Entering the 2021 NFL season, the Cincinnati Bengals were 125-to-1 to win the Super Bowl. To illustrate how low the expectations were for the Bengals before last season, just take a look at the teams who are 125-to-1 to win the Super Bowl this upcoming season: Carolina, Detroit, Jacksonville and the New York Jets.
While the Bengals didn't win the Super Bowl, they did shock the football world and make a run all the way to the big game. In fact, they had a lead in the Super Bowl until Cooper Kupp's touchdown with 1:25 left. It was a magical season for the Bengals and one that almost nobody saw coming.
Joe Burrow established himself as a franchise quarterback last season. Ja'Marr Chase broke rookie records and is already considered one of the top receivers in football. The Bengals made their mark on the national landscape last season. They will no longer be the underdog or overlooked this season. The expectations are much higher.
While the Bengals are far from the 125-to-1 long shots they were last offseason, they're also not one of the favorites. It seems like the consensus is that this team isn't quite as good as they were at the end of last season. Yahoo's Frank Schwab ranked the Bengals 10th in his preseason power rankings. The betting market seems to agree that while the Bengals should be good, they're not amongst the favorites to win the Super Bowl in 2022.
Can Bengals build on last season?
It's easy to forget after their playoff run, but the Cincinnati Bengals went just 10-7 in the regular season. It was the worst record for a division winner in football, and might not be as dominant a record as you'd expect from a team that made it all the way to the Super Bowl.
The Bengals' win total for the upcoming season is set at over/under 9.5 wins. While it may seem appealing to bet the reigning AFC champions to get to double digit wins, it's right in line with how the team performed last season. Bettors are siding with the Bengals, as 76% of the betting action is backing Cincinnati to go over 9.5 wins.
The Bengals are just -140 favorites to make the playoffs in 2022. Those odds say that Cincinnati makes the playoffs just over 58% of the time. It might seem a little low, but if you consider the improvements around the AFC, it makes sense. Oddsmakers are projecting the Bengals for right around ten wins, and that's usually around where the cut-off line is for a playoff spot.
The Bengals won the AFC North last season, but they aren't favorites to repeat that feat this upcoming season. The Bengals are +200 to win the division, the second best odds behind the Baltimore Ravens, who are +175. The Bengals are just ahead of the Browns, who are at +225. The Bengals are the most popular bet to win the division in terms of quantity of bets, but almost twice as much money has been wagered on the Ravens to this point.
According to the betting odds, the division is basically a coin flip between Baltimore, Cincinnati and Cleveland. Cincinnati is +200 to finish first or second, and +225 to finish third in the division. The Bengals and Ravens are favored to occupy the top two spots at +200. Cincinnati is a -190 favorite to finish in a top two spot in the division.
Cincinnati is 10-to-1 to be the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC. Those are the sixth best odds behind Buffalo, Kansas City, Denver, Los Angeles and Baltimore. They are 20-to-1 to have the most wins in football at the end of the regular season. Those odds are tied for 12th best with the Colts. The Bengals are 12-to-1 to lead the NFL in points scored this season, tied for the fifth best odds with the Rams and Cowboys.
Can the Bengals make another run to the Super Bowl?
Entering the 2022 NFL season, the Cincinnati Bengals are 20-to-1 to win the Super Bowl. Those odds are tied for tenth best with Cleveland and Baltimore, two of their fellow AFC North counterparts. Those 20-to-1 odds are certainly appealing for a team that was under two minutes away from winning the Super Bowl last year, but it also suggests that the betting market might not be big on a repeat of last season for Cincinnati.
After winning the AFC last year, the Bengals are 11-to-1 to repeat the feat this upcoming season. Those odds are fifth best in the conference, tied once again with the Browns and Ravens. Buffalo, Kansas City, Denver and the Chargers all have better odds.
Bengals player props and awards
A lot of Bengals' players exploded onto the national scene last year due to their magical postseason run. What does the betting market think of these players entering the 2022 season?
Joe Burrow captivated the heart of football fans last winter with his cool outfits and calm demeanor. On the football field, he established himself as a true franchise quarterback in just his second NFL season. As a result, Burrow is 12-to-1 to win the NFL MVP in 2022. Those odds are sixth best in the league, tied with Dak Prescott. Only Josh Allen, Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Aaron Rodgers have better odds than Burrow to win MVP. Burrow should be fully ready to go for the season opener after recent surgery on his appendix.
Burrow is 10-to-1 to lead the NFL in passing yards this upcoming season. Those odds are tied for fifth best with Derek Carr. Burrow finished sixth in the league last season. Burrow is just +900 to lead the league in passing touchdowns. Those are the fourth best odds behind only Herbert, Brady and Allen. He finished 8th in the category last season.
Burrow's over/under for passing yards this upcoming season is set at 4399.5 yards. He threw for over 4600 yards in 2021. His passing touchdown number is set at 34.5. Burrow had 34 last season.
Ja'Marr Chase broke most rookie receiving records last season, and a big sophomore season is expected for the Bengals wide receiver. Chase is +900 to lead the league in receiving, the third best odds behind only Cooper Kupp and Justin Jefferson. Chase finished fourth last season. He's also +900 to lead the league in receiving touchdowns. Those odds are tied for third best with Travis Kelce, Davante Adams and Jefferson. Chase is 30-to-1 to win offensive player of the year, making him an intriguing long shot bet.
In his rookie season, Chase had 81 receptions, 1455 receiving yards and 13 receiving touchdowns. His season-long props for this upcoming season are set at 84.5 receptions, 1199.5 receiving yards and 11.5 touchdowns.
While maybe he didn't generate as many waves as Burrow and Chase, Joe Mixon quietly had a very good season last year. After finishing third in rushing yards last year, Mixon is 14-to-1 to lead the NFL in rushing this upcoming season. Those odds are tied for 5th best with Elijah Mitchell. Mixon is 11-to-1 to lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns. Those odds are fourth best, tied with Najee Harris and Dalvin Cook. Mixon had the fourth most rushing touchdowns last season.
Mixon's over/under for rushing yards this upcoming season is set at 1049.5 yards. Mixon has gone over this number in all three seasons where he started at least 13 games. He had 1205 last season. His over/under for rushing touchdowns is set at 10.5 scores. He had 13 last season, but that's the only time in his career he's hit double digits.
The Bengals' offense gets a lot of attention, but on the defensive side, Trey Hendrickson had a great first season in Cincinnati. Entering 2022, Hendrickson is 40-to-1 to win NFL defensive player of the year. He's 12-to-1 to lead the league in sacks this upcoming season. Those odds are tied for third best with Aaron Donald. Hendrickson finished 5th in sacks last season with 14. His over/under for this upcoming season is set at 11.5 sacks.
Other Bengals players
Last season, Tee Higgins posted 74 receptions, 1091 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. His props for the upcoming season are set at 76.5 receptions, 999.5 receiving yards and 7.5 touchdowns. Higgins is 40-to-1 to lead the league in receiving. He finished 17th last season.
Tyler Boyd is about as good as it gets for a No. 3 receiver. His props for the upcoming season are set at 69.5 receptions, 799.5 receiving yards and 4.5 receiving touchdowns. He had just 67 receptions, but went over the three seasons before that. He had 828 receiving yards and has had at least 800 yards in four straight seasons. He had five touchdowns in 2021.
Zac Taylor received two votes for NFL coach of the year in 2021, but he's just 30-to-1 to win the award this upcoming season. Those odds are tied with reigning coach of the year Mike Vrabel, new Buccaneers' coach Todd Bowles and first year Bears' head coach Matt Eberflus.
Bengals open as big favorites
The Cincinnati Bengals open their 2022 season with a home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bengals are 6.5-point favorites over a Pittsburgh team that's expected to finish the season in the basement of the AFC North.
Last season, the Bengals went 2-0 against the Steelers. The game in Pittsburgh was close, with the Bengals winning by just four points. However, the game in Cincinnati was a rout, with the Bengals coming out on top by a score of 41-10.
I'm down on the Steelers entering this upcoming season and I think the Bengals will be motivated to prove last year's run was no fluke. I don't love laying a lot of points early in the season, but if I had to pick a side here, I'm laying the points with the Bengals assuming Joe Burrow is ready to go.