The Cincinnati Bengals were a postseason surprise last year, qualifying for the playoffs with a 9-7 record. Pundits and odds makers were not sold on the Bengals success, though, as they opened their 2012 campaign as a +5000 Super Bowl Odds moneyline play. Despite Cincinnati’s 10-6 record and strong finish to the season, book makers are still not buying what Andy Dalton and company are selling. The latest Super Bowl Predictions have Marvin Lewis’ squad listed at +2000 odds to win the AFC Championship and +4500 odds to take home the Lombardi Trophy next month.
Cincinnati’s 2012 season featured a series of highs and lows, but, as evidenced by its 10-6 record, the good moments mostly triumphed over the bad ones.
The Bengals looked like anything but a postseason team in their season opener, getting crushed 44-13 at Baltimore, but they responded with three straight wins over the Browns, Redskins, and Jaguars. Cincy hit the skids after that, though, dropping four straight games (Dolphins, Browns, Steelers, Broncos), putting a serious damper on its playoff hopes. However, Marvin Lewis coaxed another rise from the ashes from his club, and grand one at that, as the Bengals played like one of the better teams in the league in the season’s second half.
The Bengals won seven of their last eight games and the lone loss in that stretch required a miraculous come from behind effort from a team that usually chokes late in games in Dallas.
Perhaps the biggest knock on Cincinnati at this juncture is the overall play of its offense. The Bengals have a capable signal caller in second year pro Andy Dalton and fellow sophomore A.J. Green is one of the more dynamic wide-outs in the NFL. However, the team ranks 22nd in yards per game (332.7) and is outside the top 10 in scoring as well with a 24.4 point per game average.
Defensively Cincinnati is playing at or near a championship level, though. The Bengals are presently sixth in yards per game allowed and only one of their last eight opponents has scored more than 17 points.
Cincinnati will open this year’s playoffs at Reliant Stadium in Houston on Saturday, January 5th. The Bengals and Texans are set to tangle at 4:30pm ET on NBC; Houston is listed as a -4.5 against the spread home favorite.
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Cincinnati Bengals 2013 Super Bowl Odds: Provided by WagerWeb.com
To Win AFC Championship Game +2000 (five of six)
To Win Super Bowl XLVII +4500 (11 of 12)