Poll: Over/under on Bengals' win total

CINCINNATI -- Online oddsmaker Bovada.lv released Wednesday its over/under win totals for each NFL team.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it put the Cincinnati Bengals' win total at nine.

Since the NFL schedule was released last month, many bloggers and pundits have put the Bengals' number of wins somewhere in the nine or 10 range. The night of the schedule release, yours truly picked the Bengals to go 10-6. I guess we know which way I'd vote.

As I've mentioned before, my optimism in the Bengals' season stems from my belief their offense will be much improved this season. Although they've had to replace both coordinators, the sheer volume of experience that exists on the team -- Cincinnati returns all but one true starter off last year's team -- also leads me to believe it isn't so far fetched to see the Bengals win 10 games.

There are possible pitfalls in their schedule, though, that could bring their eventual win total closer to nine games, too.

If the Bengals do finish with nine wins in 2014, the big question would be if that would be enough to make a return trip to the playoffs. Arizona's 10-6 mark last season wasn't enough to make the postseason. Alternatively, in other years, teams with seven and eight wins entering the final week of the regular season have had good opportunities to end up in the postseason, too.

According to Bovada, a 9-7 showing might be enough for the Bengals to take a fourth straight trip to the postseason. The website has both the Bengals and Steelers at 2-to-1 odds to win the AFC North. If the division comes down to those two teams as many are expecting, then the Dec. 28 regular-season finale at Pittsburgh could have enormous postseason implications.

So, what do you think? Will the Bengals have more than nine wins, less than nine wins or exactly nine wins? Do you think they'll win the AFC North for a second straight year? Chime in on our poll.

By the way, here are the win-total odds and division-title odds for the full AFC North:

Over/under win totals

Bengals: 9

Steelers: 8.5

Ravens: 8.5

Browns: 6.5

Odds to win the AFC North

Bengals: 2/1

Steelers: 2/1

Ravens: 5/2

Browns: 5/1