After three straight trips to the postseason, the Cincinnati Bengals’ 2015 Super Bowl odds look rather favorable on paper.
According to Bovada Sportsbook in Las Vegas, the Bengals are 28-1 odds right now to win the entire thing next season. While it is extremely early, those odds are not horrible when one takes into account the overall talent level in Cincinnati.
ESPN’s Scott Brown was the first to unearth the odds, and gave reasons for and against the Bengals as 2015 Super Bowl champs:
Why they will win: Quarterback Andy Dalton finally steps up in the postseason and the Bengals’ defense emerges as the top one in the AFC -– and one that can trade blows with some of the NFC heavyweights.
Why they won’t win: Dalton has continually faltered in the playoffs, and there is no reason to think he can string together three or four postseason victories together let alone win one game.
Valid points, but the Seattle Seahawks just showed that a stellar defense can mask what is mediocre play from a quarterback.
But that is where things get tricky for the Bengals. There is an elite defense in place, but with Mike Zimmer now with the Minnesota Vikings, one has to wonder if the unit will continue to play at the same level under Paul Guenther. The same goes for the offense, which will now be manned by Hue Jackson. By all accounts, this is an upgrade that will help Andy Dalton, but the potential for the unit to go backwards is a possibility, too.
The above would explain why the Bengals do not rank well overall in comparison to other team’s odds. Continuity has been the main theme in Cincinnati since the beginning of the Marvin Lewis era, and the franchise has now lost its top to coordinators. Experienced men who can carry the torch have stepped up, but there is nothing to say the Bengals will be the same because of it — or even better.
Cincinnati may also lose key free agents such as Michael Johnson and Anthony Collins, which leaves a void at two spots that younger players will have to fill.
All things considered, the odds for the Bengals make sense. The AFC North looks to be somewhat improved, which especially goes for the other team in Ohio, and the Bengals face a variety of question marks heading into next season.
The Bengals are a good value at these odds, but not one we can fully endorse this early in the offseason.