NFL Season Win Total Bet – Cincinnati Bengals

by | Last updated Jul 12, 2024 | nfl

NFL Season Win Total Bet – Cincinnati Bengals

Let’s examine the pro and cons of betting on season win totals.

Notice I said, “pro and cons” instead of the normal “pros and cons.”

Because there’s really only one good thing about betting on season win totals – you have action on every game without having to make an individual bet on every game.
Here’s an example of how that’s helpful.

Growing up in New Jersey meant that for locally televised games, I was stuck with the New York Giants (Ugh) and New York Jets (double Ugh.) Being a Seahawk fan, I had no use for either of those two teams except for the rare occasion when Seattle was on their schedule.

Making a bet on games with the NY teams was required to make it interesting; otherwise, I would have no reason to watch. And that can be an expensive habit if you’re handicapping isn’t going well (and your handicapping usually doesn’t go well when you tend to always bet against teams just because you don’t like them and want to root against them, like me with the Jets and Giants.)
But season win totals gave me the rooting interest I needed without having to bet on every game, thus saving me money. (And yes, I always bet the Under on season wins for both New York teams. Like I said, I like to root against them.)

Bettors who do not have the NFL package that allows them to watch the game of their choice can benefit from the option of betting their local team’s season win totals for a little Sunday fun without the financial risk of betting every individual game.

But other than getting action on your local TV games, the cons definitely outweigh the pros for betting season win totals.

First, you’re tying up your money for the entire season. The books LOVE it when people bet futures because they get to bank their money all year long and collect interest on it.
The general rule of thumb if you’re ever unsure about any aspect of sports betting – if the books love it, then you should avoid it. Second, you’re getting a lousy return on your investment. Instead of the standard odds where you’re laying -110 to win $100, the books add juice of 30 cents or more. You’re now laying -130/-140 to win $100.

So they’re keeping your money all season long AND charging you extra juice for the “privilege.”
Such a bargain.

And there’s a third negative to consider if you’re looking at betting the Over – injuries.

Let’s use the 2023 Bengals as an example.
Fresh off a 12-4 record in 2022, the books hung an 11′ on Cincinnati for 2023.
Let’s say you liked the Over.
Let’s say you bet on the Over.
Here’s a question I have for you – how were you feeling on November 16th, when the Baltimore Ravens knocked Joe Burrows out for the season?

I’m guessing you felt about as good as Joe’s going to feel when he’s suiting up in the locker room right before he’s about to face that same menacing and relentless Baltimore defense twice this year. Betting on team totals ties up your cash, is expensive juice-wise, and is risky if you’re taking the Over.

That’s three negatives to only one positive.
The edge, as usual, goes to the books.

I chose the Bengals for my example because that’s who I used in the first season “win bet” I made this year (yes, despite the juice and laying out the cash for six months.)

The current price on this is:
Cincinnati Over 10′ -138, Under +108

I like that Dog price.

Here’s the Bengals record over the five years since head coach Zack Taylor was put in charge:

  • 2019: 2-14
  • 2020: 4-11
  • 2021: 10-7
  • 2022: 12-4
  • 2023: 9-8

I only see one season Over 10′.”

“But they didn’t have Joe Burrows in 2019 and 2020!” is what Bengal fans and bettors who favor the Over would argue.Okay, I’ll give you that.
But in the three years with him, they only had one season Over 10′.

“But Burrows got hurt and didn’t play a full schedule in 2023,” would be the natural retort.

And that’s exactly my point – he DID get hurt in 2023.
Who’s to say he’s fully recovered from his injury?
Who’s to say he won’t hurt his wrist AGAIN in 2024?

And even if he is back and remains healthy, and that’s a big IF, here’s a point that all the Bengal backers seem to forget – even BEFORE Baltimore KO’d him, Burrows had a 1-3 start (including a 27-3 loss to the Tennessee Titans, who finished the year at 6-11.) He ended up with a record of 5-5. That’s .500, the very definition of mediocre. And nowhere close to where he’ll need to be to get 11 wins in 2024.

Burrows’ QBR for 2023 was an unimpressive 52.4, putting him at number 19.
And that’s when he was healthy.

Also, pointing me towards the Under – he’ll be trying to win without two key components. Number one running back Joe Mixon and number two wide receiver Tyler Boyd are both gone.

Cincinnati picked up Zack Moss (794 yards) to replace Mixon (1,034 rushing yards and 52 receptions), but that’s a lateral move at best, and I lean towards it being a downgrade at the position.
Not only have they not picked up anyone to replace Boyd, but Burrows’ number two pass option, Tee Higgins, has yet to report to camp.
If Higgins continues to hold out over contract disputes, opposing defenses will focus on nullifying Ja’aMarr Chase, leaving Burroughs with limited options in the passing game.

The Bengals may have caught a bit of a break in that SOS has them ranked middle of the pack, while their division mates the Browns, Ravens, and Steelers are ranked one, two, and three in terms of the toughest schedule. But that’s all preseason conjecture, with a lot of variables that will change as the season progresses. Variables like injuries.

Cincinnati has nine games against teams who had a winning record last year.

They have seven games against teams who won 11 or more games last year, including KC and Dallas on the road.

They have six games in the only division (their own, the AFC North) where every team had a winning record last year.

Another thing I like about the Under – every preseason prognosticator I checked picks the Bengals to go Over the total this year.

I researched season win predictions from ten popular sports outlets, including Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports, MGM, Docs, and others, and they’re ALL on the Over.
And what is one of my mantras?
Books don’t stay in business by paying everybody. When everyone’s going one way, you’re usually better off going the other way.

But it really comes down to this – how will Joe Burrows play coming off his wrist injury?
Is it fully healed?
Will he be able to throw as effectively as before the injury?
Has he recovered mentally? How will he react the first time he gets hit on that wrist again?
Is he going to force bad passes trying to avoid the sack and get hurt again?

And remember, he was hobbled by a strained calf and wasn’t 100% last year, even BEFORE the wrist injury took him out.
Will that calf injury flare up again?

I think bettors are putting too much misplaced faith on Joe Burrows coming back off an injury.

With downgrades at running back and wide receiver, and question marks surrounding a quarterback coming back from injuries, I took Cincinnati to go Under their total of 10′, +108.

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