For much of the 2022 NFL season, the AFC appeared to be a two-team race between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs.
The reigning AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals reminded the league of their relevance with a 24-17 Week 13 win over Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. The victory was Cincinnati’s third over Kansas City this calendar year.
Betting markets certainly took notice. The Bengals moved from +1800 to win the Super Bowl all the way down to +1200 at Caesars after the win — the sixth-lowest odds in the NFL.
Sports betting in Ohio is set to kick off on Jan. 1. Ohio bettors will have the opportunity to bet on the Bengals’ clash with Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 2, in addition to the 2022 NFL playoffs and Super Bowl LVII.
Bengals were not considered serious preseason contenders
Despite winning the AFC and nearly hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in February, the Cincinnati Bengals weren’t exactly favorites to repeat in preseason betting markets.
In April, the Bengals were +1100 to win the AFC and +2000 to win the Super Bowl — the 10th-lowest Super Bowl odds in the league. With Russell Wilson joining the Broncos, Deshaun Watson moving to Cleveland and Justin Herbert’s ascent in Los Angeles, the AFC looked packed with powerful offenses.
That left the Bengals with only the fifth-best odds to win the conference. The Bengals in April were tied with the Ravens and Browns at +1100 to win the AFC. The Buffalo Bills (+300), Kansas City Chiefs (+450), Denver Broncos (+850) and Los Angeles Chargers (+850) were more heavily favored.
The Broncos and Charges have faded from contention, and the Miami Dolphins have asserted themselves as contenders. The current odds to win the AFC at Caesars Sportsbook Ohio are:
- Buffalo Bills +190
- Kansas City Chiefs +220
- Cincinnati Bengals +600
- Miami Dolphins +800
- Baltimore Ravens +900
- Tennessee Titans +2000
Bengals are on the rise with sixth-best Super Bowl odds
The Bengals’ slow start to the season caused many to write off the team as a one-hit wonder. After losing their first two games, the team had to fight back to .500 and entered its bye week 5-4 after a dominant win over the Carolina Panthers.
Like last year, Cincinnati came out of the bye on fire, winning three straight including victories over the first-place Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs. At 8-4, the Bengals currently occupy a Wild Card spot, but they are only one game behind the No. 1 seeded Buffalo Bills and hold tiebreakers against both the Chiefs and Titans.
As such, the Bengals are currently +1200 to win the Super Bowl. They’ve jumped the Dolphins and Ravens, sitting only behind the Bills (+400), Chiefs (+450), Eagles (+500), Cowboys (+700) and 49ers (+900).
Joe Burrow continues dominance of Chiefs
Before Sunday’s game, no team or QB had beaten Patrick Mahomes three times in a row. Joe Burrow has now done so in a single calendar year. The Bengals came from behind to beat the Chiefs in Week 17 last year before doing the same thing on the road in the AFC title game.
Bettors were largely on the other side of this feat occurring. At Caesars, 75% of the spread bets and 64% of the handle were on the Chiefs in Week 13.
Bettors also liked the over, with 83% of tickets and 89% of dollars on the total of 53 points going over. The game ended up at 51 points.
Burrow played yet another masterful game, throwing for 286 yards on 25-of-31 passing with two TDs and no interceptions, plus another 46 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground.
The Bengals QB is a legitimate MVP threat, coming in with the third-lowest odds to win the award at +800. Only Patrick Mahomes (+110) and Jalen Hurts (+160) are lower. Josh Allen and Tua Tagovailoa round out the top-five, with both at +1200.