The two NFL franchises that call Ohio home have mirroring records and lofty aspirations, with one riding a four-game winning streak and the other having won three of their last four.
Between Cincinnati and Cleveland, the Buckeye State has a hold on two of the NFL’s hottest teams, with each coming off impressive wins on Sunday. The Bengals, who are looking to reach the postseason for a third straight season, handled Buffalo at Paul Brown Stadium to move to 5-3 for the year — extending their winning streak to four games. Up the road in Cleveland, the Browns’ quest to reach the NFL playoffs for the first time since 2020 got another jolt of momentum, as they shutout Arizona (23-0) on the road to earn their fifth victory.
To aid your NFL wagers at apps like ESPN BET Ohio, BetOhio.com utilized Champs or Chumps to look at how teams ended up after starting their season 5-3 since the 2018 NFL season. A total of 29 teams have started 5-3 in the last five seasons.
Performance Of NFL Teams Starting 5-3
Can Bengals Continue Winning Ways?
The only 5-3 team to win it all since 2018 was Kansas City in 2019, though 17 teams have reached the postseason during that timeframe after winning five of their first eight games.
Over the last two years, the Bengals have been 4-4 (2022) and 6-2 (2021) at this juncture in the regular season, with those teams eventually reaching the AFC Championship game (2022) and the Super Bowl (2021).
The Bengals Super Bowl odds are +1200, tied with Miami for sixth best in the NFL. With the right mixture of good luck and good play, the Bengals have a solid shot at reaching the playoffs for a third straight season, which is something the franchise has only done once — making the postseason five years in a row between 2011 and 2015.
Browns Looking to Break Playoff Drought
In Cleveland, there’s been a bit of an awakening in Year Four of Kevin Stefanski’s tenure, with the Browns outscoring their opponents 181-139 (+42).
The Browns have beat the Bengals (24-3), Tennessee (27-3), San Francisco (19-17), Indianapolis (39-38) and the Cardinals (23-0), with veteran wideout Amari Cooper serving as a catalyst — hauling in 35 catches for 617 yards and two scores in first eight games.
Throw in a rushing attack that ranks third in the NFL in yards per game (144.1) and a defense that’s giving up the third fewest points per game (17.4) and you have a winning formula for the Browns as they look to reach the postseason for the first time since going to the AFC Divisional round three years ago.
Cleveland fans can take solace in the fact 58.6% of teams that started the year 5-3 reached the postseason, while 20.7% of those wound up winning their Wild Card contests. The Browns playoff chances are strong, with -175 odds to make the postseason against +155 to miss out. The Browns will look to keep the good times rolling in Baltimore on Sunday against the 7-2 Ravens in a 1 p.m. showdown at M&T Bank Stadium, wherein oddsmakers have Cleveland as a 6-point underdog.
Still, after going 15-19 and missing the postseason over the course of the last two seasons, Browns fans are likely welcoming the team’s gridiron about-face. The Browns Super Bowl odds are +3500.