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2005 AFC North Football Preview
In the AFC North I expect to see the Pittsburgh Steelers who posted a mark of 16-2 straight up and 11-7 ATS overall last season to win a close divisional battle over the Baltimore Ravens who finished up their 2004 campaign with a 9-7 straight up and ATS mark and over a much improved Cincinnati Bengal team that finished with an 8-8 straight up record for the second straight year in 2004, the Brownies once again look to pull up the rear in what should prove to be the toughest division in the NFL in 2005.
Pittsburgh has a tough row to hoe this season, the Steelers only have five games on the 2005 docket against 2004 playoff teams but four of those affairs take place on the road and that includes Monday Night road games at San Diego and at Indianapolis, overall the Steelers will play 10 of their 16 games against teams that posted .500 records or better last year, thus the reason for the projected drop off in regular season wins.
Like most teams Pittsburgh lost quite a bit of talent to free agency, most notably the Steelers lost a total of five linemen along their offensive and defensive fronts which could cause depth problems if the ole injury bug hits and those losses were in addition to star WR Plaxico Burress departing to the big apple to play catch with Eli Manning.
Baltimore has a very favorable schedule with regard to playing seven games against playoff teams from a year ago, however, five of those seven affairs will take place in Baltimore and two of those games are against dome teams (Vikes and Colts). The Ravens drafted WR Mark Clayton out of Oklahoma and overall had the best draft of any team in the AFC North, the free agent addition of WR Derrick Mason from the Titans along with the drafting of WR Clayton should bolster a stagnant Raven passing attack that was fully exposed last season.
The Bengals finished 2004 with an 8-8 straight up record for the second straight year under HC Marvin Lewis, Bengal faithful should be overjoyed with their seasonal finishes over the past couple of years when considering that these same Bengals posted a total of 8 wins combined during their 2001 and 2002 campaigns.
With QB Carson Palmer starting his second full season under center and weapons WR Chad Johnson and RB Rudi Johnson happy with new contracts, Cincinnati has all of the pieces on offense to make the playoffs in 2005, the Bengal's major malfunction during their 2004 campaign was their run defense but the drafting of Georgia DE David Pollack who will play LB for the Bengals and Georgia LB Odell Thurman should correct that problem.
A new era starts in Cleveland Brownie land with the arrival of new HC Romeo Crennell who replaces ousted Butch Davis, the Brownies are actually an expansion team once again when considering that they have a totally new front office, totally new coaching staff and have replaced most of their offensive and defensive starters, the saving grace is that the new QB will be experienced retread Trent Dilfer who should be able to provide much needed leadership.
The Brownies added a lot of talent via the free agent market and actually had a pretty good draft which was highlighted with WR Braylon Edwards as their top choice, but in the big scheme of things there has been way too much turnover in this organization to expect much in 2005, look to play the Brownies whenever a home doggie of more than a FG after week four of the regular season, by this time the team should start to gel a little and the public won't be ready for the opportunity.
In closing, the AFC North is a three horse race between Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Baltimore for the top spot, the difference maker will probably be who catches the ole injury bug and who avoids it, with that being said Pittsburgh gets the nod to win the division because of their depth at the QB and RB positions.
With regard to betting opportunities, Pittsburgh played 12 non divisional games in 2004 and went 6-6 ATS in those affairs, a closer look see reveals that the Steelers were a betting underdog in five of the six non divisional games they covered, meanwhile, the Steelers were favorites in five of the six non divisional games they failed to cover.
In other words as a dog playing a non divisional game the Steelers were virtually a sure bet to cover the spread, however, as a favorite in a non divisional game the Steelers had a tough time getting it up and hence proved to be almost a sure bet to NOT cover the posted number, a check backward in time reveals that these Steelers have failed to cover 6 of the past 7 times they have taken to the road as a favorite of six points or less against a non divisional opponent?things that make you go hmmmmm!!
Jim Campbell is one of the nations most respected Sports Handicappers, he specializes in College and Pro Football, you can visit Jim at his website located at footballforecastor.com for all of your handicapping needs including free play selections, College and NFL stats, trends and award winning analysis on upcoming games.
With over 30 plus years experience in the handicapping profession Jim has built a solid reputation, his web based handicapping service at footballforecastor.com as been in existence since 1997 and year after year proves to be one of the very best handicapping services in America.
Internet Poker - 13 Rules to Follow
Add bad poker players to your buddy listPlaying poker is much nicer to play against bad players than good players. If you find a bad player add him/her to your buddy list.
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What's one of the most common dreams for a an online poker player? It's playing good online poker for free. You can play the poker games you like the most and don't spend a cent.
The Secrets of Martingale Systems
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It probably more appropriate to call slot machines entertainment than gambling, as the house always - and we mean always - has an edge with slot machines.The average slot machine payout ranges from an average of 85% to 99% of all coins bet.
The Adventure for Poker Gold
From the drama TILT made by ESPN to the deal Chris Moneymaker signed with Death Row Records to create Moneymaker Gaming, business continues to create strange bedfellows. Everyone seems to be trying to find the pot of gold at the end of the poker rainbow.
Compulsive Gambling and Gambling Addiction
Not many people argue that gambling and playing at casinos is great fun, especially when you have hit a winning streak and feel yourself confident. Some casino games require skill besides luck, so you may think that more you learn these games the more you're going to win, depending on what's your game.
Four Tips for Online Poker - Tells, Mixing it Up, Preflop Rasies and Changing Gears
Tip One: Mix Up Your Play: Once you have mastered the fundamentals of a particular game (for the purpose of this article we'll use No Limit Texas Hold'em) it's very easy to lapse into predictable play. This is particularly true when playing online.
Texas Holdem Poker Legends
Stu Ungar is considered by most to the greatest No Limit Texas Holdem Poker player ever.The three times World Poker Champion was born in New York in 1953 and began playing poker before reaching his teens.
Tips & Strategies for Slot Players
1. Always play with money you can afford to lose.
Want to Know the Roulette Bet With the Best Odds?
Play on European Tables OnlyRoulette wheels can divided into 37 (European) or 38 (American) numbered slots depending on whether there are one or two zeros on the wheel marked 0 and 00. 37 numbered slots give the house a 2.
A Game For All Seasons
An overall review of online casino software has led me to question the objective behind Microgaming's constant release of new games and titles. Considering the fact that Microgaming Systems is one of the biggest and the leading software provider on the Internet, it is their game which have led to their award-winning reputation in the industry, but this does not explain the phenomenon that occurs every few months.
Top 5 Reasons - Should You be Gambling Online?
Why is online gambling the latest craze to hit the Internet? Let's face it the casino business is big bucks. Games played for money have found their way into any permitting city across the world.
The Secrets of the Hard Ways
6-max Texas Limit Holdem: Pre-Flop Play
Position is even more important in 6-max play than in a normal full ring game. The 6-max variation is generally played more aggressively and the battle for control starts right from the beginning.
Casino Gambling Tips for Online Gambling
Casino gambling tips for the Internet are good to know because betting at an online casino is a little different from a land based casino. For one when playing slots, how can you tell if the odds online are good or not? Do you know what the casino requires for play before cashing out winnings? When selecting to play over the Internet for the first time you should keep the following in mind:Read payout percentage reports for the best oddsPriceWaterhouseCoopers is the prominent accountant in the field of analyzing the game odds for online casinos.
The History of Roulette
The term "Roulette" is derived from a French word meaning small wheel. The origin of Roulette is not very clear.
Bingo is one of the most simple and general game of all times. Be it children's party, classrooms, charity functions or a simple time pass, Bingo finds it place everywhere.
The Slot Machine
The very first slot machine (called 'Liberty Bell') was created by a man called Charles Fay from his workshop in San Francisco in 1887. Slightly smaller than today's average slot machines, Liberty Bell contained 3 reels and 20 symbols and operated pretty much in the same way as today's slot machines.
3 Great Tips To Make More Money Playing Online Poker
There are three very important things that you should have in mind before playing online poker. First you should know how to choose a table, second you should know were to sit at the table you choose and last but not least you should know when to live the table.
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