Improved Cincinnati Bengals regularly attracting huge bets in Las Vegas

Mina Kimes discusses why she is impressed by the Bengals' win over the Ravens. (0:45).
The Cincinnati Bengals are soaring up oddsboards, regularly attracting half-a-million-dollar bets in Las Vegas and causing oddsmakers to hang point spreads that haven't been seen since the early 1980s.

The Bengals started the season with a minus 200-1 chance of winning the Super Bowl. The odds of the Bengals winning the Super Bowl at any given book were worse than those of the Houston Texans. In the preseason, the Texans were more popular than the Bengals at some sportsbooks.

Two months later, Cincinnati is off on a 5-2 run, sitting in first place in AFC North, and has climbed up to the top half the Super Bowl odds. Caesars Sportsbook had the Bengals at 35-1 to win this Super Bowl. DraftKings has Cincinnati as the Super Bowl betting option.

Craig Mucklow (Vice President of Trading at Caesars Sportsbook), stated that the Bengals were "not popular at all" and that the interest in betting on them was not widespread. They've been completely under the radar.

However, one Nevada-based bettor has been following the Bengals from the beginning. Mucklow says that a high-ranking bettor placed seven large bets on Cincinnati this season. These ranged from a $200,000 wager on the Bengals +3.5 in Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings to a $520,000 stake this week on the Bengals-9.5 road win against the New York Jets. The bettor has won $795,000 on his Bengals wagers with Caesars.

Muckow stated that the customer was a "pay attention" person. He is a great guy and I respect him every time he visits the Bengals. He clearly knows the team well. He actually backed Ravens against Bengals last week. He was wrong, but thankfully he was wrong once again. He's back on the Bengals this week.

The Bengals were 1-point favorites to win the preseason when early lines were posted by sportsbooks. The line was set at Cincinnati -3.5 last week. However, after the Bengals' win over the Baltimore Ravens, and the Jets' rookie quarterback Zach Wilson's injury to his knee, the line rose to -9.5, and then eventually to -10.5.

Since Week 17 of the 1982 strike-shortened season, the Bengals have not been a double-digits favorite on the road. Cincinnati has only been a double-digit favorite in all of its games in the last five years (vs. Colts Week 17 2017 season).

Despite their initial success, six teams have greater odds of winning the AFC than Cincinnati. At Caesars Sportsbook, the Bengals remain at +300 in AFC North odds. They are behind the Ravens (-115) or the Cleveland Browns (+300). In the offseason, Cincinnati was 30-1 to win this division. PointsBet stated that the Bengals had drawn the largest number of bets on the AFC North odds than any other team "by quite a wide margin."

John Murray, the executive director of SuperBook, stated that "we do get crushed on the AFC North pool." "There are too many 30-1 bets."

Big bets placed on the Bengals by Caesars Sportsbook: [Unidentified customer placed large bets in the Bengals at Caesars Sportsbook during six of the eight first weeks of this season].

Week 1: $200,000 Bengals +3.5 vs Minnesota Vikings (win)

Week 2: $300,000. Bengals +3 (-120), Chicago Bears (push).

Week 3: $300,000. Bengals +3.5 at Pittsburgh Steelers (win).

Week 5: $500,000 Bengals +3 (+100) vs. Green Bay Packers (push)

Week 5: $205,000 on Bengals money-line +150 Packers (loss)

Week 6: $500,000 Bengals -3 vs. Detroit Lions

Week 8: $520,000 Bengals (9.5 vs. New York Jets) (TBD).