2022 NFL preview: Cincinnati Bengals futures, Super Bowl odds, predictions and best bets

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Phil Agius

NFL · 1 week ago

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I've been writing about the NFL and a host of other sports for the UK's top daily betting paper the Racing Post for more than 20 years. An incurable Browns fan (1-31 survivor), I also specialise in all kinds of motorsport betting including F1, MotoGP, IndyCar and NASCAR.

The 2021 season could not have gone much better for the Cincinnati Bengals, who became one of the NFL’s biggest fairytale successes for years. Coming off a 4-11-1 season, the Bengals defied their status as 150/1 preseason longshots to reach the Super Bowl, which they lost 23-20 to the LA Rams having led for much of the second half.

Rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase formed a formidable partnership with gunslinging QB Joe Burrow, while the Bengals defense stepped up and they mostly found ways to overcome their offensive line issues. Expectations have been raised this season though, and while the Bengals might well be an even stronger team this year, there are plenty of obstacles in their path as they bid for back-to-back AFC titles.

Cincinnati Bengals breakdown

2021 record: 10-7

2021 ATS record: 10-7

2021 O/U record: 8-9

Key players in: Hayden Hurst (TE), La’el Collins (OT), Alex Cappa (OG), Ted Karras (C)

Key players out: Auden Tate (WR), CJ Uzomah (TE), Riley Reiff (OT), Larry Ogunjobi (DT), Vernon Hargreaves (CB), Trae Waynes (CB), Ricardo Allen (S)

2022 Draft class: Daxton Hill (S), Cam Taylor-Britt (CB), Zachary Carter (DT), Cordell Volsen (OT), Tycen Anderson (S), Jeffrey Gunter (DE)

Cincinnati Bengals 2022 NFL season odds

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook unless noted otherwise

Cincinnati Bengals Super Bowl odds

The Bengals are joint-10th in DraftKings Sportsbook’s odds to win Super Bowl 57 at +2200, the same mark as the Ravens and Colts.

Cincinnati Bengals AFC Championship odds

The defending AFC champions are 6th favorites to retain their title at +1100, behind the Bills, Chiefs, Chargers, Broncos and Ravens.

Cincinnati Bengals AFC North odds

DraftKings is not currently offering odds on the AFC North division, due to the uncertainty over Browns QB Deshaun Watson’s suspension, but FanDuel Sportsbook has the Bengals as +180 second-favorites for the divisional title, just behind the Ravens (+160) with the Browns at +300 and the Steelers +950.

Cincinnati Bengals win total odds

The Bengals’ win total is set at 10 – the same mark they reached last season. Under 10 has odds of -125 with over 10 at +105. They are -130 to make the playoffs again this year and +110 to miss out.

Head to our NFL Odds page for odds on all the main NFL betting markets

Cincinnati Bengals schedule 2022

vs Pittsburgh Steelers, September 11
at Dallas Cowboys, September 18
at New York Jets, September 25
vs Miami Dolphins, September 29

at Baltimore Ravens, October 9
at New Orleans Saints, October 16
vs Atlanta Falcons, October 23
at Cleveland Browns, October 31

vs Carolina Panthers, November 6
BYE
at Pittsburgh Steelers, November 20
at Tennessee Titans, November 27

vs Kansas City Chiefs, December 4
vs Cleveland Browns, December 11
at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, December 18
at New England Patriots, December 24

vs Buffalo Bills, January 2
vs Baltimore Ravens, January 8

We’ll have NFL picks for EVERY matchup of the 2022 season

Cincinnati Bengals 2021 season recap

Bengals fans will love to think back to the 2021 season. Their Super Bowl run came from humble beginnings, with QB Joe Burrow coming off a knee injury that curtailed his rookie season, and observers worried that he’d be in big trouble if the team didn’t use their first-round pick on offensive lineman Penei Sewell to protect him. The Bengals preferred to roll the dice and take wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase instead and it’s hard to dispute that move now Chase has proved he’s an elite-level performer.

The Bengals still didn’t look like Super Bowl contenders when they reached their Week 10 bye at 5-4 coming off a loss to the struggling Jets and a 41-14 hammering at home by the Browns, with a 41-17 win over the Ravens their best result by some distance. They edged their way into contention, though, and a 34-31 win over the Chiefs proved crucial to them claiming the divisional title with a 10-7 record. The Raiders, Titans and Chiefs were all overcome as the Bengals found their stride in the playoffs, but the Rams were just too strong in the Super Bowl.

Read our Super Bowl 57 predictions and best bets, including a +4500 longshot

Cincinnati Bengals 2022 NFL season predictions

The Bengals have enhanced their reputation with last season’s stellar run and they might be even stronger as a team this year, having finally made some positive moves to strengthen their weak link on the offensive line. Burrow — now further removed from his surgery — and his talented receiving group are a threat to any defense and Joe Mixon is one of the most underrated running backs in the league. Some of the gambles they took on defense last season paid off handsomely with Troy Hendrickson in particular proving to be worth the money and the pressure is well and truly off head coach Zac Taylor, which was not the case at the start of last season.

However, there has to be a chance that the Bengals can be improved and yet not have everything go quite so well for them as it did in last year’s charmed campaign. They can’t expect to finish the year as strongly this time with a brutal finish against the Chiefs, Browns, Bucs, Patriots, Bills and Ravens. Things will be a little easier in the division if Browns QB Deshaun Watson misses significantly more than the 6 games he is currently set to, but the Ravens look formidable opponents.

Check out which huge longshots might just turn out to be this year’s Bengals

Best bet: Cincinnati Bengals under 10 wins (-125)

Sometimes it can pay to swim against the tide and sell high, and that might just be the case with the Bengals, who had so many things falling into place for them last season that it will be hard to repeat. The team themselves should be full of confidence after raising their standing last season but overachievers one season can often have to pay for it the next year. The curse of the Super Bowl runner-up is not the burden it once was, but over the last 6 years, 3 of the beaten Super Bowl teams failed to make the playoffs the following year (Panthers, Rams, 49ers).

The Bengals could easily get 6 or 7 wins on the board before their Week 10 bye, but if they don’t a double-digit total could look a long way off given their alarming slate down the stretch. With the push condition at 10 with DraftKings (FanDuel has the line at 9.5), taking the under is marginally preferred.

Cincinnati Bengals season record predictions

The Bengals didn’t get to the Super Bowl by serenely sweeping through the regular season and it could get scrappy again. They have the tools to win on any given Sunday but there’s a target on their back now and something like a 9-8 record and another late scramble to make the playoffs would not be a huge surprise.

Take a look at our best bets to win the AFC this season

Pickswise is the home of free expert NFL Picks and NFL Odds. Be sure to check out all of our season previews and NFL Futures Bets leading up to the 2022 NFL season.

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