It’s one thing to win games in the NFL, but if a team really wants to please sports bettors, it will cover the spread.
In sports betting, including the Ohio online sportsbooks that will launch on Jan. 1, the point spread is a handicap decided by sportsbooks and assigned to a favorite in the game. For instance, in last season’s Super Bowl, the Cincinnati Bengals were +4.5 underdogs against the Los Angeles Rams.
That means if you took the Bengals to cover the spread, you would have won because although they lost, they only lost by three points (23-20).
Cincinnati covered the spread in that game, but let’s look at how it fared during the entire 2021-2022 season.
Cincinnati Bengals Against the Spread Last Year
The Bengals won the AFC North with a 10-7 record and scored over 100 more points than their nearest divisional rival.
Not only did the Bengals go 10-7 straight up last year, but they also went 10-7 against the spread (ATS) during the regular season and a perfect 4-0 ATS in the playoffs to finish 14-7 ATS (66.7%) on the year. The Bengals covered the spread in their final four regular season games, too, meaning they covered in their last eight games overall.
Cincinnati was particularly good ATS on the road with an 8-2 record while going 6-5 at home. The Bengals were considered the home team for the Super Bowl even though the game was played in Los Angeles.
It was the highest win total ATS of any team in the NFL and second only to the Dallas Cowboys in terms of ATS win percentage. The Cowboys finished 13-5 ATS (72.2%).
To put it in perspective, the Rams actually had a losing record ATS (10-11) in their Super Bowl-winning season.
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Bengals ATS in the AFC North
In the NFL, teams play each divisional opponent twice per year, so it’s crucial to perform well against your rivals if you want to make a playoff push. During last season, the Bengals finished 4-2 straight up against the AFC North and 5-1 ATS.
The only time they didn’t cover the spread was on Nov. 7, when they got trounced 41-16 at home against the Cleveland Browns. No other team had a winning record ATS in the division, with the Ravens at 8-9, Steelers at 8-10, and Browns at 7-10.
The Bengals success ATS extended beyond their division and into the AFC in general as they finished 11-4 against conference opponents, including the playoffs. Cincinnati was 3-3 vs. NFC teams on the season.
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Bengals Schedule and Opponents’ Records ATS Last Year
Can Cincinnati continue its success ATS this season? Here’s a look at the Bengals’ upcoming schedule and how their opponents fared ATS last year.
|Week||Date||Opponent||ATS Record 2021-22|
|1||Sun, Sep 11||vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||8-10|
|2||Sun, Sep 18||@ Dallas Cowboys||13-5|
|3||Sun, Sep 25||@ New York Jets||6-11|
|4||Thu, Sep 29||vs. Miami Dolphins||9-7-1|
|5||Sun, Oct 9||@ Baltimore Ravens||8-9|
|6||Sun, Oct 16||@ New Orleans Saints||9-8|
|7||Sun, Oct 23||vs. Atlanta Falcons||6-10-1|
|8||Mon, Oct 31||@ Cleveland Browns||7-10|
|9||Sun, Nov 6||vs. Carolina Panthers||5-12|
|11||Sun, Nov 20||@ Pittsburgh Steelers||8-10|
|12||Sun, Nov 27||@ Tennessee Titans||10-8|
|13||Sun, Dec 4||vs. Kansas City Chiefs||10-10|
|14||Sun, Dec 11||vs. Cleveland Browns||7-10|
|15||Sun, Dec 18||@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10-9|
|16||Sat, Dec 24||@ New England Patriots||10-8|
|17||Mon, Jan 2||vs. Buffalo Bills||10-7-2|
|18||Sun, Jan 8||vs. Baltimore Ravens||8-9|
AP Photo/Julio Cortez