NFL Betting Odds – Defending AFC North Champs Getting No Respect

What does a reigning champ have to do to get some respect in NFL betting odds?

The Cincinnati Bengals won the AFC North last season, they added wide receiver Terrell Owens, yet their regular season win total in NFL odds was just eight.

NFL betting odds are listing the Bengals as the third choice in the AFC North behind the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers.  How about some love for the reigning champion Bengals?   It seems the odds makers and gamblers can’t forget the loss in the playoffs last year to the New York Jets.

Cincinnati’s offense:  The Bengals can run the ball as well as anyone in the league with Cedric Benson.  Now they are hoping that the addition of Terrell Owens can upgrade their passing attack.  Carson Palmer is a solid quarterback but he has not really excited bettors the past few seasons.  Palmer was just 16th in the league last season in passer rating.  If Owens opens up the field he may be able to hit some more big plays this season and Chad Ochocinco may have a better year.  It should not be forgotten that the Bengals got a great tight end in the draft in Jermaine Gresham.

Cincinnati’s defense:  The Bengals were getting fantastic play from right end Antawn Odom last season and then he got hurt.  That injury was huge as the Bengals didn’t have a pass rush.   He should be at full strength this season. The linebackers and secondary are strong and the Bengals got a break when Rey Maualuga was not suspended.

Cincinnati’s Schedule: The main reason the win total in NFL odds on the Bengals is eight is their schedule. Cincinnati does not have an easy road to repeat as division champs.  The Bengals open with tough games at New England and then home vs. Baltimore.  They do have winnable games though in NFL betting odds at Carolina, Cleveland and then home vs. Tampa Bay. A road game in Atlanta looks like a loss and then Cincinnati has tough home games vs. Miami and Pittsburgh.   The Bengals then have to go to Indianapolis. Their one break is that they host the pathetic Bills.  They pay for that though as they then have to go to the Jets before hosting the Saints. The last four games don’t look easy as they go to Pittsburgh, host Cleveland and San Diego and close out at Baltimore.  The schedule is brutal but the Bengals are better and a nine win season is possible.