The Cincinnati Bengals are going from the hunters to the hunted. After a stunning postseason run that ended with a loss in Super Bowl LVI, the Bengals won’t be catching anybody by surprise this time around.
Cincinnati will get every opponents’ best shot and it all begins Sunday with the Bengals set to host its AFC North rival in the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Steelers will start the 2022 season in Cincinnati as the Bengals begin their AFC title defense.
A Steelers team as the hunter and a Bengals team as the hunted still feels weird.
— Mike J. Asti (@MikeAsti11) May 12, 2022
Unfortunately for the Bengals, not only will they have to get past Pittsburgh, but they will also need to overcome an ugly trend in order to begin the season 1-0.
Teams coming off a Super Bowl loss tend to struggle in the season opener the following year.
Since 2000, such teams have posted a 9-13 record and an abysmal 4-18 mark against the spread.
The Bengals are currently 6.5-point favorites, per BetMGM. The spread is one of the largest numbers available in the NFL’s Week One slate.
There are plenty of variables that come along with this particular data point, but it is a statistic that could evoke a level of uncertainty for those who plan on betting the game.
Head coach Zac Taylor is 1-2 in season openers, but his two losses (2019 & 2020) occurred with teams that were vastly inferior to the one he now commands.
The Bengals enter the season on an 8 game ATS winning streak pic.twitter.com/oezIxKkpCA
— Bets Stats (@betsstats) September 6, 2022
History is important, but it’s certainly not everything.
That is especially true in the constantly changing NFL landscape.
The Bengals open the season hunting in their own backyard up against the Mitchell Trubisky led Steelers.
I have a feeling QB Joe Burrow and his team won’t be coming back empty-handed.