A Las Vegas Look at the Bengals; UPDATED: The Latest on Andre the Giant Holdout


UPDATE: Andre Smith’s agent Alvin Keels tweets tonight:

"spoke with Katie today and i am thinking that i am going to sneak into Cincy after the game 2mrw sit down with ownership. Wish me luck!"

FWIW. – david

OP: Since the Bengals don’t seem to be making much news (good thing in training camp, bad thing on the Andre Smith front), I figured I’d take a look at what Las Vegas is predicting for the Bengals this fall. The funny thing about the Vegas bookmakers is that they’re allergic to Kool-Aid, so some of these predictions might seem a bit off.

Odds provided by SportsInteraction.com

Carson Palmer is a 26-1 shot to win the NFL’s MVP award. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady lead the way at 6-1.  If anyone from the Bengals is going to win the award it’s Carson (followed closely by Brad St. Louis). But Cincy would need to probably win about 13 games for that to happen, so 26-1 is probably not too far off.

Cincinnati is an 11-1 shot to win the AFC North. Pittsburgh leads the way at 1.4-1, Baltimore follows at 4-0, and Cleveland is at 12-1. This one seems a little off because I do think you could conjure a scenario in which the Bengals win the division. A few key injuries to Pittsburgh and Baltimore, and Cincy is sitting pretty. Plus, I think Pittsburgh is already jinxed by the Madden curse. They have had some early injuries to offensive linemen and Big Ben has both legal and weight issues. (Did you see him tonight? His football team could barely beat Shaq’s. And Carson is at least a slight upgrade over Shaq).

Then there’s the season win total, which is currently set at over/under 6.5 (but be careful, it only pays 1.85-1). If Carson plays 16 games, the Bengals should win at least 7 games. Denver, Cleveland twice, Houston (at home), Oakland, Detroit and Kansas City give them seven right there. You have to think that this team can at least get to seven. I’ll need a strait jacket and padded walls in my bedroom if they don’t.

Next, the Bengals come in at 34-1 to win the AFC Championship, which means they would play in the Super Bowl (please, please, please…) and 81-1 to win the Super Bowl (Pretty please. I’d give a pinky toe. I don’t need a pinky toe, do I?)

So that’s it. That’s how Vegas sees our 2009 Bengals. Let’s hope our long shot comes home.

Notes: ProFootballTalk.com cited a report by the NFL Network’s Steve Wyche that the Bengals are still $5-$10 million apart on a contract for Andre Smith. What worries me is that Geoff Hobson wrote today on the improvement of Anthony Collins (which I don’t deny). But is there more to it? Is it a bait-and-switch to help us all forget about Andre the Giant’s absence? Seems a little fishy to me.

Wyche said the Bengals have recently increased their offer, but it’s still less than what Vernon Gholston got at the same spot last year. He also said that Smith’s holdout could outlast the nonsensical (Isn’t that a great word? See Mom, that Ohio University tuition was worth it…) one being conducted by Michael Crabtree.

At this point, I’d like Smith’s agent to play dirty. Publicize exactly what you’re asking for. My guess is that it’s probably not too outlandish. The fact that the Bengals haven’t said a word about their contract offers seems to indicate it’s only slightly better than what Smith could expect to make as a night manager at Skyline Chilli. We all know Mike Brown and his penny-pinching offspring are cheap. Let’s put some pressure on them by showing Andre Smith is just asking for a reasonable offer. That probably won’t really change much in negotiations, but it will at least make the Bengals’ financial decision-makers look bad. And that might make me feel better. Maybe…

Now, it’s time for the audience participation part of the show. When will Smith sign? I predict September 1st, when Mike Brown has a litle extra money lying around rom his Social Security check. What’s your guess?