Cincinnati Bengals Betting Odds: Tough to Improve on Last Season

Bengals Have Difficult Task to Repeat

Every team in the NFL would be thrilled to have the season that the Cincinnati Bengals had in 2021. After going 4-11-1 in 2020, Zac Taylor’s team improved to 10-7 and had a thrilling run through the AFC postseason until the Bengals fell to the stacked Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl. Now comes the hard part: Doing it all again. The Cincinnati Bengals betting odds like their chances to compete for another division title and possibly a second-straight AFC championship but the AFC North, and conference in general, are both improved, especially at the top.

When looking at the Bengal’s betting stats, there’s a lot of (justified) optimism that Cincinnati’s talented, and young, the core can put together yet another huge season. The Bengals’ over/under has jumped from 9.5 wins to 10 wins since April even though their “yes” odds to make the playoffs have fallen from -140 to -125. Their odds to win the AFC North, though, have improved, going from +225 to +200. It should be a two-team race between the Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens all year.

Offense Still Stacked

Joe Burrow is a bona fide superstar quarterback who is coming off a huge season in which he threw for over 4,600 yards with 34 touchdowns (and only 14 interceptions). He also boasts an incredible supporting cast, headlined by Joe Mixon, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins. Losing tight end C.J. Uzomah certainly hurts but the Bengals replaced him with Hayden Hurst, so they should be pretty good at that position. Plus, the offensive line (which was a weakness all year) – is completely revamped with La’el Collins, Alex Kappa, and Ted Karras. That’s a lot of talent up front.

The Bengals’ offensive stats weren’t all that incredible; seventh in points and 13th in yards, but the improved O-line and continued progression from all their young stars could make the unit a top-five group in 2022. The ground game is a particular area of huge potential growth even though it was already elite in 2021. The combo of Mixon and Samaje Perine led the seventh-best rushing attack in terms of yardage and it was third in yards per carry. A more stout offensive line will only open up more room for both of them.

Defense Must Improve

When a team has a relatively mediocre defense, it can be a positive (or negative) that much of that group will be the same from year to year. This is the case for the Bengals, who only really lost defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi and cornerback Trae Waynes during the offseason. On the other hand, Cincinnati didn’t make any big moves on that side of the ball, outside of spending a bunch of Round 1-3 picks on guys who slot in as defensive backups.

The Cincinnati Bengals betting odds depend on the Bengals being better than the 17th-best scoring defense and 18th-best yardage defense in 2022. The pass defense numbers were really bad as Cincinnati gave up the seventh-most passing yards in the NFL and was 21st in yards allowed per pass attempt. The cornerbacks struggled during the regular season and, even though the entire defense stepped up in the postseason, there are reasons to be pessimistic about whether the defense can adequately support the strong offense again.

Ravens the Nemesis in the Division

As mentioned above, the Bengals’ top competition in the AFC North is going to be the Baltimore Ravens who should be a much tougher foe this season than they were during an injury-plagued 2021 season. If you bet on NFL games, taking both the Bengals and Ravens to hit their season overs is a good idea but, of course, only one team can come out on top in the division.

With their extremely well-balanced offensive attack, the smart pick is still the Bengals even with a healthy Lamar Jackson primed to have another big year. The Cincinnati Bengals betting odds took a slight hit over the past few months, basically due to the solid offseason Baltimore had… even with the big dips taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns.

But, based on the Bengals’ postseason success and the clear emergence of Burrow, Mixon, and Chase as perennial All-Pro options at their respective positions, Cincinnati might be a value bet for the division (+200), the conference (+1000), and even the Super Bowl (+2000). It’s not easy to repeat but the Bengals lost much less talent than Super Bowl participants typically do, which is another reason to expect big things.

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