Can Bengals, Browns Finally Return to NFL Playoffs in Same Season?

Can Bengals, Browns Finally Return to NFL Playoffs in Same Season?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals are on the verge of snapping a streak of postseason futility that has lingered over the Buckeye State since the end of Ronald Reagan’s presidential administration.

The two teams last qualifyed for the NFL Playoffs in the same season way back in 1988, when the Browns lost to the Houston Oilers, 24-23, in the AFC Wild Card round, and the Bengals made it to the Super Bowl before falling to San Francisco, 20-16.

The only other time in the 131 seasons of NFL action in the state’s two professional football markets where both teams made the postseason was in 1982, when both lost in the AFC Wild Card round (to the L.A. Raiders and New York Jets).

Much to the benefit of Ohio sports betting, the Bengals and Browns are in solid position to finally snap that postseason skid. Cleveland sits at 9-5 (.643), while Cincinnati is 8-6 (.571) despite losing franchise cornerstones Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase to injuries.

At the moment, neither team has secured their spot in the league’s postseason, though Cleveland currently holds the fifth seed in the AFC and Cincinnati the sixth spot overall. The Browns playoff odds are by far the strongest of the two teams. Cleveland is -900 to make the postseason compared to +220 for Cincinnati.

Bengals, Browns Both in NFL Playoffs

  • 1988: Browns — lost to Houston, 24-23, in AFC Wild Card Round; Bengals — lost to San Francisco, 20-16, in Super Bowl
  • 1982: Browns — lost to L.A. Raiders, 27-10, in AFC Wild Card Round; Bengals — lost to N.Y. Jets, 44-17, in AFC Wild Card Round

The Bengals Super Bowl odds are +10000, tied with Indianapolis, the L.A. Rams and New Orleans.

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Can Ohio’s NFL Teams Break Playoff Skid?

The Browns are the only team besides the Baltimore Ravens to be listed on the ESPN BET Ohio AFC North odds board, with Cleveland coming in at +1100 to win the franchise’s first divisional title since 1989.

Cincinnati’s road to its third straight postseason berth continues in Pittsburgh on Saturday when the 8-6 Bengals play the 7-7 Steelers. Ohio betting apps list Cincinnati as a 2-point road favorite.

From there, the Bengals close out the regular season with a road game against Kansas City on New Year’s Eve before facing the Browns at home on Jan. 7.

The 9-5 Browns head to Houston to play the Texans on Christmas Eve as a 2.5-point favorite on Caesars Sportsbook Ohio, before closing out the year with games against the New York Jets at home on Dec. 28 and the matchup with the Bengals.

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Christopher Boan

Christopher Boan writes for and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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