County western singer Darius Rucker said, “There’s two seasons of year for me: Football season, and waiting for football season. Well, with NFL training camps opening this weekend, the beginning of a new season is almost upon us.
According to the folks at the Bovada Online Sportsbook, the Pittsburgh Steelers have the best odds in the AFC North to make it to Super Bowl 49 in Phoenix, Arizona at 33-1 with the Baltimore Ravens next in the division at 40-1. The Cincinnati Bengals are also listed at 40-1 while the Cleveland Browns are one of the long shots at 75-1.
Black and Gold quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is in a three-way tie with Chiefs’ running back Jamaal Charles and Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch at 50-1 to win the National Football League’s Most Valuable Player award. That is good for 19th best on the board. The favorite is Denver quarterback Peyton Manning at 3-1 while Green Bay signal caller Aaron Rodgers is second at 6-1.
The oddsmakers seem to think that some of Pittsburgh’s rookies will make a difference like linebacker Ryan Shazier, defensive end Stephon Tuitt, running back Dri Archer, and wide receiver Montavis Bryant.
Also, the pick-up of veteran free agents like wide receiver Lance Moore from the Saints, safety Mike Mitchell from the Panthers, and defensive end Cam Thomas from the Chargers could possibly help get the squad back to the playoffs.
In a little bit of a surprise, it is the Denver Broncos, whom Seattle embarrassed to bring home the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl 48, that is the over-all favorite, at 13-2.
The defending champion Seahawks are second, at 7-1, followed by their NFC West rival San Francisco, at 15-2. The New England Patriots are fourth at 9-1, followed by the Green Bay Packers at 10-1 and at 14-1 are the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints. Rounding out the top ten, and tied with the Steelers, are the Detroit Lions at 33-1.
Although the odds are long against the teams in the AFC North, there are a few teams with worse odds: the Minnesota Vikings, the Oakland Raiders, and the Tennessee Titans are all at 100-1 to make it to Commissioner Roger Goodell’s party. The Jacksonville Jaguars have the worst odds out of 32 NFL teams at 250-1.