Bengals Super Bowl odds unchanged despite drafting Burrow
The football world knew weeks in advance that the Bengals were going to draft Joe Burrow, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from LSU, with the first pick of the NFL Draft.
What was not expected was the Bengals, an organization that has been inept for most of its existence, having one of the best drafts in the league.
Cincinnati received high praise for its draft haul
The Sporting News gave Cincinnati an "A+," the New York Post gave it an "A," and USA Today, Sports Illustrated, and SB Nation all awarded the Bengals an "A-." Still, their Super Bowl odds hang at +10000, the second longest in the league, behind only the Washington Redskins (+15000).
Leadership was a central theme to Cincinnati’s draft class. The Bengals drafted six players (including Burrow) who held a captaincy on their college team a season ago. Tee Higgins, the second-round wideout from Clemson, was the exception as he left college as a junior.
Grabbing linebackers Logan Wilson (Wyoming) and Akeem Davis-Gaither (Appalachian State) was a coup for the Bengals, who are clearly trying to develop a better locker-room culture than they’ve had a years past.
Bengals are thinking championships
"We’re not just trying to win games. We’re trying to win championships," said Bengals head coach Zac Taylor. "Ultimately, you have to think long term, with that championship mindset — people that are willing to work harder than any team in the league. We feel like we’ve added the right people."
Burrow has plenty of weapons
Burrow, who is a heavy favorite to be named Offensive Rookie of the Year at +225 (Tua Tagovailoa and Clyde Edwards-Helaire are co-second choices at +800), will have one of the top choices for Comeback Player of the Year, A.J. Green (+800), to throw to, along with Higgins and Tyler Boyd. Joe Mixon is also a competent tailback to lean on.
On the other side of the ball, Cincinnati overhauled one of the worst defenses in the league a year ago. The Bengals signed defensive tackle D.J. Reader, safety Vonn Bell, and cornerbacks Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander.
The Bengals may offer value at +10000 to win the Super Bowl, but first they have to survive their own division. That could be a tall order, as they’re +2000 to win the AFC North, over the Ravens (-200), Steelers (+350), and Browns (+500). Cincinnati is +700 just to make the postseason.
It would be an epic feat if the Bengals went from 2-14 a year ago to Super Bowl champions. But believers could do worse than throw a few bucks on Cincy to make the newly expanded playoffs at a big price.