The Bengals have suffered back-to-back losing seasons. The consensus is long-time coach Marvin Lewis needs to not only reach the playoffs, but also win his first postseason game to stay employed. A tough road schedule makes this prospect dim.
Below you will find the Bengals’ straight-up and against-the-spread records from last year’s NFL regular season, including average margin of victory, 2017 average odds, 2017 win totals and 2018 pre-scheduled figures, and projected strength of schedule using opponents’ combined record from 2017.
2017 SU Record: 7-9 (-3.7 avg. margin)
2017 ATS Record: 9-7 (-2.7 avg. margin)
2017 Average Line: 1.0
2017 Win Total: 8.5 (+120)
2018 Strength of Schedule: T-29, opponents were 121-135 (.473)Three Games to Back ATS
Browns, Week12; @Browns, Week 16
The Bengals’ offense is subpar most seasons, but it has taken advantage of the worst of the worst defenses behind quarterback Andy Dalton. The three-time Pro Bowler is 16-4 SU and 15-5 ATS facing a unit that surrendered greater than 25.5 points per game the previous season. Cincy racks up 26.4 points per tilt, while covering a -2.9 average line by 6.3 points per game.
Dolphins, Week 5
Dalton, often criticized for his so-so arm and shaky accuracy, is at his best against weaker pass rushes. The Bengals are 21-7 SU and 20-8 ATS vs. defenses that tallied less than two sacks per game the prior season, these include the Colts (1.6), Dolphins (1.9), Chiefs (1.9), Buccaneers (1.4), and Raiders (1.9). The offense scores 25.9 points per game. Cincy wins by 8.9 points per game. When favored by more than a field goal on the NFL oddsboard, Cincy is undefeated (14-0 SU) and 12-2 ATS.
Three Games to Fade ATS
Steelers, Week 3
Ben Roethlisberger owns the Bengals, going 23-7 SU and 21-9 ATS. The Steelers post 24.6 points per game. Lewis has seen his team score this many just three times in 32 all-time meetings. Ouch.
Ravens, Week 2
Toss out the Steelers, and Dalton is 4-5-1 SU and 1-7-1 ATS at Paul Brown Stadium hosting a defense that yielded fewer than 20.5 points the previous year. Baltimore’s 18.9 ranked fifth fewest in the NFL in 2017. Kicking off -4.3 favorites, Cincy has lost four outright and fought to a tie in one as chalk.
@Saints, Week 10
The Bengals head to the Big Easy off a bye week, where they’ll likely catch points. Lewis is 2-7 SU and 4-5 ATS in his career in this situation. The offense posts just 18.1 points per game. This will not be enough to threaten a win, or cover the spread against Drew Brees and Co. The Saints average 30.0 points per game as home chalk in the Superdome behind the two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
Trap Game Potential
@Ravens, Week 11
Cincy catches the Ravens coming off a bye. Lewis is 6-9 SU and 4-11 ATS in his career when squaring off with opponents coming off more than a week’s rest. The Bengals come up 3.8 points shy of a -1.2 average line.