As we approach the midway point of the 2022 NFL season, it’s time to pay more attention to on-field results and less attention to preseason expectations.
This doesn’t mean going all in on the Giants or Jets to win the Super Bowl or throwing in the towel on the Bucs and Packers. However, it does imply betting value in the futures markets as some bettors cling to either priors or recency bias.
Using The Power Rank member numbers and Unabated’s NFL Season Simulator, the betting value appears to be on the Cincinnati Bengals as they continue to roar back from an 0-2 start. Entering Week 8, my member numbers pegs Cincinnati as the NFL’s fourth-best team, 4.5 points better than an average team.
With these ratings, 10,000 simulations from Unabated uncovered the following edges on Cincinnati (market data as of 7:45pm on Wednesday, October 26).
- Make the playoffs: TPR/Unabated -229, WynnBet -160.
- Win the AFC North: TPR/Unabated +144, BetMGM +180.
- Win the AFC: TPR/Unabated +872, DaftKings +1200.
- Win the Super Bowl: TPR/Unabated +1577, DaftKings +2200.
Beyond the quantitative output, there is also a lot of qualitative context working for Cincinnati.
Since pivoting to an almost-exclusively shotgun offense in Week 6, the Bengals have become less predictable to defend. Through five weeks, defenses could safely bet that Joe Burrow under center meant a run was coming and Burrow in the shotgun meant a pass was coming. If you’re not sold on the value of knowing what’s coming, consider the Houston Astros. Credit to Zac Taylor for adjusting.
Cincinnati’s new-look offensive line featuring four new players is hitting its stride. After a disastrous 13 sacks allowed en route to the aforementioned 0-2 start, exacerbated by matchups with T.J. Watt and Micah Parsons, the Bengals’ offensive line has become a more cohesive unit.
One more factor to consider: Cincinnati’s upcoming schedule. The Bengals are 3.5 point favorites against Cleveland this week, and they face Carolina, Pittsburgh and Tennessee in November. They most likely won’t be an underdog again until Week 13 against Kansas City.
Cincinnati’s odds to make another deep playoff run are likely to shorten soon. If you want to back them, the time is now.
In addition, if you like the Bengals to win the division, you need to bet it before the Thursday night game with division rival Baltimore at Tampa Bay. To check out the NFL simulator and all the other tools at Unabated, click here.
Football betting with a PhD edge
This article was sent to The Power Rank’s email newsletter at 7:45pm Eastern on Thursday, October 26, 2022. This newsletter is a free service that strives to be:
The predictions are based on my PhD research from Stanford, and the content covers college football and the NFL.
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