Cincinnati Bengals Betting Preview: Another Season in the Cellar Beckons for Bengals

Matt Wiesenfeld

The Cincinnati Bengals won two of their last three games last season, but that hardly means there is momentum building in Cincinnati. The best thing they can say about 2020 is that when rookie QB Joe Burrow was healthy, he looked pretty good. He did have a significant injury though, and we need to see him in a regular-season game to see where he is.

From last year, the Bengals’ trajectory is not really clear. Treading water only works if you are already at a high level and they are definitely not there. But progress needs to occur in 2021 for coach Zac Taylor to not be under major pressure.

Cincinnati Bengals 2021 Schedule and Futures Odds

To keep up with the Bengals’ results and updated futures odds throughout the 2021 NFL season, check out our dedicated Cincinnati Bengals page.

Cincinnati Bengals 2021 Futures Odds

  • Super Bowl LVI Odds: +12000
  • Odds to Win the AFC Championship: +6000
  • Odds to Win the AFC North: +1600
  • 2021 NFL Season Win Total: OVER 6.5 (+100), UNDER 6.5 (-120)
  • Odds to Make the NFL Playoffs: YES +450, NO -650

Cincinnati Bengals futures odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook as of Thursday, September 2, 2021.

Cincinnati Bengals 2021 Schedule

Date, Matchup, Time, and TV Broadcast Information

Week 1

Sunday, September 12, 2021: vs Minnesota Vikings, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX

Week 2

Sunday, September 19, 2021: at Chicago Bears, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX

Week 3

Sunday, September 26, 2021: at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 4

Thursday, September 30, 2021: vs Jacksonville Jaguars, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Week 5

Sunday, October 10, 2021: vs Green Bay Packers, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX

Week 6

Sunday, October 17, 2021: at Detroit Lions, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX

Week 7

Sunday, October 24, 2021: at Baltimore Ravens, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 8

Sunday, October 31, 2021: at New York Jets, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 9

Sunday, November 7, 2021: vs Cleveland Browns, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 10


Week 11

Sunday, November 21, 2021: at Las Vegas Raiders, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 12

Sunday, November 28, 2021: vs Pittsburgh Steelers, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 13

Sunday, December 5, 2021: vs Los Angeles Chargers, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX

Week 14

Sunday, December 12, 2021: vs San Francisco 49ers, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 15

Sunday, December 19, 2021: at Denver Broncos, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 16

Sunday, December 26, 2021: vs Baltimore Ravens, 1:00 pm ET, CBS

Week 17

Sunday, January 2, 2022: vs Kansas City Chiefs, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 18

Sunday, January 9, 2022: at Cleveland Browns, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Cincinnati Bengals 2021 Season and Betting Preview

Key Additions and Subtractions


  • CB Chidobe Awuzie
  • DE Trey Hendrickson
  • DT Larry Ogunjobi
  • RT Riley Rieff
  • WR Ja’Marr Chase
  • OG Jackson Carman

The defense was definitely a focus this offseason, and for good reason. Hendrickson really broke out as a pass rusher with New Orleans. They need him to keep that up. Awuzie and Ogunjobi are expected to start but are margin upgrades at best. Rieff and Carman are additions made with the idea of keeping Burrow upright and healthy. If they can’t do that, the Bengals are sunk. Chase is a former LSU teammate of Burrow. He has a lot of promise, but receiver was not really a need.


  • DT Geno Atkins
  • RB Gio Bernard
  • WR AJ Green
  • DE Carl Lawson
  • OT Bobby Hart

We are seeing a changing of the guard with the Bengals with Atkins and Green moving on. For years they were the top defensive and offensive players on the team. Bernard will be missed because he was a threat in the passing game and Mixon has difficulty staying healthy. Lawson and Hart have been easily replaced.

2021 Season Preview

On offense, so much depends on the health of Burrow. That is true for every team and their quarterback, but the Bengals have no depth in the QB room. This team is really young on offense too. I like running back Joe Mixon a lot, but he has to stay healthy to help the team have some offensive balance. Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins are both good receivers, especially Higgins who had an underrated rookie season. They are why I don’t think the Bengals needed to reach for Chase in the draft. This could be a middle-of-the-pack offense.

The ceiling is not nearly as high on defense. Getting a guy like Hendrickson could help but he is not a game-changer. The Bengals were 26th in yards and 21st in points allowed last season. They have improved a little on the margins, but it is hard to see how the Bengals improve on those marks. They were last in sacks, and without enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks, defenses really struggle.

Cincinnati might have better talent than a year ago and could make some noise on offense with a healthy Burrow. They have not improved in any obvious way that discernible improvement will occur in their performances or in the win column.

2021 Betting Preview

Cincinnati’s futures are not worth pursuing. To give you some perspective, the Bengals are currently +450 just to make the playoffs. To be honest, even that is not good value considering the division they play in. You could double it, and I would still not like that bet.

The win total is high to me, and the only play is the under. For starters, they will be underdogs in every division game, unless their season finale at Cleveland is a rest day for the Browns. I see only one “gimme” for the Bengals, which is when they host the Jaguars in Week 4. If they don’t get that one, they likely won’t get a win in the first month. In fact, if they can’t beat Jacksonville, I am not sure who they can beat. Every time I run through the schedule I see between 2-4 wins.

Prop to consider: Joe Burrow Comeback Player of the Year +700

As long as he is healthy, Burrow could put up good numbers. If he does, he has value here. Dak Prescott is leading the odds at +200, but his shoulder is a concern. Christian McCaffery is also +700, and Saquon Barkley comes in at +850, but they also carry a real risk of injury. If you like Burrow, there is also value in backing him at +1600 to lead the NFL in passing yards. The Bengals are going to be losing a lot, and the opportunity to rack up yards will be there.

Final Thought

There is little to love about the Bengals this season. They do not have the talent to compete with good teams in the league right now and are in a division with three playoff hopefuls. Burrow and other offensive players could put up strong statistical seasons assisted by a mass of garbage and catch-up time, but I will be looking to fade this team on a regular basis.

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