Typically when a team reaches a Super Bowl, they become favorites — or one of the favorites to win the conference again — the following season. For the Cincinnati Bengals and their improved roster, that isn’t the case with the 2022 season just a few months away.
You can point to their additions in the offensive line room and in the secondary as a couple of reasons why oddsmakers should be bullish on the Bengals.
They also reside in the AFC which got exponentially more difficult — especially in the AFC West. With Baltimore back to being healthy, they’ve become a key hurdle for the Bengals before it appeared the Cleveland Browns were making some noise now their quarterback situations is among the cloudiest in the NFL.
There’s plenty of reason the Bengals will improve on their 10-7 performance in the regular season a year ago, yet the oddsmakers don’t quite see it that way. According to SI Sportsbook, the Bengals have an over / under of just 9.5 wins for 2022 — putting them right on par with last season’s production.
Not only that, but SI Sportsbook has them in a three-way tie with the Ravens and Browns at +200 to win the AFC North. Being on par with the Ravens is understandable, but the Browns and all of their issues at the moment? Yikes.
And while SI Sportsbook doesn’t have game lines quite yet (I mean, it is June …), there are quite a few over on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Not all the Bengals games are represented but they already have Cincinnati listed as underdogs in three key games with three more being “pick ems.” On the road against Dallas (+2.5), Baltimore (+1), and Tampa Bay (+3) then at Tennessee and home against Kansas City and Buffalo are all “pick em” games.
For a team coming off a Super Bowl appearance and two wins over the Chiefs in a span of four weeks last January, that seems somewhat disrespectful.
The Bengals do have a brutal stretch to end the season. They go to Tennessee, take on the Chiefs and Browns at home, then go on the road for matchups against the Buccaneers and Patriots, before finishing the season against the Bills and Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Bengals have experience, which is one thing that many of their foes in the AFC are lacking. In spite of such a young core, Cincinnati gained massive experience last season that can be built off of moving forward. Outside of the Chiefs, who represented the AFC in the Super Bowl the previous two years — teams like the Ravens, Bills, Raiders, Broncos, and Titans don’t have the knowledge of how to get deep into the playoffs or contend for a Super Bowl.
You could argue that the Ravens and Raiders have that experience from a coaching standpoint with both John Harbaugh and Josh McDaniels having won Super Bowls in the past, but the players constructed on their roster don’t. In the playoffs, it’s a different world and one that you don’t know how to navigate until you’ve visited before. Now, the Bengals roster is loaded with players that have been there or have won it in the past — and that experience is priceless.
Once the season inches closer, many of these lines will begin to shift and some may do so towards the Bengals. For now, if you’re the betting type, it would behoove you to take advantage of some of these favorable lines the Bengals have — like +200 to win the division or +1200 to win the AFC. They’re behind the Bills, Chiefs, Broncos, Chargers, Colts, Ravens, and Browns.
Yes, despite their 2021 success, the Cincinnati Bengals are still way too heavily slept on. For more on the team, watch the video below and subscribe to our YouTube Channel.