The Cincinnati Bengals were entered into the race for Joe Burrow before the 2019 season even began. It was no secret that first-year head coach Zac Taylor was in for a learning experience and emphasis would be put on the future of the franchise over the season performance. The Bengals won the first-pick sweepstakes at 2-14, and a forgettable season is now well in the past.
Going into 2020, the Bengals are still a project. Integrating a new franchise quarterback has its learning curves, especially after having consistency behind center for nearly a decade (albeit, mediocre consistency). Without a full offseason to speed up that integration, expectations are still low in Cincinnati and the team is favored to fall last in the AFC North. But sights are set on the future and, barring rash decisions, the current crew will have time to learn and grow.
This page will lay out a complete team betting preview of the Bengals — offseason acquisitions, current lines, and other tools necessary to feel prepared when betting on Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Bengals Week 3 odds
Bengals futures odds
Bengals Super Bowl odds
The Bengals don’t have very favorable odds after showing their potential (or lack thereof) in Week 1; Cincinnati currently sits at +21000. Those longshot odds are down from the preseason, which marked the Bengals at +10000. Joe Burrow showed major promise after throwing for over 300 yards against the Browns in Week 2, but that wasn’t enough to get the win. It’s likely another sub-0.500 rebuilding year for the Bengals.
AFC North odds
The AFC North is one of the most talented divisions in the NFL and should be a wild race to the finish. That wild race, however, is widely considered a three-way competition (many consider it two-way) and does not include the Bengals; Cincinnati sits at just +8500, by far the lowest in the division. Baltimore sits as the current favorite, followed by Pittsburgh, and Cleveland. However, a $10 bet on Cincinnati to win could pay out $860 ($800 in winnings) should the Bengals pull off a miracle season.
Cincinnati Bengals 2020 schedule and betting odds
|1||Sunday, Sept. 13||4:05 ET||vs. LA Chargers||Chargers -3|
|2||Thursday, Sept. 17||8:20 ET||at Cleveland||Browns -8|
|3||Sunday, Sept. 27||1:00 ET||at Philadelphia||Eagles -12|
|4||Sunday, Oct. 4||1:00 ET||vs. Jacksonville||Bengals -3.5|
|5||Sunday, Oct. 11||1:00 ET||at Baltimore||Ravens -16.5|
|6||Sunday, Oct. 18||1:00 ET||at Indianapolis||Colts -9.5|
|7||Sunday, Oct. 25||1:00 ET||vs. Cleveland||Browns -4.5|
|8||Sunday, Nov. 1||1:00 ET||vs. Tennessee||Titans -5|
|10||Sunday, Nov. 15||1:00 ET||at Pittsburgh||Steelers -10|
|11||Sunday, Nov. 22||1:00 ET||at Washington||Redskins -1.5|
|12||Sunday, Nov. 29||1:00 ET||vs. NY Giants||Giants -1.5|
|13||Sunday, Dec. 6||1:00 ET||at Miami||Dolphins -3.5|
|14||Sunday, Dec. 13||1:00 ET||vs. Dallas||Cowboys -8|
|15||Monday, Dec. 21||8:15 ET||vs. Pittsburgh||Steelers -6.5|
|16||Sunday, Dec. 27||1:00 ET||at Houston||Texans -7.5|
|17||Sunday, Jan. 3||1:00 ET||vs. Baltimore||N/A|
How to bet on the Bengals
Futures are long-term bets that can range from an offseason to a full season (or beyond). Team win totals, award winners, and player performance are common futures. For example:
Odds to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
- Joe Burrow +225
- Clyde Edwards -Helaire +600
- Tua Tagovailoa +1000
This line for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year will be bet long before voting begins, and even before the season starts. Futures allow for bettors to capitalize on players they think are favorites to win awards long before the odds shift away from their favor.
The moneyline is the simplest of bets, decided by the winner and loser of each game. Consider the following example:
- Bengals +145
- Giants -120
The Giants are considered the favorite in this matchup (indicated by -120), requiring a $120 bet to win $100 (plus the initial bet back). The Bengals are considered the underdogs, paying out $145 total for a $100 bet ($145 in profit). Regardless of how much either team wins or loses by, the payout remains the same.
Betting on the point spread is determinant on how many points a team is favored by. Take the following example:
- Bengals -4.5 (-110)
- Redskins +4.5 (-110)
In this example, Cincinnati is favored by 4.5 points over the Redskins (indicated by “-4.5”). If the final score reads Bengals 30, Redskins 26, the Bengals (-4.5) win and would have a total payout of $19.09 on a $10 bet ($9.09 in profit). If the score reads Bengals 28, Redskins 24, the Redskins (+4.5) would win, since they kept the score within 4.5 points, and the payout would be the same as above.
Betting the total removes the guesswork from who will win or lose and instead focuses on the total amount of points scored by one or both of the teams. For example:
Chargers @ Bengals point total
- Over 29.5 (-110)
- Under 29.5 (-110)
If the final score from this example game is 20-10, then those who bet over 29.5 (-110) would win, with a total payout of $19.09 on a $10 bet ($9.09 in winnings). If the final score were to be 19-10, the under 29.5 (-110) would win, with the same payout as above. Very rarely are over/under totals whole numbers to avoid pushes.
Point totals can also land on individual teams. For example:
Bengals point total @ Indianapolis Colts
- Over 16.5 (-110)
- Under 16.5 (-110)
If the Bengals score 17 against Indianapolis, the over would win with a total payout of $19.09 on a $10 bet ($9.09 in winnings). If they fail to score more than 16.5 points, then the under would win with the same payout as above.
Totals do not rely on point spreads, so in the first example, Cincinnati could win 30-0 or lose 30-0, and the over would still win.
Prop betting can vary widely, but more commonly rely on individual performance by a team or player. For example:
Geno Atkins total tackles vs Atlanta
- Over 4.5 (-110)
- Under 4.5 (-110)
If Atkins records five or more tackles against the Falcons, the over prop bet would win, with a total payout of $19.09 on a $10 bet ($9.09 in winnings). If he records 4 or less tackles, then the under prop would win with the same payout.
Props can range from total passing yards and MVP voting to how long the last note of the National Anthem lasts. It removes game finishes and upsets from the equation and instead allows for bettors to get excited about individual performances.
Many platforms allow live betting during games. A common usage of in-play betting can be to pivot off earlier bets or just a quick-reaction cash out for those looking for a thrill. For example, if a bettor took San Francisco (+420) to beat the Bengals, but Cincinnati leads 28-0 at the half, a bettor could recover some of the lost money by accepting the Bengals at -335 odds at half.
Another usage of live betting that can be beneficial is longshot comebacks. On the flip side, if Cincinnati is down 28-0 at the half, but a bettor sees an opportunity for a comeback, putting $10 on Cincinnati at +900 odds would result in a $100 total payout on $10 ($90 in winnings) as opposed to a $19.09 payout pregame (assuming Bengals are -110).
Bengals 2019 recap
As mentioned, not much was expected from the Bengals in 2019, though sportsbooks had higher expectations, setting the team win total over/under at six wins. They came up far short of six, amassing just one win before Week 17 and effectively winning the race for the top overall draft pick. After starting 0-8, longtime starting quarterback Andy Dalton was benched for rookie Ryan Finley. Finley was quickly exposed as not the future of the franchise, throwing two touchdowns on nearly 90 attempts (2.3% touchdown rate) and losing all three starts.
Neither quarterback was able to get anything going despite having suitable weapons at wide receiver (sans AJ Green, who missed the season with an injury) and running back. The offensive line was to blame, surrendering eight sacks in Week Four against Pittsburgh and allowing 48 sacks over the course of the season (T-9th most). The other half of the issue was game planning; Week 1 saw Andy Dalton throw 51 passes while giving star running back Joe Mixon just six carries. After Dalton was benched (temporarily) in Week 8, Mixon totalled 817 of his 1,137 total rushing yards (71.9%) and all five touchdowns. The team finished the season out 2-6 and was relatively more competitive.
Mixon willed his team to what production they had across the back half of the year and Cincinnati closed the year on a positive note — upsetting Cleveland in Week 17. On top of winning two of their last five games (NYJ, Week 13), the Bengals still secured the number one overall pick in the draft. Young receiver John Ross III, previously thought to be a first-round bust, showed glimpses of dominance, amassing 11 catches for 270 yards and three touchdowns in the first two weeks. Tyler Boyd also showed reliability, finishing the year with his second-straight 1,000-yard season.
Bengals 2020 offseason moves
Key re-signings: CB Torry McTyer (one year); CB Greg Mabin
Key free agent losses: S Clayton Fejedelum (to MIA); CB Darqueze Dennard (to JAC); DT Andrew Billings (to CLE); OG John Miller (to CAR); CB Tony McCrae (to DET); LB Nick Vigil (to LAC); TE Tyler Eifert (to JAC); LB LaRoy Reynolds (to ATL)
Key free-agent signings: DT D.J. Reader (from HOU); CB Trae Waynes (from MIN); OG Xavier Su’a-Filo (from DAL); S Vonn Bell (from NO); CB Mackensie Alexander (from MIN); WR Mike Thomas (from LAR); LB Josh Bynes (from BAL); CB LeShaun Sims (from TEN)
Key draft picks: QB Joe Burrow (1st round); WR Tee Higgins (2nd round)
The Bengals didn’t lose anyone they can’t live without, including injury-riddled Eifert and middle-of-the-road Andrew Billings. They massively upgraded from Billings with DJ Reader and sured-up what was a liable defensive secondary. Waynes and Bell bring in nearly 150 combined tackles from last season and reliable veteran help. Cincinnati picked up young talent, helping their cause for building a future team. While most of the focus will be on the draft, the Bengals had an excellent offseason for the defensive side of the ball.