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  • Writer's pictureAvoid the Vig

2023 Cincinnati Bengals Season Betting Preview




As part of our 2023 NFL Preseason Preview Series, we look at the current state of each team in an attempt to identify reasons for optimism and causes for concern and, most importantly, what can be exploited in the current betting marketplace.



CINCINNATI BENGALS: REASONS FOR OPTIMISM


As long as the Bengals have Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins on the field, they have a chance to beat anyone. In fact, the Bengals have never lost by more than three points in 23 such games. Cincinnati returns almost all of its offensive starters, with the exception of La’el Collins who was a disappointment last season. In his stead, Orlando Brown was brought in via free agency to solidify the offensive line. Burrow should feast on offense after finishing 2nd in passing EPA vs. top-10 pass defenses. On defense, the Bengals lost 3 key starters in the secondary, but Lou Anarumo continues to produce despite limited personnel. There is something to be said about Burrow's magic. He seems to win everywhere he goes. This team could have and perhaps should have gone to the Super Bowl again last year. There is good reason to expect another playoff run this coming season.



CINCINNATI BENGALS: CAUSE FOR CONCERN


Losing 3 starting secondary players will be difficult to overcome, especially considering that only one player was brought in from free agency while the other 2 are being replaced from within. Departing safety Jessie Bates III may have been the best player on that side of the ball, leaving a huge hole to fill. Cincinnati’s defense finished 7th in success rate and 8th in EPA allowed, but those numbers are deceptive. The Bengals faced a league-high seven backup QBs, and faced 42% of all dropbacks from QBs ranked 30th or worse in EPA. This group performed well last season, but they are susceptible and will be tested this year. The Bengals were fairly lucky last year, finishing in the top half of the year in Adj Games lost, Opp FG%, Net TO, Fumble Rec%, and Blended 4Q Win% over Expected. There is room for negative regression in the luck factor and certainly on the defensive side of the ball.



CINCINNATI BENGALS: BETTING OPPORTUNITIES


My power ratings suggest the Bengals should finish with 11.47 wins, but that is if everything goes right. There are serious concerns about their defense, which could lead to higher-scoring affairs. Considering they have yet to lose by more than 3 points in 23 contests, teasing the Bengals seems like it could be a good look this season. The Bengals are catching points in week 8 vs the 49ers, which could be a decent advantage teaser option. My power ratings are showing value in all games in which Cincinnati is laying more than a touchdown. There is a concern here that if the defense struggles as expected, they may leave the door open for backdoor covers. I’d probably prefer to tease CIN through 7 and 3 in WK 3, 5, 10, and 14.


Best Bet: Week 3 Teaser CIN -2 / BAL -2

(play to 6-point teaser through 3 and 7)




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