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Bengals Clawing for a Playoff Win

Cincinnati Bengals 2016 OddsWith the Hall of Fame Game kicking off on Sunday, August 7th NFL betting fans can finally say goodbye to football-less Sundays. While Donald Trump may not be happy about the return of football, it’s safe to say that the rest of the US is celebrating. With the start of the regular season being so close there are numerous questions arising, like, will the Cincinnati Bengals be able to win their first playoff game in 25 years? Marvin Lewis has been the head coach for Cincinnati since 2003 and while his arrival wasn’t followed by immediate success staying with the coach has proven to pay off.

They’ve won 2 AFC North titles within the last 3 years and were even able to set some franchise records last season. The Bengals started off strong by winning 7 straight, setting the record for the club, and even clinched a playoff spot for five consecutive years (incidentally this is also a franchise record). Cincinnati was also able to set an NFL record last season by becoming the first team to make the playoffs five years in a row and lose each time in the first round. Now as Marvin Lewis enters his fourteenth year he’ll be looking to make Cincinnati NFL betting favorites and lead them to a postseason victory.

Last season the Bengals proved they were a force to be reckoned with, a quick glance at the stats will tell you how formidable this team was. Cincinnati was 7th overall in points despite being 15th in both yards overall and passing yards. Even though other teams could move the ball around better than them, the Bengals had no difficulty scoring. Led behind Andy Dalton’s impressive 106.2 passer rating, Cincinnati frequently found themselves in the opposing team’s end zone. Even more impressive than their ability to score, was their ability to maintain possession of the ball. At the end of the season the Bengals turnover ratio was +11 and there’s no doubt this was what helped them win 12 games. But even more fundamental to their victories was the performance of their defense, which was one of the best in the NFL last season.

Although they were 20th in passing yards and 11th in yards overall, the orange and black proved that yards don’t win football games by holding their opponents to less than 29 touchdowns for the season. While the defense was doing their job the offense was putting up points scoring 50 for the season, almost twice as much as their opposition. While there might be some room for improvement regarding yards overall, there’s no doubt this defense will be a formidable force in the AFC.
Saying there are massive expectations on this team is an understatement. The sportsbooks odds relay exactly what NFL betting fans are anticipating this season. In the AFC North the Bengals were just shy of being the favorites (their odds sit at +190 compared to the Steelers +130). They are third overall favorites to win the AFC Championship, and their Super Bowl odds are a modest +1975. There’s no doubt if this team had found some recent postseason success they would be ranked much higher. While Lewis has been able to turn this program around, if he is unable to win a playoff game then he is likely to be replaced. This team has more than enough talent; it’s up to the coach to get their heads on straight.