2012 Cincinnati Bengals Betting Preview
The Cincinnati Bengals went into last season with a head coach on the hot seat and a big question mark at quarterback. But Cincy took advantage of a weak schedule and pulled off a neat trick, making the playoffs with a rookie starting at QB. So that’s now three playoff appearances in nine seasons under Coach Lewis, which is great, relatively speaking, considering Cincinnati went 15 years without a postseason appearance prior to his hiring. But after falling in the Wild-Card round at Houston last January, the Bengals still haven’t won a playoff game since 1990, the longest current drought in the league. Now, after playing above expectations last year, Cincy will try to avoid having a let-down season.
Last Year in Review
With rookie QB Andy Dalton at the helm from Week 1 the Bengals started 1-2 but then won five in a row to finish the first half at 6-2. They then also lost four of their next five. But Cincinnati then sucked it up and won its next two to secure a playoff berth. The Bengals’ luck then ran out in the Wild-Card game. In the end, six of Cincy’s seven losses came by one score or less. But they couldn’t beat any of the big boys, going 0-7 vs. teams that made the playoffs, 0-8 including the Wild-Card defeat.
The Bengals only ranked 20th in offense last year at 320 YPG and 19th in rushing at 111 YPG. On the other side of the ball they ranked seventh in total defense, allowing 316 YPG, and 10th vs. the run at 105 YPG. Overall Cincy ranked 13th in total yardage at +4 YPG and 15th in total rushing at +6 YPG. Right about normal for a 9-7 team.
Dalton, the rookie who led TCU to a win in the Rose Bowl just a year earlier, completed 58 percent of his throws last season for a 20/13 TD/INT ratio and an 80.4 QB rating. And rookie receiver AJ Green caught 65 balls for 1,050 yards. Those two could form a real nice passing combo for years to come.
Betting-wise the Bengals went 8-6-2 ATS last year, and won three times outright as underdogs. Also, Cincy went 11-5 on the ‘over/unders,’ because even as Bengals games averaged a very average 42 points, the totals on their games were regularly among the lowest on the board.
The Cincinnati Bengals lost several key people over the off-season. They let go RB Cedric Benson, who had posted three-straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons, and lost two of their top four receivers, three offensive linemen and S Chris Crocker. But they signed RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, former Panthers OG Travelle Wharton and CBs Terence Newman and Jason Allen, and used the 17th pick in the draft to take Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick and the 27th pick to take Wisconsin OL Kevin Zeitler. So all-in-all Cincy’s off-season looks about like a wash.
2012 Bengals Schedule
Based on last year’s W/L records Cincy will play the 14th-toughest schedule in the league this season. But that ranking, to our eyes, is misleading. The Bengals’ slate begins rather benignly, after the opener at Baltimore, with games vs. the Browns, Redskins, Jags, Dolphins and Browns. But then things get a little tougher, as Cincy goes Steelers-Broncos-Giants, and they later finish with a run of games against the Chargers, Cowboys, Eagles, Steelers and Ravens. So that 14th-toughest ranking may be underselling things a bit; the Bengals will have their hands full.
2012 Cincinnati Bengals Betting Odds and Predictions
Cincinnati is getting +400 at Bookmaker to win the AFC North this season, 18/1 to win the AFC and 40/1 to win the Super Bowl, while 5Dimes has tagged the Bengals with a regular-season wins ‘over/under’ of 7.5 (O -185/U +140). Often times in the NFL teams that pull off pleasant surprises one season fall back to Earth the next. So we’re leaning toward the ‘under’ 7.5 wins on Cincinnati for this season.
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.