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The Cincinnati Bengals enter the 2023 NFL season with thoughts of a first-ever title in the NFL, and Monday saw them welcome a big part of that goal. Running back Joe Mixon spoke to reporters, and his comments covered a variety of topics.

A difficult offseason involving Mixon in a number of ways, as his future with the team looked uncertain at times. While the Bengals have been AFC contenders the last few years, they can’t win without their star running back.

Mixon was charged with aggravated menacing during the offseason, but a judge ruled he wasn’t guilty. Mixon didn’t really get into the allegations or other off-field issues but did say it was a “blessing” to be back with the team.

It has already been a strange stint in training camp with the Bengals. Mixon boycotted certain members of the media. Though Mixon has been “surrounded” by a lot of negative news, some items have been good.

Mixon was able to restructure his contract with the Bengals earlier this offseason to help the team sign other players. He has made it clear he wants to play out his career with this team.

Instead of causing a $12 million salary-cap hit this season, Cincy was able to get that number down to just $8.5 million. There was a time when other teams were looking land Mixon in a trade. That’s no longer the case.

Betting on Bengals

Looking at some of the future-wager odds involving the Cincinnati Bengals has the team as a contender. Cincinnati’s not only favored to win the AFC North Division, but also one of the teams in the mix to win it all. Cincinnati is listed at 3-2 (+150) to win the AFC North, according to NFL division odds by BetUS Sportsbook.

The Baltimore Ravens are (+215), Cleveland Browns (+375) and Pittsburgh Steelers (+550)

Winning the AFC is the next big step with the Bengals. They are currently third choice at 11-2 (+550) to do just that, as per NFL conference odds.

Only the defending champ Kansas City Chiefs (+350) and the Buffalo Bills (+450) have smaller odds to win the AFC. Cincy is familiar with each franchise. The AFC is considered the deeper of the two conferences, and those three teams at the top are loaded.

Cincinnati has a projected win total of 11½. Getting to a dozen “guarantees” a division title.

Markets on Mixon

Even though the Cincinnati Bengals with quarterback Joe Burrow are a team that throws the football, they are going to get the ball into the hands of Mixon.

Over/under is set at 825½ rush yards, just under 50 yards per game in a 17-game season. Having Mixon back in camp, ready to start the season is good news in Cincinnati.

Mixon is 33-1 (+3300) to lead the league in rushing yards this season, well behind the Cleveland Browns’ Nick Chubb (+400) and Derrick Henry (+600) of the Tennessee Titans.

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