The Cincinnati Bengals are 40:1 Odds to Win Super Bowl XLVII

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals reacts against the Houston Texans during their 2012 AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Reliant Stadium on January 7, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

This years Super Bowl may be over, but the gambling never stops. Super Bowl XLVII's odds are already out and the Cincinnati Bengals are going off at 40:1. The rest of the list, from http://www.bovada.lv/, is as follows:

2013 SUPER BOWL XLVII ODDS

Green Bay Packers 6/1

New England Patriots 7/1

New Orleans Saints 8/1

Philadelphia Eagles 12/1

Pittsburgh Steelers 12/1

Houston Texans 12/1

Baltimore Ravens 14/1

New York Giants 15/1

San Diego Chargers 16/1

New York Jets 16/1

San Francisco 49ers 18/1

Dallas Cowboys 18/1

Detroit Lions 18/1

Atlanta Falcons 22/1

Chicago Bears 30/1

Arizona Cardinals 30/1

Miami Dolphins 35/1

Cincinnati Bengals 40/1

Indianapolis Colts 50/1

Tennessee Titans 40/1

Oakland Raiders 50/1

Carolina Panthers 50/1

Denver Broncos 50/1

Kansas City Chiefs 50/1

Seattle Seahawks 60/1

Buffalo Bills 60/1

Washington Redskins 60/1

Minnesota Vikings 75/1

St. Louis Rams 75/1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 75/1

Cleveland Browns 100/1

Jacksonville Jaguars 100/1


The Underrated

San Francisco 49ers - Minus a fumbled punt, plus one big play and San Francisco is in the Super Bowl instead of the Champion Giants--and that all happened under a first year coach of a team that wasn't allowed an offseason! What won them 13 games in the regular season was defense, and with most everyone returning, there's no reason to believe they won't be just as dominant on that side of the ball in 2012 as well. Also, remember that this team plays in the NFC West, so getting to the playoffs shouldn't be much of an issue.

This team outgunned the Saints...18:1 is a steal.

Chicago Bears - There was a point during 2011 that no team, other than the Packers, was playing better football than the Chicago Bears. Through week 11 they were 7-3, already through the most difficult stretch of their schedule, and looked like the team that was finally going to knock off Green Bay. Then Jay Cutler got hurt. Then Matt Forte got hurt. And it all fell apart. But with a healthy squad once again, the Bears are definitely a team to keep your eye on. They played in the NFC Championship just two seasons ago, and its more than plausible they advance even further in 2012.

The Overrated

San Diego Chargers - An 8-8 team in 2011, the Chargers imploded mid-season and never recovered. Philip Rivers threw 20 interceptions and Antonio Gates dealt with health issues all season, and it's likely those problems will improve as will their record. But still, this is more or less the same Chargers team notorious for playoff failure and that has struggled mightily the past two seasons despite their talent. Oh, and Norv Turner is still their head coach.

Arizona Cardinals - The Cardinals, at 30:1, ranks on this list as the 16th most likely team to win the Super Bowl. That ranks higher than Cincinnati, Tennessee, Denver and Oakland. The ranks even with Chicago. What is Vegas seeing that I'm not? Has the John Sketlon/Kevin Kolb platoon won them over? Or was it their mediocre 18th ranked defense?

Let's look at what else works against Arizona...

  • They play in the same conference as the Green Bay Packers, the New Orleans Saints, the San Francisco 49ers--three of the top five teams in the NFL--and the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. Any road to the playoffs must go through that gauntlet.
  • Their starting running back, Beanie Wells, is inconsistent and injury prone.
  • As of this moment, they do not have an opening day starting quarterback
That last point is interesting because of a certain soon-to-be free agent quaterback from Indianapolis. Without a clear #1 quarterback, Arizona is very much in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, and initially I thought that must be the reason for their relatively high Super Bowl odds. But Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager Kevin Bradley cleared up that confusion with the following statement:
"With Peyton Manning's situation it has made setting next year's Super Bowl Odds very difficult and a reason you will see teams like Arizona and Miami at lower odds than what they would be in case Manning signs there. As for the Colts, even though there is a slim chance he stays they are at 50-1 but if he does leave will shoot up to around 100-1 and if stays would drop down to around 15-1, just goes to show the importance of a guy like Peyton."


Miami Dolphins : This one might even be more bewildering. The Dolphins finished 2011 with a record of 6-10, but it was only even that good because fill-in quarterback Matt Moore played the best football of his life. Moore already had several years of NFL experience under his belt before 2011 and was widely accepted as an abysmal quarterback. Is his success really sustainable? Even if it is, what else does this team have that gives them 35:1 Super Bowl chances instead of 75:1 chances? Reggie Bush? A new head coach? They only won six games!

The Cincinnati Bengals are 40:1, 18th highest odds in the NFL. Is it fair? Yes to 40:1, no to there being 17 better teams. The positives of the team are clear--youth, potential, phenomenally talented core, etc--but it is the negatives that make the odds as high as they are:

  • This team is a very young team with a lot of maturing to do. Andy Dalton has shown that he can be a franchise quarterback, but at times last season he played like a rookie. He can't do that next season.
  • Vegas and the common gambler may not be willing to bet on a team with so many questions. Will they mature and improve from last season? Will Dalton go through the dreaded "sophomore slump"? When will this team finally win another playoff game?
  • Yes, this team did make the playoffs last season. But they did not beat a playoff team all season, and the only winning team they defeated was the less than impressive Tennessee Titans. The Bengals need to show they can beat the elite teams before they earn their status as title contenders.
  • The Cincinnati Bengals are a historically bad franchise. Zero Super Bowl titles, no playoff wins since 1990 and several pitiful season in the meantime. The "Bengals" brand is not one that too many people are high on.
All Bengal fans should be happy about 40:1 odds anyway. It's just that much more money to win after a Cincinnati Super Bowl XLVII championship.

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