The Bengals won in thrilling fashion on Sunday and the win has now placed them in a tie for the third best Super Bowl odds. This was a statement game and now the national media along with Vegas is considering the Bengals as real contenders for the Lombardi. On the flip side, the Seahawks fell from 7/1 to 12/1 with their loss to the Bengals. If you look down the Bengals' schedule, they have a good chance at going 9-0 before they are possibly an underdog again. The next game that they could be an underdog, barring an injury, will be the game versus the Arizona Cardinals. I fully expect this team's odds to continue to slowly improve as they continue to win.
How is the NFC favored by 2.5 points for the Super Bowl when we don't even know the teams? Well, that has to do with two things. There are four teams in the top seven from the NFC and the Packers are the league's overall favorite. Vegas then assumes if one of those teams makes the title game, then they will be a slight favorite.
The strong start of the Bengals and the slow/disappointing start of the Colts has the Bengals only behind the Patriots to win the AFC conference. This would likely be closer, but the Patriots have Super Bowl pedigree and the Bengals have no recent postseason success. The fact that the Bengals are as high as they are show just how good they have looked so far.
It's also funny how the national perception can help you make money in Vegas. Teams like the Steelers, Patriots, Broncos, Ravens, and Colts usually open the season with better odds than their rosters should warrant. This is because the casual better that waltzes into Vegas knows those team names and their Super Bowl winning quarterbacks. The money that is placed on them in the offseason causes the lines to get lowered because Vegas really just wants even money distribution so that they can make their 10 percent rake. This means teams like the Bengals, Falcons, and Panthers are better teams to bet on preseason because you are getting better odds. For instance the Bengals were +220 to win the division before the season started. This means if you bet $100 you will win $220 on that bet. Now that they are a virtual lock to win the division they are 2/9. That means you have to bet $90 to win $20, which is a stark difference from what you would have gotten in the preseason. This is basically Vegas' way of making them unbettable, so that money will come in on the other teams and they won't lose money on their end.
As the Bengals keep winning, their Vegas odds will keep improving.