Formed in 1968, the Cincinnati Bengals haven’t exactly bet a bettor’s delight over their first half-century and beyond. In fact, prior to 2009, the Bengals hadn’t even enjoyed back-to-back appearances in the playoffs. This changed in the 2010s with five consecutive postseason bids – and every single one ending in a loss in the wildcard round. Will they be worth the bets in the future…?
Just four teams have never won on Thanksgiving: The Cleveland Browns (now 0-3 in franchise history), Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) remain winless on Thanksgiving through 2021, while and the Jacksonville Jaguars have never played on the holiday.
Friday, 20 Aug: Cincinnati Bengals vs Washington Football Team at FedExField
Sunday, 19 Sep: Cincinnati Bengals vs Chicago Bears at Soldier Field
Thursday, 30 Sep: Jacksonville Jaguars vs Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium
Sunday, 17 Oct: Cincinnati Bengals vs Detroit Lions at Ford Field
Sunday, 05 Dec: Los Angeles Chargers vs Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium
Sunday, 12 Sep: Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium
Sunday, 10 Oct: Green Bay Packers vs Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium
Sunday, 21 Nov: Cincinnati Bengals vs Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium
Sunday, 12 Dec: San Francisco 49ers vs Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium
Sunday, 19 Dec: Cincinnati Bengals vs Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High
Sunday, 26 Dec: Baltimore Ravens vs Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium
Saturday, 15 Jan: Las Vegas Raiders vs Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium
Sunday, 30 Jan: Cincinnati Bengals vs Kansas City Chiefs at Geha Field at Arrowhead Stadium
Monday, 14 Feb: Los Angeles Rams vs Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium
Sunday, 11 Sep: Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium
Sunday, 18 Sep: Cincinnati Bengals vs Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium
Sunday, 25 Sep: Cincinnati Bengals vs New York Jets at MetLife Stadium
Thursday, 29 Sep: Miami Dolphins vs Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium
Sunday, 09 Oct: Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium
Sunday, 16 Oct: Cincinnati Bengals vs New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome
Saturday, 22 Oct: Atlanta Falcons vs Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium
Sunday, 06 Nov: Carolina Panthers vs Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium
Monday, 31 Oct: Cincinnati Bengals vs Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium
Sunday, 20 Nov: Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field
Sunday, 27 Nov: Cincinnati Bengals vs Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium
Sunday, 04 Dec: Kansas City Chiefs vs Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium
Sunday, 11 Dec: Cleveland Browns vs Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium
Sunday, 18 Dec: Cincinnati Bengals vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium
Saturday, 24 Dec: Cincinnati Bengals vs New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium
Monday, 02 Jan: Buffalo Bills vs Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium
The Cincinnati Bengals were the last American Football League expansion team ever created, playing their first season in 1968. Unfortunately for Cincinnati fans, the team all too often performed like an expansion team over its first 50 seasons: At the end of 2017, year 50 for Cincy, the Bengals were ranked just 25th in all-time winning percentage, a mere 10 and 15 games ahead of the New York Jets and Houston Texans, respectively; five years later, after a surprise AFC conference championship win, they’d *dropped one spot* to 26th.
Things haven’t always been so bleak in Bengal Nation, that small country comprising the greater Cincinnati area, Western Ohio and Eastern Kentucky. The team’s first-ever coach was über-legend Paul Brown. In 1970, the team’s third year of existence and the first of the NFL’s six-division format, the Bengals took the AFC Central. They’d twice more get into the playoffs in the 70s, but ’81 represented a true dream year for the club.
For 1981, second-year head coach/NFL Hall of Famer Forrest Gregg combined an offense featuring a battery of QB Kenny Anderson and WR Chris Collinsworth and the three-pronged running attack of backs Archie Griffin, Pete Johnson and Charles Alexander with a defense starring Ross Browner and Reggie Williams to get to Super Bowl XVI. By the end of the 80s, Sam Wyche was the head coach of a Bengals side armed with Boomer Esiason running the offense, all-time great and utter badass Antony Munoz leading the defense and Ickey Woods all over the place; this team made Super Bowl XXIII.
As the humblest of Bengals knows, though, both times did their team run into the buzzsaw that was the unstoppable San Francisco 49ers. Said fan is also well aware that these Super Bowl appearances were mere oases amidst lots of losing. Heck, until 2011, the Bengals had made just one repeat appearance in the playoffs: That came in the strike year of 1983 and was based in part on the replacement players’ 3-0 record; the end result was a 44-17 thumping by the Jets in the wild-card game.
So what happened in the 2010s? Marvin Lewis. Signed on as Bengals head coach in 2003, Lewis’s stint with Cincinnati lasted a pretty incredible 16 seasons through 2018. In that time, the Benglas went 0-7 SU/1-6 ATS in seven playoff appearances – all in the wildcard round – while managing to score 10-17 points in every game.
The Bengals bottomed out after Lewis’s long-overdue departure from the team to go 2-14 SU/6-10 ATS in 2019, earning them the no. 1 overall pick, QB Joe Burrow. A year later, they were able to add WR Jamarr Chase and, in Chase’s rookie year, the Bengals went 10-7 SU/10-6-1 ATS followed by a 3-0 SU/ATS run – representing more playoff wins for Cincy than in the years 1989-2020 combined – in the playoffs to get to Super Bowl LVI.
NFL betting note: In Super Bowl LVI, the 2021 Cincinnati Bengals became the first underdog of 4 or fewer points to win ATS but lose the game.
But hey, this is an expansion team and you know what they say about expansion teams: The first 50 years are the hardest…
In their now 50+ years of existence, the Cincinnati Bengals haven’t always been the best bet to turn a profit week-to-week in NFL betting (especially in the playoffs!). These fortunes may be changing, however, as the plucky 2021 team enjoyed a nice 4-0 ATS run in the playoffs – even if they did lose Super Bowl LVI outright…