It’s a tradition. No sooner does the confetti hit the Super Bowl field and the joyful winners hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy when odds are posted for the following season’s Big Game winner.
For Ohio sports betting fans, there may be something of a surprise in that the odds for the Cincinnati Bengals, losers of a hard fought 23-20 Super Bowl to the Los Angeles Rams Sunday. They are not so different than those of the Cleveland Browns, who are coming off an 8-9 campaign.
Ohio had a team in Super Bowl 56, but sports bettors there had to travel across state lines to legally bet on the game. Sports betting is live in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Michigan, with Indiana being closest to Cincinnati.
It's likely that sports betting will be up and running in Ohio before Super Bowl 57.
The Bengals went 10-7 in the regular season before beating Las Vegas at home in their opening playoff game as 6-point favorites and then impressively winning road games as underdogs against Tennessee and Kansas City.
Looking ahead to next season, the Bengals are listed at +2100 on FanDuel to win next year’s Super Bowl scheduled for Glendale, Arizona. Meanwhile, the Browns apparently are not too removed from Cincinnati in the eyes of the FanDuel oddsmakers at +2400 as of Monday afternoon. On DraftKings, the Bengals are +1400 and the Browns are +3000.
Overall, the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills are co-favorites to win the next Super Bowl with FanDuel at +700. The current NFL champions, the Rams, are +1200 along with the Dallas Cowboys. Green Bay is +1300 and San Francisco is +1500. Cincinnati, at +2100, has the same odds as AFC North rival Baltimore.
Bengals Need to Protect Burrow
In the playoffs and the Super Bowl, Cincinnati’s problems protecting star quarterback Joe Burrow were exposed and while the Bengals managed to overcome that flaw in their offense to get to Super Bowl LVI, it was that very weakness that did them in against the Rams, notably at the end of the game.
It’s apparent that figuring out how to protect Burrow should be an offseason priority for Cincinnati. He wound up taking 70 total sacks in the regular season and the playoffs.
However, history weighs against the Bengals. Over the 56 seasons of the Super Bowl Era, just three championship game losers came back the next campaign to win the Super Bowl and two of those were a half century ago, Dallas followed by Miami, in the early 1970s. The only recent franchise to lose the Big Game and then win it the next season was New England in Super Bowl LIII against the Rams.
Browns Banking on Baker
Speaking of history, a Cleveland Browns team has never been in the Super Bowl but that requires an explanation. The original Browns won eight titles in two leagues (four in the NFL) prior to the Super Bowl Era. Then the franchise moved to Baltimore for the 1996 season where the relocated Ravens went on to win two Super Bowls. Eventually, the current Browns re-emerged in Cleveland in 1999.
Cleveland’s chances in 2022 will hinge on whether quarterback Baker Mayfield is able to overcome an injury that cut short his 2021 and play up to the potential that made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.
Since then, Mayfield has been 29-30 as a starter. Mayfield suffered a shoulder injury (torn labrum non-throwing shoulder) early in the 2021 season but played through it for most of the year. He had surgery last month and is expected to be ready by training camp.