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Bengals get no respect in new odds to win the AFC North

It is no secret that the Bengals aren’t favorites to win the AFC North but just how bad are their odds?

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

It is fair to say the Bengals shouldn’t be favorites to win the AFC North.

They have seemingly improved quite a bit through coaching changes while adding a few new players, but when you have a team like Pittsburgh who is looked at as one of the top teams in the AFC and even NFL, it is hard to get that kind of respect without showing anything yet.

It is surprising to see just how bad the odds of the Bengals winning the AFC North are.

The Bengals are viewed as being closer to the Browns than the Ravens in that, and that is really off base. Sure, the Ravens finished 9-7, but the Bengals split their games last year. Cincinnati also beat them with a chance to go to the playoffs finishing 7-9 after starting 0-3.

Looking at the Ravens’ changes, there isn’t a ton of confidence to be gained. There is plenty of change, but unless someone is assuming they switch quarterbacks, it is frustrating to see them so far from the Bengals.

The Browns have made plenty of improvements after cashing out on money ball with a new regime in charge. However, Hue Jackson is still the head coach. I know he didn’t have the most talented roster to work with the last two seasons, but you don’t win one game in two seasons by accident.

To put the Bengals that low is very frustrating and telling about how the oddsmakers feel about Cincinnati heading into next season. Even after getting Cordy Glenn and Billy Price to help sure up the offensive line, which was easily their biggest issue last season, the Bengals still aren’t viewed as a contender.

Then again, the Bengals have always been known for doing well when no one believes in them before the season. Their good seasons have routinely come during years when no one thought they’d do much.

When Andy Dalton and A.J. Green first came to town one analyst even predicted they’d go 0-16. Of course, that kicked off the first of five straight playoff seasons for the Bengals.

It is somewhat fair for outsiders to have their doubts. On paper, not much has changed. Marvin Lewis is still in town and Andy Dalton is still the quarterback. The impact we haven’t seen yet is the change in coaching.

Players have talked nonstop about how these coaching changes have given them an adrenaline boost and really motivated them. When you think about it, plenty of this roster has never really experienced a huge overhaul on the offensive or defensive side before, so it could create a similar change to switching head coaches.

It also doesn’t help that the Bengals haven’t beaten the Steelers in their last six meetings. That obviously doesn’t help their chances of winning the division.

Sometimes, though, it feels better to be a fan of a underdog. It makes it that much more satisfying when your team actually plays well. It also doesn’t feel as bad when they struggle.

Hopefully, the Bengals can prove the odd makers wrong and surprise everyone by winning the AFC North this season. It would probably be the best remedy for all the ill feelings these past two seasons.