Cincinnati Bengals Betting Predictions – Trying To Win One Playoff Game
Head Coach: Marvin Lewis
Offensive Coordinator: Jay Gruden
Defensive Coordinator: Mike Zimmer
Owner: Mike Brown
Stadium: Paul Brown Stadium
Super Bowl Wins: None
Having finished 20th in the NFL in 2011 with 5,118 yards of total offense, the Cincinnati Bengals have their work cut out for them this season. The team used a first-round pick (at No. 27) on guard Kevin Zeitler, the reason being that the Bengals' offensive line could not get much of a push against defensive fronts. Cincinnati needs better line play in order to become a true Super Bowl contender. The Bengals also need more playmakers on offense, and that's why they grabbed Rutgers receiver Mohamed Sanu in the third round. Sanu is an extremely versatile player who can be plugged into many formations in a wide range of situations. He'll be a valuable third-down player for the Bengals' offense in 2012. This team has an intriguing mix of players, but without a big year from the line, it won't mean that much.
Sports betting lines will not downgrade Cincinnati based on this side of the ball. The Bengals' defense rose to the forefront in 2011. It finished 7th in the NFL by giving up 5,060 yards and only 105 (rounded up from 104.7) on the ground. Cincinnati, however, wasn't content to stand pat. The organization felt it needed to shore up its secondary and front four. Two of the team's first three picks from this past April's draft came on the defensive side of the ball. Top pick Dre Kirkpatrick, taken at No. 17 overall, flourished last season as a member of a national championship defense for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Kirkpatrick proved to be a shutdown cornerback who could provide more-than-adequate run support when needed. He should bolster a defense that will become an even-better run-stopping unit thanks to the addition of Devon Still, a defensive tackle from Penn State. The Bengals are going to stay in games thanks to their defense, which held opponents to just 20 points per game last season. If Cincinnati can allow only 18 points per contest in 2012, it could make a run at the division championship in the AFC North.
The Bengals attempted more punts – 98 – than any other team in the league, averaging 46.6 yards per kick but only a 40.3-yard net. Outkicking punt coverages was a definite concern, and will remain so heading into this season. Cincinnati kicker Mike Nugent hit 81.5 percent of field goals last season, missing three of his five kicks from 50 yards or beyond. This is a strength of the team, but then again, the Bengals need to know that their special teams performers can deliver the goods under pressure in December and early January. That's not yet proven. It remains, though, that sportsbook odds will improve for the Bengals if they play games in which punting and placekicking are central factors.
The foremost betting sites will tell you that Cincinnati, a playoff team in 2011, is fairly well positioned to return to the playoffs this season. Quarterback Andy Dalton is ripening into a quality NFL quarterback. The Bengals' skill position talent is young and can look forward to a bright future. A 10-6 record sounds about right for this squad. Winning one playoff game would represent a very strong season, but the Bengals will probably lose again in the wild card round.
Week 1 – at Baltimore (Monday, 7:00 PM ET)
Week 2 – vs. Cleveland (1:00 PM ET)
Week 3 – at Washington (1:00 PM ET)
Week 4 – at Jacksonville (4:05 PM ET)
Week 5 – vs. Miami (1:00 PM ET)
Week 6 – at Cleveland (1:00 PM ET)
Week 7 – vs. Pittsburgh (8:20 PM ET)
Week 9 – vs. Denver (1:00 PM ET)
Week 10 – vs. New York Giants (1:00 PM ET)
Week 11 – at Kansas City (1:00 PM ET)
Week 12 – vs. Oakland (1:00 PM ET)
Week 13 – at San Diego (4:15 PM ET)
Week 14 – vs. Dallas (1:00 PM ET)
Week 15 – at Philadelphia (Thursday, 8:20 PM ET)
Week 16 – at Pittsburgh (1:00 PM ET)
Week 17 – vs. Baltimore (1:00 PM ET)