The Bengals will be launching the Joe Burrow era on Sept. 13th against the Chargers (unless the start of the season is delayed). It is a date that many Cincinnati fans will be looking forward to, but it appears the oddsmakers aren’t fans of the Bengals.
At least in Week 1. Fox Bet has the Bengals as four-point underdogs against the Chargers.
This is obviously a matter of way too early predictions but what it does show is where the perception of Cincinnati currently is with the oddsmakers. For those who aren’t aware, the home team is usually viewed more favorably in the odds. You only ever see the away team favored when they are viewed as substantially better.
That isn’t exactly surprising as the Bengals are a pretty big wild card after drafting Burrow. How quickly will the rookie quarterback acclimate to the NFL? That will have a huge barring on how the lines are set for the Bengals going forward.
There is still plenty of time for this to change though. The Chargers also have a bit of a quarterback competition with Tyrod Taylor and first round pick Justin Herbert. Right now it seems like the oddsmakers expect Taylor to be the starter, and if Herbert is announced to win the competition that should drastically change things. It is also very possible we see several injuries and how teams present themselves during the preseason could also have some barring.
It is hard to imagine we see the same team that could only gather two wins last season, and they should quickly gain some respect with how well they play. They were already close in a lot of their games last season despite having a roster riddled with injuries.
If they are able to keep even most of their key player healthy, they could have a big surprise for everyone in Week 1. That would go a long way to actually being favored in games during 2020.