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Sports bettors are understandably licking their lips for the opportunity to keep riding Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals in the betting market for another year. Cincy ripped off eight straight covers to end the 2021-22 season and nearly capped off the year with another outright win as an underdog in Super Bowl 56.

But before you click submit on the Bengals as 7.5-point home favorites against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1, you might want to check out the 4-18 betting trend that’s plagued Super Bowl losers for two decades.

Super Bowl losers are 4-18 ATS in Week 1 since 2000

For the most part, the loser of the Super Bowl every year normally enters the following season as a popular bet to win it all. It makes sense that a team good enough to reach the final game would return the next year with enough talent to at least make it back to the playoffs.

That’s been the case for Super Bowl losers in recent years, as 10 of the last 13 made the postseason the following year. But they haven’t had much success in Week 1.

According to Action Network, the loser of the previous Super Bowl has gone 4-18 against the spread in Week 1 since 2000. Four of the last five Super Bowl losers have failed to cover in Week 1 the following season, and three of them lost outright. Last year, the Kansas City Chiefs escaped with a six-point overtime victory against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1, but they didn’t cover the seven-point spread.

We’re seeing a similar situation this season with the Bengals set as 7.5-point favorites against a divisional opponent on Sunday. Still itching to bet Cincinnati?

Fade the Bengals as 7.5-point favorites against the Steelers?

Joe Burrow looks on during a preseason game.
Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals looks on during a preseason game | Dylan Buell/Getty Images

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There isn’t a single reason why Super Bowl losers have struggled out of the gate the following season. Maybe it’s a true Super Bowl hangover. Maybe it’s a false sense of confidence after reaching the title game a year prior. Or maybe it’s the sportsbooks giving them too much respect in the market after a stellar season.

If I had to guess, it’s probably a combination of all three factors. But whatever the reason, Super Bowl losers are clearly inflated in the market the next time they suit up in the regular season.

The Bengals could also be seen as overvalued this week because of the opponent they’re facing. Divisional underdogs are on a 58-36-2 ATS run in Week 1 since 2005, making the Steelers an even more enticing bet this Sunday.

If you have faith in profitable betting trends, Steelers +7.5 has to be on your card this weekend. But if you trust in Cincinnati’s talent to win out in the end, just know you’ve been warned.

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