Super Bowl odds update: Time to pounce on the Bengals?
The Cincinnati Bengals are the Cinderella story of the NFL playoffs. They were one of the longest shots on the board prior to their Wild Card victory over the Las Vegas Raiders, then were the longest shot of the eight teams left standing to win Super Bowl LVI when they knocked off the Tennessee Titans last Sunday.
The Bengals have gone from +1500 to +800 to win the Super Bowl heading into the Conference Championship round, but are still the biggest underdog available. Should bettors continue to have faith in Cincinnati, or is there another team more worthy of a wager? Let’s investigate.
NFL Championship 2021/2022
Sun, February 13 2022, 11:28 PM
Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Rams
San Francisco 49ers
The case for the Bengals
The surfeit of talent on the offensive side of the ball is a big reason why the Bengals have made it this far. Sophomore signal caller Joe Burrow was held without a passing touchdown for just the second time all season against the Titans in the Divisional Round, but he still managed to go 28-of-37 through the air for 348 yards.
Rookie of the Year candidate Ja’Marr Chase is just one of the many weapons surrounding Burrow, with fellow wide-outs Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd helping to comprise a solid stable of perimeter talent, along with talented tight end C.J. Uzomah. Having Joe Mixon – arguably the best running back left in these playoffs – in the backfield just adds to Cincinnati’s embarrassment of riches on offense.
It’s no wonder this team was seventh in points per game (27.1) this season.
The case against the Bengals
Part of the reason Burrow was held without a touchdown last week is he was often throwing under duress. He was sacked an eye-popping nine times by Tennessee, so the Chiefs pass rushers must be licking their lips ahead of Sunday’s showdown at Arrowhead Stadium.
Bettors will recall that the Bengals got the best of Kansas City when these teams met in Week 17, but the margin was just a field goal, and Chase had a rookie record-setting 266 receiving yards with three touchdowns. That will be incredibly difficult to replicate.
Eat the chalk with the Chiefs
It’s boring, but there’s no value in a losing ticket. Right now, the Chiefs are the best bet on the board.
Kansas City is -335 on the moneyline to exact revenge on the Bengals this Sunday, so it’s very possible the Chiefs will advance to the Super Bowl. Their road certainly seems easier than either the San Francisco 49ers’ or Los Angeles Rams’, as the NFC Championship Game is essentially a coin-flip according to oddsmakers.
Barring the unforeseen, Patrick Mahomes and company will be favored in Super Bowl LVI. With the way their offense is humming, Kansas City doesn’t need an elite defense, just a timely one.