The Bengals should officially be on every sportsbettor's radar. They emerged as two-way powerhouses last season, in part because they were able to capitalize on injuries and suspensions the Pittsburgh Steelers were forced to weather. Still, they a are great football team—an everything play that should remain intact looking forward. The Bengals didn't make any major offseason changes, so they didn't. They kept safety Adam Jones and cornerback George Iloka, two key contributors on the defensive end.
And they still have one of the most potent offenses on paper, provided quarterback Andy Dalton remains healthy.
Dalton suffered a broken thumb at the end of the 2015 season that ruined any real change the Bengals had of making noise in the playoffs. A.J. McCarron just isn't ready to run an NFL offense and it showed...big time.
But Dalton should be ready to rock in 2016, and he continues to enjoy an incredibly deep offensive corps around him. Expect the Bengals, who ranked seventh in points per game last season, to have one of the most balanced onslaughts in the NFL, with an equally dangerous air and ground arsenal.
Strong defensive showings will take care of the rest. The Bengals will battle for AFC North positioning with the Steelers and could even be favorites to win the division again. Even if they're not, they are worth a dice roll there.
Cincinnati Bengals Betting Lines Today
Check out betting lines for the Cincinnati Bengals below. This tells you everything you must know: spreads, moneylines, overs, unders and kickoff times.
It's great practice to get in the habit of revisiting this page multiple times between the release of lines and the moment you actually place your bet. NFL lines change often since they're published pretty far in advance.
That leaves them more susceptible to player injuries, player returns and any early betting trends that surprisingly favor one particular wager.
Keep checking out this page during the week, and you'll know you're never behind the information stream.
Find the Cincinnati Bengals' entire schedule below. It also has the scores of previous games, which are valuable in the most understated way possible.
By keeping tabs on their past performances, you are able to unearth certain wagering patterns that can be applied to every opponent based on where the Bengals game in question is being played.
To wit: These scores tell you where the Bengals struggle versus where they thrive. Are they, in fact, dominant spread bets? Do they cover a lot more when they're at home? How are they doing when on the road? Have they tended to cover the over or the under more? How do they play against teams over .500 versus under .500? Do they struggle against their division at all? If so, which teams are their Achilles heel?
Find stuff like this out, and you have yourself a betting key—a firm guide to gambling on the Bengals. You then measure that key against spreads, overs, unders, moneylines and opponents, which should yield an obvious wager in which to invest.
Studying upcoming matchups also helps give you an edge. NFL lines won't be readily available weeks in advance, but you can still study team offenses, defenses, injury reports, etc. Factors like that will be enough for you to spott marked differences that make your betting decisions on game week insanely easier.
Cincinnati Bengals Standings Right Now
Below you can see the Cincinnati Bengals' standings right now. Midseason futures bettors will want to make sure they're visiting this page regularly–weekly at the very least.
By seeing where the Bengals sit relative to other NFL contenders, you can tell whether they remain strong division, conference and championship ventures.
If their record is comparable to, say, the Pittsburgh Steelers, you know to use them as divisional plays. And if that same record measures up to teams like the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots, you'll know you have a conference and Super Bowl candidate on your hands.
How To Win At Cincinnati Bengals Betting
The Cincinnati Bengals should, for the most part, be viewed as your spread darlings. If that changes, try to spot it early in the season.
Otherwise, invest in their spreads with liberal savvy.
This has everything to do with their balance. As is the case with all professional sports, great teams play well in all aspects of the game.
Broken down in simpler fashion, this refers specifically to offense and defense. Squads that play both well are typically the best in their respective league.
Cincinnati isn't expected to be different in 2016.
Last season, it ranked in the top seven of points scored per game and the top five of points allowed per game. That's insane balance. It's what allowed Cincinnati to amass 12 victories.
When teams display this type of two way acumen, that's when they, like the Bengals, become strong spread options—especially against clearly inferior opponents.
Put it this way: The Bengals are going to score points in bunches without allowing very many touchdowns or field goals. And that disparity will be reflected in the score, most likely with lucrative win margins. Ergo, bet their spreads.
Be carefull when following this rule against better teams, of course. If the Bengals are facing an equal, you'll need to dig deeper into individual matchups, studying the offensive and defensive performances of both sides, before funneling cash into their spread.
Forget the AFC North division for a minute. The Pittsburgh Steelers may be the favorites there. But it doesn't matter. There is an opening for a new powerhouse to emerge in the AFC, and the Bengals, already on the fringes of that scope, could be it.
The Denver Broncos, last year's Super Bowl winners, are likely preparing for a setback. Peyton Manning's retirment doesn't hurt too much, since he wasn't great in 2015 anyway, but it certainly doesn't help—especially knowing they lost quarterback Brock Osweiler to the Houston Texans.
Most expect the New England Patriots to remain in the conference and Super Bowl fold, and rightly so. But quarterback Tom Brady is another year older, and the "Deflategate" backlash is resurfacing again. If he is forced to miss any games this time around, it hurts the Patriots' chances.
Every other potential candidate fails to decisively rise above the Bengals' top seven offense and defense. The Steelers have the offense, but not the defense; the Kansas City Chiefs have balance, but not in the same flashy fashion as the Bengals; the Indianapolis Colts were terrible on both sides of the ball last season and only stand to improve offensively; the AFC South, as a result of the Colts' decline, may not have a real contender; and fringe squads like the New York Jets just down't have the same two-way appeal.
And that leaves the Bengals, who, realistically, could end up tying for the best, if not the second-best, record in the entire AFC again.
Assuming they remain healthy heading into 2016, and then start the season off right, view them as strong conference and Super Bowl investments—more so than they have ever been before.