Bengals’ Schedule And Win Total: Are Joe Burrow & Co. Overvalued?
With the Bengals’ schedule, along with the rest of the league, surfacing on Thursday evening, let’s dissect how they’re viewed in the betting market — within the context of NFL win totals among other NFL odds. Cincinnati has manufactured consecutive appearances in the AFC championship game.
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Analyzing Bengals’ Schedule
Below is how things line up for Joe Burrow, one of the favorites amidst NFL MVP odds, and Cincinnati in 2023-24. The Bengals are near the middle of the pack in regards to strength of schedule. Their opponents dialed up a 51.0% win rate last season.
- Week 1: Browns (Away)
- Week 2: Ravens (Home)
- Week 3: Rams (Home)
- Week 4: Titans (Away)
- Week 5: Cardinals (Away)
- Week 6: Seahawks (Home)
- Week 7: Bye
- Week 8: 49ers (Away)
- Week 9: Bills (Home)
- Week 10: Texans (Home)
- Week 11: Ravens (Away)
- Week 12: Steelers (Home)
- Week 13: Jaguars (Away)
- Week 14: Colts (Home)
- Week 15: Vikings (Home)
- Week 16: Steelers (Away)
- Week 17: Chiefs (Away)
- Week 18: Browns (Home)
On the surface, casual NFL bettors (and Bengals fans in particular) may assume that their success will carry on. After all, Cincinnati is tied for the highest win total in the market (11.5) with the Chiefs, which are on their regular season slate.
But keep in mind, 10+ win totals have hit at a 41% clip over the last five years (via pro bettor ClevTA). Moreover, that same figure has finished just two percentage points higher since 2000.
What does that signify? Outside of Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes, teams have traditionally underperformed — as it relates to the betting market — when tagged with exceptionally high expectations. For context, the Bengals showcased a win total of 9.5 last season. There’s reason to believe they’re overvalued this time around.
Related: Super Bowl 58 Odds
Cincinnati’s Biggest Concerns
Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and the rest of Bengals’ offensive arsenal undoubtedly represents one of the league’s most explosive units. However, their defense had the luxury of facing backups QBs or severely below-average ones (ranking No. 30 or worse in EPA) for 45% of their opponents’ dropbacks. That was good for the highest rate across the NFL.
To boot, Cincinnati lost its sound safety tandem of Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell — replaced by the subpar Nick Scott and Daxton Hill. Hence, Lou Anarumo’s top-10 passing defense will likely suffer a setback.
Additionally, the Ravens are finally positioned to upend the Bengals in the AFC North, as long as the recently-minted Lamar Jackson stays healthy. Jackson’s injuries have hampered Baltimore in each of the last two seasons. The Ravens’ best division odds are currently .
There’s plenty of time to dig into Baltimore’s positive outlook in the coming months. That said, one of the major keys is Todd Monken, who replaces the incompetent Greg Roman at offensive coordinator. Monken was last seen in the NFL in 2018, possessing the same role with the Buccaneers. That year, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston combined for 5,358 yards and 36 touchdowns through the air.
Most recently, his play-calling duties helped guide the Georgia Bulldogs to back-to-back national championships.
In theory, Monken should renovate Baltimore’s offense with the duel-threat signal caller. Jackson is surrounded by the finest receiving corps in his six-year career, too, via Mark Andrews, Odell Beckham Jr., Rashod Bateman, Zay Flowers, and Isaiah Likely.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in mid-May.
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