The Cincinnati Bengals are set to open their 2014 training camp at Paul Brown Stadium tomorrow (July 24), and it’s time to start diving into how their season might play out. To kick things off, let’s follow the money and take a look at what the oddsmakers are saying about the Bengals early in the game. Bovada recently released their initial odds for the NFL season, and they have some interesting things to say about the Stripe.
To begin, Bovada puts the Bengals’ over-under for wins at an even nine, which feels a bit slight considering that Cincy has made the playoffs for three years running, but is probably not far off base. Looking at the over-under wins predictions for other teams in the AFC North, we see the Baltimore Ravens at 8.5, the Cleveland Browns at 6.5, and the Pittsburgh Steelers at 8.5.
Bovada sees the North as a fairly week division overall and gives the Bengals the best chance of making the playoffs, slightly edging the Steelers. Similarly, the Bengals and Steelers are clustered at the top of Bovada’s divisional standings, though none of the four teams is pegged as a true favorite to capture the flag.
If we take a broader view and look at Super Bowl odds, the top three teams are shuffled a bit. In particular, the Steelers come in at 33:1, the Bengals and Ravens sit at 40:1, and the Browns are stuck near the bottom of the league at 75:1.
All of these odds point to what Bengals’ fans already know: the 2014 NFL season is going to be a brawl in the AFC North, and it should be tons of fun watch these four teams beat the snot out of each other. It all starts on Thursday, and Riverfront Ball will be here to cover all the ups and downs that Marvin Lewis and Company can dish out.