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INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 13: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals throws a pass in the second half against the Los Angeles Rams during Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. Photo by Kevin C. Cox / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP.

Cincinnati Bengals futures bettors at Betfred are celebrating a Super Bowl victory that hasn't even happened yet.

Betfred founder Fred Done announced Wednesday on the sportsbook's Twitter account that his site will pay out Bengals championship futures, four days before they face the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.

Betfred is the official sportsbook sponsor of the Bengals, who opened the week as 1.5-point underdogs at Kansas City but are now slim favorites at the majority of sports betting sites (due largely to the uncertain status of injured Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes).

As the favorites in the AFC Championship Game, the Bengals have the second-shortest odds among the four remaining teams, ranging between +250 and +260 across the best sportsbooks.

And that brings us to Betfred’s follow-up announcement: If you did not get a Bengals bet in already, Betfred is offering Cincinnati Super Bowl odds at a boosted price of +300 until kickoff of the AFC Championship Game.

The Bengals lost 23-20 to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI last year.

Why pay out on the Bengals?

The decision to pay out Bengals Super Bowl futures is certainly noble – but let's not be naive about the real reason for it.

There's certainly a marketing motive at work here, with Betfred looking to gain a bigger foothold in a newly-legislated (and suddenly crowded) Ohio market. Combining this promotion with a formal Bengals partnership is a good way to get noticed.

Betfred also has an eye toward the future; Done says that, while his sportsbook is active in nine U.S. states at present, it intends to expand into eight more in 2023, with an additional five on the table for 2024.