The Las Vegas Raiders made it to the postseason on the back of a chaotic Sunday Night Football game against the Los Angeles Chargers. But they must quickly shift focus to the Cincinnati Bengals, who are on fire offensively heading into Wild Card Weekend. Let’s take a look at the Bengals vs. Raiders Wild Card matchup and the latest NFL odds, and make a pick and prediction.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cincinnati Bengals odds, prediction
- Spread: Bengals -5 (Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Moneyline: Bengals -225, Raiders +185
- Over/Under: 49.5
It’s quite remarkable that the Raiders are in the postseason at all. Head coach Jon Gruden resigned in disgrace earlier this year, Henry Ruggs was released following his tragic accident, and fellow first-rounder Damon Arnette was also cut for off-the-field ramifications. This team has seen it all this season, and Derek Carr has had to answer some tough questions in front of the media.
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Carr always speaks with compassion, and you can’t help but root for the guy. He suffered a broken leg in late December 2016 while having an excellent season with the Raiders. They were 11-3 when Carr went down in Week 16. He never got to play in the postseason, and the Raiders crashed out in the first round at the hands of the Houston Texans.
Fast forward four years, and Carr finally gets his first playoff start in the eighth season of his career. But is his team ready to face the Bengals? Las Vegas will feel re-energized by the return of Darren Waller, and Hunter Renfrow has emerged as one of the league’s most exciting route runners this season. But can the defense hold?
Joe Burrow and the Bengals
The Bengals won the AFC North this season for the first time since 2015. They’ve also not won a playoff game since 1990. Is that all about to change?
In 2020, Joe Burrow suffered a nasty leg injury that ended his rookie season. It was unclear how well he would bounce back, but it’s safe to say he’s doing just fine. Burrow threw for 4,611 yards (sixth-most in the NFL), 34 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions this year.
He has Ja’Marr Chase to thank for a large chunk of that total. Chase set the Bengals record for receiving yards — not only for a rookie, but for any Cincinnati receiver. He’s part of a young Bengals offense that can go out and score with the best of them.
That’s exactly what they did against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 17. They went out and beat Patrick Mahomes, and that means you simply can’t overlook the Bengals in the playoffs.
Raiders vs. Bengals betting trends
The Raiders may have made the playoffs, but their offensive production slowed down in the second half of the season. Carr and the Raiders only managed to score 20+ points on three occasions in the final 10 games of the year. In order to beat the Bengals, they will need to break through that barrier. Las Vegas cashed three unders in the final four games of the season as a result of their struggles on offense.
The Bengals were excellent down the stretch, covering the spread in all four games. Cincinnati scored 75 points in their last two meaningful games of the season. There’s a reason the over is high for this game, but I’m still on board.
Raiders vs. Bengals prediction
Both teams are able to score a lot of points. But both teams also possess difference-makers up front.
For the Bengals, it’s Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson. For the Raiders, it’s Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby. Can one of them force a crucial mistake that tips the game?
That’s what it comes down to for me. One offensive error could be the difference that sets these teams apart. But I have to go with the Bengals. They just look too good offensively, and I can’t see the Raiders defense holding them to fewer than 35 points.
Raiders vs. Bengals Prediction: Bengals 37, Raiders 24