The Cincinnati Bengals won seven games a year ago and have a lot of the same players returning, so it shouldn’t be a huge shock that the oddsmakers have projected them to win the same amount in 2018. However, there are reasons for concern, as the underlying metrics could portend some struggles this tear.
Cincinnati unquestionably has some talent, but finished 2017 as only the No. 26 scoring team in the NFL while it was No. 16 in points allowed. In actuality the Bengals’ talent level more resembled that of a 6-10 team but got some close-game wins to finish with seven victories.
Mainstays like quarterback Andy Dalton and star receiver A.J. Green hope to get the Bengals back in playoff contention this year but another losing record would not be a surprise in NFL gambling.
Cincinnati Bengals Opening Futures Odds at BookMaker.eu
Bengals Over 7 Wins -126
Bengals Under 7 Wins +105
2018 Bengals Offense Preview
Dalton played in all 16 games a year ago and yet the Bengals finished among the worst teams in the NFL on offense. That is a major concern as the team may have to look for another arm at the position if Dalton can’t step it up in 2018. Green is a great target to find as he had 75 catches for 1,078 yards and eight touchdowns a season ago. John Ross was a top-10 pick but did not have the impact expected and he needs to have a breakout year or else people will wonder if he deserved to be selected so high.
The backfield will feature Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard, which looks good on paper but didn’t translate into great production a season ago. The Bengals also have Tyler Eifert who is a talented tight end when he is on the field. There are some big names in Cincinnati but it didn’t equal production in 2017. The group needs to improve to hit this win total projection.
2018 Bengals Defense Preview
Cincinnati has some solid players on the defensive line, led by star defensive tackle Geno Atkins. He is a Pro Bowl talent capable of getting after quarterback from the interior, which is no easy feat. Defensive end Carlos Dunlap is another star up front and that duo should make life tough on opposing quarterbacks.
Vontaze Burfict is a good player but he is always dealing with suspensions and other issues, so it’s hard to know when he will be on the field. Williams Jackson III showed promise a season ago at cornerback and will aim to lock down the opposing receivers in his area.
The Bengals released starting safety George Iloka before the season, which came as a surprise, and they will need to make up for his talent and experience.
2018 Cincinnati Bengals Schedule Analysis
The Bengals start with three of their first four on the road, playing at Indianapolis, Carolina and Atlanta. They host the Ravens in Week 2, and none of those are easy contests. Cincinnati then has home games against the Dolphins, Steelers and Buccaneers within its next four, which the Bengals need to take advantage of and grab some victories.
The matchup with the NFC South is not an easy one, as the Panthers, Falcons and Saints were all playoff teams a year ago. The Bengals need to beat the Browns twice this year once again, but that is no guarantee as Cleveland looks to be improved from last year’s 0-16 campaign.
The Final Verdict
The Bengals have some recognizable players but Dalton is a lower-tier starting quarterback and the defense has some holes. Cincinnati would need to pull a couple upsets to surpass seven wins on the year and it’s not going to happen in NFL odds. The Bengals will be looking at a rebuild after a 6-10 campaign in 2018.
NFL Betting Odds: Cincinnati Bengals Under 7 Wins ( +105 )
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