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Author: Action Network Staff
Cincinnati Bengals Odds
If you’re new to betting, the Bengals’ +15000 Super Bowl odds mean a $100 bet would net $15,000 if they won. [Convert odds using our betting odds calculator.]
Despite drafting who they hope to be their franchise quarterback, the odds aren’t in the Bengals’ favor this season. Joe Burrow will play a key role, but Cincinnati will need more help in 2020.
Our analysts break down the Bengals’ win total and key questions facing Cincinnati in 2020.
Bengals Win Total Pick
Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, breaks down how he’s betting the Cardinals’ win total.
The Bengals have a +7 score in my 2019 NFL Luck Ratings, tied for first with the Lions and Cardinals. You could argue that all the bad luck they encountered last season was a blessing in disguise as it helped land them the first overall pick.
Joe Burrow will be an NFL-ready starter on Day 1. He has above-average weapons in A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon, but the offensive line will have to improve on its disastrous 2019 season in order to give Burrow a chance. Some encouraging news for their offense is that left tackle Jonah Williams, who was unable to play his rookie season, should be 100% now.
The Bengals will have six new starters on defense, which should significantly improve their play on that side of the ball.
D.J. Reader will give their run defense a boost — his 3.9% missed and broken tackle rate against the run ranked 12th among 89 qualified defensive linemen. Third-round rookie Logan Wilson fills a massive hole at linebacker, which is a crucial position given they have to face Lamar Jackson twice. Vonn Bell, Mackensie Alexander and Trae Waynes will help bolster Cincinnati’s secondary as well.
There’s no question that the Bengals will have a significantly better roster this season. It’s also unlikely they go 0-8 in one-score games again. Their had the sixth-hardest schedule in 2019 and will face the 12th-easiest in 2020.
The Bengals should be able to get at least six wins.
PICK: Over 5.5 (-134; bet to -145)
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Key Questions for the Bengals
1. What can Joe Burrow do in his rookie season? The No. 1 overall pick has the weapons around him to succeed if he can adjust to the speed of the NFL and learn a new system. However, this has to be the toughest summer preparation situation a rookie QB has ever walked into. And it’s generally very difficult for a rookie quarterback starter in Week 1 under normal circumstances.
It also doesn’t help that the Bengals have no depth at the quarterback position if Burrow struggles early or gets injured.
2. Can the offensive line protect Burrow? Cincy has its quarterback of the future, a solid running back in Joe Mixon and a bevy of talented wide receivers, but the offensive line still looks shaky at best.
Getting Jonah Williams back from injury could help, but he’s essentially a rookie starting at left tackle after missing all of last season. Three potential new starters could serve as an upgrade, but it could just as easily end in disaster in a very competitive division. The interior still looks very shaky.
3. Will an almost entirely brand new back seven come together? The defensive line has plenty of potential, especially with the addition of D.J. Reader in the middle to pair with Geno Atkins. However, the back seven of the defense performed miserably in 2019. The linebackers couldn’t stop the run or cover in space. The secondary struggled as well.
As a result, the Bengals revamped their linebacker corps with Josh Bynes and a trio of draft picks to add speed to a group that couldn’t really do anything right. They also signed three new potential starters in the secondary via free agency. The cornerback position now has a lot of speed but that doesn’t automatically translate to results on the field.
I’m a Burrow believer, but more so for the long term.
I’m selling Cincy this year with an under bet on their season wins. I just don’t see them getting to 7 wins — even if its luck reverses a year after going an unfathomable 0-7 in one-possession games.
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Author: Action Network Staff