The Cincinnati Bengals put together a vanilla game script and still handled the Baltimore Ravens in Week 18 to secure the AFC North title and the No. 3 seed in the AFC Playoffs.
It was the Bengals' eighth-straight win to close the season and they finished the year with a 5-2 record against playoff opponents, including an impressive 27-24 win against the Kansas City Chiefs in December and a strong start against the Buffalo Bills before the scary injury to Damar Hamlin.
Apparently, none of that matters in Vegas.
The Bengals odds to win the Super Bowl currently stand at +750 at BetMGM. That's better than the +900 they were last week, but still behind the Chiefs, Bills, Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers and just above the Dallas Cowboys.
With all due respect to Dallas or the Brock Purdy-led 49ers, they're not even in the same conversation as Cincy when it comes to Super Bowl hopes.
Beyond the fact that the Bengals were in the Super Bowl last year and are led by a quarterback who was clearly built to will his team to wins in important moments, stats tell you the Bengals are being overlooked in the Super Bowl conversation.
They rank in the top 10 of the NFL in both points per game scored (26.1) and opponents points per game scored (20.1). Their red-zone scoring offense is No. 5 in the NFL (64.9%) and their RZ scoring defense is No. 9 (52.0%). They create turnovers (1.5 per game), turn it over at the sixth-lowest rate in the NFL and are the sixth-fewest penalized team in the NFL.
That is a recipe for playoff success.
The Bengals' biggest achilles heel is they're 29th in yards per rush (3.8) and rushing yards per game (95.5), which is certainly an important element to playoff success. But they're defense gives up the ninth-fewest rushing yards per play (4.2) and seventh-fewest yards per game (106.6). Besides, their offense is predicated on Burrow's success, and I have no doubt in his ability come crunch time.
It's rare for a team that lost the Super Bowl to win it the next year but it's not unheard of. The New England Patriots did that in 2019 and the Cowboys did it in 1972. It's certainly bucking the trend, but the one thing those teams shared with the Bengals is elite quarterback play.
As long as Burrow is on the field, the Bengals have a chance, and I certainly think their chances are better than the 49ers.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.