow takes over at QB from Mark Sanchez the better. Unpredictable, and could sneak into second place but shouldn't trouble the Pats.

Buffalo Bills - 7.26/1 to win division, 70.069/1 to win Super Bowl
The Bills have developed a losing habit which has seen them with their feet up during the post-season for the last 13 years. Big off-season acquisitions have created a potentially devastating defensive line but second-tier quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will need to push on and start using his Harvard-educated brain if he's to justify his mega-contract. The 7.26/1 to win the division is about right but, really, they are playing for second place.

Miami Dolphins - 15.014/1 to win division, 310.0309/1 to win Super Bowl
The Fish were the pre-season stars of reality TV show Hard Knocks; lucky for them, because they're not going to star in much else this season. A rookie quarterback, not much in the way of receivers and a new coaching staff all add up to a classic rebuilding phase. Odds of 15.014/1 are not in the least bit tempting.


AFC North
Baltimore Ravens - 2.789/5 to win division, 22.021/1 to win Super Bowl

It was no disgrace to lose to the Pats in the play-offs last year and even though they've lost a big player in Terrell Suggs to injury, the QB spot is more solid with Joe Flacco growing in confidence. He's been much criticised but I like his poise in the pocket and I expect him to have a successful year.

Pittsburgh Steelers - 2.26/5 to win division, 22.021/1 to win Super Bowl
Their dominant defence will keep them in the hunt but without a proven running game and big Ben Roethlisberger a good bet to get injured, 2.26/5 is too short for comfort.

Cincinnati Bengals - 6.25/1 to win division, 65.064/1 to win Super Bowl
Making the pro-bowl and the play-offs in your first year as a quarterback doesn't often happen by accident, and is no mean feat. Andy Dalton did both and is threatening to get even better in year two. With a potentially lethal defence to back him up this team could be a big surprise package and 6.25/1 to win the division whilst not great value, has just about managed to reel us in.

Cleveland Browns - 34.033/1 to win division, 320.0319/1 to win Super Bowl
You have to feel sorry for Browns fans; they've had a dismal decade when nothing much went right for them. They also happen to be in the most defensively talented division around - not a great fit for their inexperienced and below-par offence. The struggles are set to continue so avoid the 34.033/1 at all costs.


AFC South
Houston Texans - 1.331/3 to win division, 11.010/1 to win Super Bowl

This division is not as clear-cut as the betting would imply. The Texans are worthy of favouritism but 1.331/3 is not a bet that I'd have, even with your money. Yes it's a weak division and they should win it, but I don't see them as rock-solid as the Pats.

Indianapolis Colts - 20.019/1 to win division, 220.0219/1 to win Super Bowl
Exit Peyton Manning - enter Andrew Luck, the number one draft pick and many experts' idea of the next big thing under centre. In time that's quite possible, but it won't be this season, even in a division that isn't the strongest. Should be fun to watch but 20.019/1 just about sums up their chances.

Tennessee Titans - 6.05/1 to win division, 120.0119/1 to win Super Bowl
With running back Chris Johnson fully focused and improvement at the QB spot in the form of Jake Locker these boys could be worth a nibble at the current 6.05/1.

Jacksonville Jaguars - 19.5 to win division, 370.0369/1 to win Super Bowl
Good defence, bad offence. One minus one equals zero! Avoid.


AFC West
Denver Broncos - 2.829/5 to win division, 20.019/1 to win Super Bowl

The only aspect of the Broncos season I'd be putting money on is Peyton Manning to have a below par year. He's at a new team, liable to get injured again and is certainly no spring chicken. Even in the weak AFC West all of that adds up to 2.829/5 being the worst price in any division.

San Diego Chargers - 3.3512/5 to win division, 40.039/1 to win Super Bowl
Would have been of interest had crucial injuries not hurt them pre-season. That's enough for me to look elsewhere.

Oakland Raiders - 6.25/1 to win division, 100.099/1 to win Super Bowl

By the law of averages the Raiders are due a decent season and if running back Darren McFadden stays healthy the eye-patch bad-boys have a real shot, and could nick top spot in a tight division. Carson Palmer is no mug at QB and he'll roll with any early momentum. There are a lot worse 6.25/1 shots in the world of sports betting than this lot.

Kansas City Chiefs - 4.47/2 to win division, 60.059/1 to win Super Bowl
Slumped to last place in the division last year and although impressive in pre-season, we all know what that means... nada. Plenty of weapons for QB Cassel to orchestrate but the problem isn't them, it's what he sees when he looks in the mirror.


Recommended Bets
AFC East - No Bet
AFC North - Back Cincinnati Bengals 6.25/1
AFC South - Back Tennessee Titans 6.05/1
AFC West - Back Oakland Raiders 6.25/1

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