With the NFL betting season starting in less than two weeks, let’s take a look at the some teams who made the playoffs last year, but have the potential to bust this season.
All odds according to Pinnacle and Bodog.
Philadelphia Eagles (+395 to win NFC East, +1155 to win NFC) – 2009 Record: 11-5, Wild Card. It’ll be very difficult for the Eagles to repeat the kind of record this season for these new look Eagles. Kevin Kolb is a decent replacement for Donovan McNabb, but doesn’t possess as good of a deep ball, limiting DeSean Jackson’s abilities. The defense ranked in the bottom half in scoring last season, and will need to be better this year. The division expects to be the best in football, with all four teams having a legitimate shot at the playoffs, and with one Wild Card likely to come out of the NFC North, the Eagles will have to be at least the second best team in the division in hopes of making the playoffs. The opening game against Green Bay will be a good test to prove whether this team has what it takes to reach the playoffs.
New York Jets (+132 to win AFC East, +634 to win AFC) – 2009 Record: 9-7, Wild Card. A lot of people are high on the Jets this year, and it makes sense. They made it to the AFC Championship game last season, have the top defense in the league, and made some significant offseason additions. But look a little deeper and it’s possible to see that the Jets might not offer as much value as it appears. The schedule this year will give them problems, with three of their first five games against playoff teams (Patriots, Ravens, and Vikings). Mark Sanchez didn’t prove that he was a threat at all last year, throwing for just 12 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, and will need to be more consistent this year for the Jets to make the playoffs. And let’s not forget that after being 7-7 last year, the Jets were basically gift-wrapped a playoff berth when Cincinnati and Indianapolis rested their starters. The Jets are a good team, and could make the playoffs, but this division has three teams with playoff potential, so they aren’t a safe bet. There are too many teams that have just as good of a chance at making the playoffs in the AFC and offer much better value (e.g. Ravens, Texans, Titans, and Dolphins).
Cincinnati Bengals (+364 to win AFC North, +1485 to win AFC) – 2009 Record: 10-6, AFC North Champion. The Bengals surprised everyone last year by winning the AFC North. But don’t expect it to happen again this year. Last season, everything went right for the Bengals: Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco returned to form after down years, while Cedric Benson had a career year. Not to mention that the Bengals had a very favorable schedule after finishing 3rd in the division in 2008. This year, however, will be different, as the Bengals have a much more difficult schedule. Their first two games are at New England and home to Baltimore, which means it is possible that this team starts 0-2. Also, they miss out on the Ben Roethlisberger suspension, with both of their games against the Steelers scheduled for after Big Ben’s return. The Bengals also have games against the Colts, Saints, Jets, and Chargers. The addition of Terrell Owens will help, but this schedule is too hard for any team to have success with.
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