Are the Cincinnati Bengals Official Super Bowl Contenders?

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Apr 9, 2024 08:00 PM
Are the Cincinnati Bengals Official Super Bowl Contenders?

Honesty is the best policy, even as it pertains to betting on the NFL. In the interest of full disclosure, then, we picked the Cincinnati Bengals to lose to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 8. We also picked them to lose against the Buffalo Bills in Week 9. Cincinnati won both games. 

Rest assured, we won’t make the same mistake in Week 10. As the Bengals get set to host the Houston Texans on Sunday, November 12, at 1 p.m. eastern standard time, on the field at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, it’s time to start asking the question we’ve largely avoided since their slow start: Is this team among the best bets to win the Super Bowl? Indeed, the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles exist, as do plenty of other potentially great teams: The Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, etc. But right now, how many teams can we definitively say are better than the Bengals? Cincinnati has won four straight against a fairly brutal schedule. And as an AFC Championship finalist from 2022, it’s time to take them seriously again.

First, though, they have a Week 10 matchup with the Texans to get through. Here are the latest NFL online betting odds for this Sunday showdown:

Cincnnati Bengals-330+265Houston Texans

Like usual, please remember to double-check these online NFL betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our Bengals vs. Texans Week 10 betting odds are accurate entering Tuesday, November 7. That allows the best NFL online betting sites to adjust their lines depending on how the markets shake out in advance of opening kick-off on Sunday afternoon.

Ready or not, here come some Texans vs. Bengals Week 10 predictions!

The Houston Texans May Not be a Pushover for the Cincinnati Bengals

Just as the Cincinnati Bengals betting odds suggest, there is an overwhelming consensus for this game. You won’t find anyone picking the Houston Texans to win. However, H-Town has proven to be relatively scrappy. Since starting the year 0-2, they have gone 4-2, with wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers. Even their losses during this stretch have been somewhat encouraging. They fell to the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers by a combined four points. The biggest development of all these past few weeks? The play of newly-minted franchise quarterback C.J. Stroud. As ESPN’s NFL Nation noted after Week 9:

“The Texans' offense averaged 24 points (15th) and 368.5 yards per game through the first four weeks. In the past three games, the offense averaged 17.3 points and 279.7 yards. On Sunday against the Buccaneers, quarterback C.J. Stroud produced his best game as a pro. Stroud threw for 470 yards with five touchdowns for a 147 passer rating. If Stroud can continue this performance, the playoffs are possible.”

Going up against the Bengals defense will post a difficult test for Stroud and Houston’s offensive line. We already saw some slumping production out of the backfield, and Cincinnati will often sell out to put intense pressure on quarterbacks. 

Granted, this aggressive style contributes to the Bengals’ wonky defensive splits. They are 26th in net yards allowed per pass attempt and 31st in net yards allowed per rush attempt. But they are also sixth in defensive possessions that end with a turnover. They will jump the shark on Stroud’s passing attempts if he’s not picture perfect. 

And then there's the offense. Cincinnati is averaging over 26 points per game during this win streak and has seen quarterback Joe Burrow improve by leaps and bounds. His yards don’t always jump off the page, but he’s now eclipsed 250 passing yards in three of the past four games. For the season, he’s also only throwing interceptions on 1.3 percent of his attempts. That ball control could be the difference in this one. 

OSB Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals (-330)

Cincinnati Bengals To beat the Houston Texans

Are Oddsmakers Too High on the Bengals Entering Week 10?

Despite picking the Bengals to beat the Texans, we’re not quite sure how definitive the victory will be. That makes the latest Week 10 NFL point spread odds a little difficult to parse:

  • Cincinnati Bengals, -7 (-110)
  • Houston Texans, +7 (-110)

Neither Cincinnati nor Houston has been particularly dominant against the spread. The Texans are, however, 4-1 against the spread as an underdog. That’s interesting here.

Sure, the Bengals just took down the Bills by six points, which followed a 14-point victory over the 49ers. But their offense has needed to vary up the pace and isn’t especially reliant on big plays. Cincinnati is 27th in net yards gained per pass attempt. Houston, of course, has been pretty forgiving on that front. They rank 25th in net yards allowed per pass attempt. They’ve also struggled to get stops on third down.

Stil, the Texans have been pretty stout in the red zone (and on fourth downs). And for all their weaknesses in the middle of the field, they ranked second in passing touchdowns allowed. Cincy may need to rely on its rushing attack in the red zone—another area in which Houston’s defense is currently excelling. We’re going to play the odds and say the Texans cover yet another game as an underdog.

OSB Prediction: Houston Texans, +7 (-110)

Houston Texans To cover the point spread against the Cincinnati Bengals

The Point Total for Bengals vs. Texans Feels a Little Ambitious

The latest NFL over/under betting odds have the Bengals and Texans combining for more than 45 points:

  • Over 46.5 (-115)
  • Under 46.5 (-105)

Betting the “over” has not panned out for either team. Cincinnati and Houston are a combined 6-10 when it comes to hitting the “over.” 

This line feels like it’s ascribing too much value to the Texas dropping 39 points on the Bucs in Week 9. But it doesn't seem to be accounting for Bengals receiver Ja’Marr Chase dealing with a back injury. His status for Sunday is up in the air. 

Though the Bengals have plenty of other weapons to target, this is a game that could be grittier than advertised. 

OSB Prediction: Under 46.5 (-105)

Bengals and Texans To score under 46.5 combined points

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one that works for all of your 2023 NFL betting:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

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