The Cincinnati Bengals have a very good window at being a competitor for at least the next few seasons after showing what this young core is capable of. That window is so apparent that not even the oddsmakers can ignore Cincinnati's chances of running things back with a team that is even better.
It is important to note that these are the odds before free agency or the draft have even started gearing up.
Here are what some of the top betting sites think about the Bengals
- DraftKings Sportsbook: +1400
- FanDuel Sportsbook: +2000
- Caesar Sportsbook: +1400
- BetMGM Sportsbook: +1200
- Bovada Sportsbook: +1100
This is obviously a huge leap from when the Bengals were +15000 to win the Super Bowl last season, which made them one of the biggest Cinderella stories of all-time. These numbers now reflect one of the teams most likely to be in the big game.
One of the biggest reasons for this change was Cincinnati making it to Super Bowl LVI, but it goes beyond that. They did it by defeating the Kansas City Chiefs — often placed as the favorite to win the Super Bowl by these same sites — twice including in the AFC Championship hosted by Kansas City. They also knocked off a Tennessee Titans team that went into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed. This playoff run has to have people believing in this team.
Another huge reason, that goes along a bit with the previous point, people got to see that the Bengals defense is one of the best in the NFL. As much as we all love us some Joe Burrow and flashy offense, the defense was the biggest reason this team not only made it to the Super Bowl but almost won it as well. It was essentially constructed the past two seasons via free agents, so the doubt it would gel as well as it did wasn’t unfounded. The fact that unit has a chance to comeback with minimal changes and some more pass rush is pretty big.
The biggest thing that could increase Cincinnati’s odds is fairly obvious to everyone. They need to bring in at least a couple free agent offensive linemen to help give Burrow more time to scan the field. It also would help the team be more balanced if Joe Mixon didn’t always have to make defenders miss in the backfield. This offense has a great core, but that Achilles heel is far too noticeable. Luckily, the Bengals will have cap space after retaining key free agents to do just that.
It will really feel different going into a season again with expectations beyond ending a 30+ year drought of playoff wins. Now it is all about getting the Bengals their first Super Bowl win.