The Las Vegas Raiders recently played in one of the weirdest games in the NFL to make it into the playoffs. They beat the Los Angeles Chargers in overtime after seemingly being willing to take a tie for both teams to get in. It’s a controversial topic, but Las Vegas upset Los Angeles in Week 18 to clinch their playoff spot. The Cincinnati Bengals are essentially coming off of a bye week after resting their players during their regular-season finale loss to the Cleveland Browns. Below, you’ll find the NFL odds, along with my pick and prediction for the Raiders vs. Bengals on Wild Card Weekend.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cincinnati Bengals pick, prediction | Wild Card Weekend
- Spread: Bengals -6 (Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Moneyline: Raiders +200, Bengals -250
- Over/Under: 49.5
Las Vegas’ offensive inconsistencies
The one thing we can fully expect in this game is that Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati offense will put up points. They rank seventh in the NFL, averaging 27.1 points per game this season. The question becomes whether or not Las Vegas will match them.
The Raiders’ offense has been extremely inconsistent throughout the 2021 season. They’re averaging 22 points per game, rankings 18th in the NFL.
Las Vegas put up 35 points in somewhat of a must-win (more of a must-not-lose) game against the Chargers last week. Prior to that, Derek Carr and Co. averaged 16 points per game over their last five games. The Raiders recorded more than 17 points only once over that span.
Overall, Las Vegas has scored 17 or fewer points in nine of 17 games this season. With that said, they’ve posted 30+ points in six games. They’re the definition of a true boom-or-bust offense.
Raiders vs. Bengals betting trends
Las Vegas has struggled against the spread (ATS) at times this year. They own an 8-9 ATS record through 17 contests. They’re also failing to cover by an average of 1.9 points per game. Cincinnati has found more success in terms of the spread in 2021. They enter this game with a 10-7 ATS record, covering by an average of 4.4 points per game.
Both of these teams lean slightly toward the under in their games. They each own an 8-9 over/under record, although they also possess a positive +/- total this season. In other words, when they hit the over, they beat it by significantly more than they’ve beaten the under this season.
Raiders vs. Bengals prediction
This game should be relatively one-sided. The Raiders aren’t truly a playoff team, as the AFC lacks elite depth. They’re one of only two teams (Pittsburgh Steelers) with a negative scoring margin on the year.
On the other hand, Cincinnati ranks eighth in the NFL in scoring margin. The only major concern is that the Bengals were quietly better on the road in 2021.
I don’t expect that to matter, and we should see plenty of offense from Cincinnati’s side. Las Vegas is likely to find some success, but I don’t believe they can keep up with Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Joe Mixon, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd for four quarters.
Raiders vs. Bengals Prediction: Bengals 31, Raiders 20