Ahead of the 2022 NFL season, Post Action Betting will release a preview of the game for all 32 teams in the National Football League, covering the schedule, predictions, total wins, over/under picks and prop bets for each team. Today we will be covering the Cincinnati Bengals.
Cincinnati Bengals (+2000 to win the Super Bowl, BetMGM)
Record 2021: 10-7, 1st in AFC North
The Cincinnati Bengals went from last to first in the AFC North en route to their third Super Bowl appearance. Although the Bengals narrowly missed out on the big game, they undoubtedly found their franchise quarterback in Joe Burrow.
Burrow rekindled his partnership with Ja’Marr Chase, his college teammate at LSU. Chase won Offensive Rookie of the Year after leading the Bengals in both touchdowns (13) and receiving yards (1,455).
If the passing game was successful thanks to the Burrow-Chase tandem, the offensive line could still improve if Cincinnati wants to win its first title.
In this preview, we’ll highlight the off-season moves the Bengals have made and gauge their prospects for the upcoming season.
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Bengals offseason moves: Draft, trades, free agent signings, injury report
- Notable departures in free agency include OT Riley Reiff (grade 67.3 PFF) and TE CJ Uzomah (grade 62.0 PFF).
- Added OT La’el Collins (82.0 PFF score), G Alex Cappa (73.4 PFF score) and C Ted Karras (72.2 PFF score).
- After signing Jakeem Grant Sr., the wide receiver suffered a torn ACL in practice this week and is out for the season.
- Drafted Michigan S Daxton Hill (31st overall), Nebraska CB Cam Taylor-Britt (60th overall), Florida DT (95th overall), North Dakota State G Cordell Volson (136th overall), Tulsa S Tycen Anderson (166th overall) and Coastal Caroline DL Jeffrey Gunter (252nd overall).
2022 Cincinnati Bengals Schedule
Week 1: against the Steelers
Week 2: at the Cowboys
Week 3: at Jets
Week 4: against Miami
Week 5: Ravens
Week 6: Saints
Week 7: against the Falcons
Week 8: at Browns
Week 9: against the Panthers
Week 10: goodbye
Week 11: at the Steelers
Week 12: At Titans
Week 13: vs Chiefs
Week 14: against the Browns
Week 15: at Buccaneers
Week 16: with the Patriots
Week 17: against the bills
Week 18: against the Ravens
NFL Betting Lines: Bengals Win Total
O/U 9.5 wins
After allowing seven sacks in the Super Bowl, the Bengals made it a point to improve their offensive line this offseason. Football Outsiders ranked the 2021 Bengals offensive line 31st in pass protection.
However, with newcomers La’el Collins, Alex Kappa and Ted Karras all receiving at least a 69.6 blocking rating from Pro Football Focus, help is clearly on the way.
Defensively, Cincinnati finished the regular season 19th in DVOA. When you step back for a minute, it’s pretty remarkable that the Bengals managed to make it to the Super Bowl despite their shortcomings. These are the perks of having a franchise quarterback like Burrow, who is talented enough to mask his team’s flaws.
The Bengals made no secret of their draft intentions, as five of the six players selected were on the defensive side of the ball.
And after picking a defensive player in the first three rounds, it’s clear the Bengals have an immediate need they’re trying to meet. According to Football Outsiders, Cincinnati ranked 24th against the pass in its DVOA metric.
The Bengals’ front office deserves a ton of credit because if you look at their recent drafts, you can see the strategic improvements they’ve made to their position groups over the years. However, Cincinnati isn’t going to sneak up on anyone this season, given that it’s coming off a Super Bowl run.
According to Action Network predictive analyst Sean Koerner, the Bengals must navigate the fifth-toughest schedule of the upcoming season. And while I still think Cincinnati will have a productive season, they face a pretty tough battle to top that 9.5-game win total.
My projections line up with that number, but if I had to choose, it’s less than 9.5 wins.
Lean Under 9.5 wins
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Joe Burrow for 4,375.5 passing yards (FanDuel)
Just because I’m leaning under the Bengals’ win total doesn’t mean I’m completely bearish on them this season. In fact, given the playoff expansion to 14 teams, I think Cincinnati can squeeze into the playoffs at 9-8.
Offensively, I don’t expect the team to miss a beat if everyone stays healthy. Burrow should comfortably outperform his passing yards prop after already throwing for more than 4,600 yards last season, despite being absent in Week 17.
When you talk about the promising young quarterbacks in the game, I think there’s a place for Burrow on that front line with Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.
Let’s not forget that Burrow broke NCAA single-season records at LSU in his senior season. He is expected to post big numbers again in 2022, especially with a new and improved offensive line.