Heading into the final week of the 2022-23 NFL Regular Season, the defending AFC Champions, the Cincinnati Bengals are 11-4 on the season. However, where they will fall exactly in the AFC playoff picture is still a mystery. While they have essentially clinched the AFC North with their game against the Buffalo Bills being cancelled, they’re seeding in the playoffs is still undecided due to Damar Hamlin’s cardiac event on Monday evening resulting in the eventual cancellation of the the Bengals home matchup against the Buffalo Bills, the Bengals and Bills will only have played 16 games this season.
As of right now, the Bengals are at worst locked into the No.3 seed in the AFC, at best, they could be the No.2 seed. The only two games that matter this weekend for the Bengals are their own game against the Ravens as well as the Bills’ matchup against the New England Patriots.
If the Bills were to beat the Ravens and the Patriots were to beat the Bills, the Bengals would move from the No. 3 seed to the No. 2 seed, clinching home field advantage in the Wild Card and Divisonal Rounds. However, if they were to lose to the Ravens or if the Bills were to beat the Patriots, they would be locked into the No.3 seed, guaranteeing at least home field advantage in the Wild Card but not the Divisional Round or AFC Championship Game if they were to make it that far.
Currently at, Tipico Ohio, the Bengals are currently +400 to repeat as AFC Champions only behind the Kansas City Chiefs (+175) and Buffalo Bills (+185). They have significantly higher odds than this next team, the Los Angeles Chargers at +1200.
When it comes to the Super Bowl, Tipico is once again high on the Bengals giving them +750 odds, the fifth highest across the NFL. The only teams with better odds are the previously mentioned Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs both at +380, while the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers are tied at +550.
A significant boost from their preseason Super Bowl odds of +2080. They’ve also hit the over on their season win total of 9.5.
Bengals have been one of the league’s hottest teams since October:
After a slow start, losing three of their first five games of the season, the Bengals have been arguably the best team across the NFL since mid-October. Starting with 30-26 win over New Orleans on October 16, the Bengals have won nine of 10, only losing to the Cleveland Browns in the middle of their impressive stretch.
The Bengals have posted both a top-10 offense and defense this season, scoring 24.9 points per game offensively while only allowing 19.3.
Star quarterback and former first overall pick Joe Burrow has picked up where he left last season. Through 17 weeks, he’s completed 69% of his passes for 4,260 yards and 34 touchdowns while throwing just 12 interceptions.
Burrow was able to achieve that level of success despite not having star wide out Ja’Marr Chase for five games this season. Despite missing those five games, Chase leads the team in receptions with 79 for 960 yards and eight touchdowns. Stepping up in his absence this season at times has been Tee Higgins, who notched his second straight 1,000+ yard season. For the year, Higgins has produced 73 receptions for 1,022 yards and seven touchdowns.
Bengals vs Ravens:
Over at Tipico Ohio, the Bengals are currently seven point favorites over the Baltimore Ravens for this weekend’s regular season finale. The Bengals enter the game rather healthy with all their core pieces set to play, the Ravens, however, are banged up especially at the quarterback position.
Star quarterback Lamar Jackson has missed the last several weeks with a knee injury and backup signal caller Tyler Huntley has been limited in practice as well to a shoulder injury. If niether quarterback can play, the Ravens will turn to former Boston College and Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown to lead the offense against the Bengals.
The Bengals historically over the last few seasons have struggled with the Ravens, losing six of their last nine including earlier this season in Baltimore. Two of those three wins, however, came last season as the Bengals dominated the Ravens by a total score of 82-38 in their pair of matchups.
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