What is going on? The Steelers are two times as likely to win the Super Bowl than the Bengals. That currently how the desert has it, but that doesn't mean the Steelers are actually twice as likely to win.
As I have mentioned in the past, there are a lot of factors that come into play with betting odds. Those factors include the amount of money bet on a team. The Steelers' fanbase is massive and that adds into the equation. The have been the dark horse and twinkle in the eye of the national media for the last five weeks.
The massive publicity for their team also helps drive the odds because the casual fan making a bet will follow the media. These odds aren't going to factor in a lost running back in the final game of the season because the national media has already made up their mind on the Bengals losing this game. The thing that hurts the Bengals' odds is the uncertainty with Andy Dalton and when his return will come. I think the Bengals can and will win at home on Saturday with AJ McCarron against Pittsburgh, but going into New England and winning is a different story. Especially, when they will have the visiting locker room properly tapped with the extra week and the headsets won't not working as soon as the Bengals get their first possession (sorry I had to).
If the Bengals knew Dalton would be ready by next week, I think their odds would be better, but the uncertainty, long term playoff woes, and not having a huge fanbase (compared to other playoff teams) results in their low odds. Just consider in this playoff field you have one of the largest markets in the game, two of the largest fanbases, and a team that has been to the last two Super Bowls all these things factor in.
The next big change in the Super Bowl odds was New England was dropped as the favorite for the Cardinals. If a team like the Bengals had lost four of their last six games they wouldn't have even held the lead that long. Even after a blowout loss to Seattle the Cardinals are the favorite. Seattle might be the hotter team, but not having to play on wild card weekend is likely why the Cardinals have the edge. They can't lose and just as important they are much less likely to suffer a Super Bowl altering injury.
Current Odds to win Super Bowl 50 at BookMaker.eu
ARIZONA CARDINALS +375
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS +380
CAROLINA PANTHERS +410
DENVER BRONCOS +600
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS +600
PITTSBURGH STEELERS +1040
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS +1490
CINCINNATI BENGALS +2400
GREEN BAY PACKERS +2970
MINNESOTA VIKINGS +4000
WASHINGTON REDSKINS +5220
HOUSTON TEXANS +6670
When it comes to the playoffs and the odds of teams to go all the way, always remember the teams playing on the field only make up a part of the betting lines and there are lots of other outside influences. The Bengals are home underdogs, but that is because no one outside of Cincinnati trusts them to win a big game. If you look at the two rosters, the only position that really stands out as being better for Pittsburgh is quarterback, and that's due to Andy Dalton's injury.