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Isla Knightley for Bookies.com

By Isla Knightley | | 6 mins

Las Vegas Raiders At Cincinnati Bengals Picks & NFL Wild Card Predictions

Las Vegas Raiders At Cincinnati Bengals Picks & NFL Wild Card Predictions

The Las Vegas Raiders booked their passage into the postseason at the eleventh hour, beating the Los Angeles Chargers 34-31 to clinch one of the last remaining spots in the AFC playoffs. For a side that has flattered to deceive for the past five seasons, it was an emotional and exhilarating victory. Add to that the fact that various legal betting apps across the country, along with the punditocracy and bettors, all wrote them off halfway through the season when the going got tough, there was a touch of self-validation too.

The postseason is a whole new season; getting in is just the first step. The Raiders won’t have it easy against the AFC North champions, the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals might be this year’s postseason debutants, but they pack a pretty fierce punch on the offensive side of the ball. Indeed, markets opened with the Bengals firmly ensconced as the home favorites for this intriguing AFC Wild Card showdown.

Take a look at Raiders vs Bengals odds, injury report, betting lines and more.

Raiders vs Bengals Key Matchups

Maxx Crosby vs Joe Burrow: Defensive end Maxx Crosby’s pass-rushing profile is on the up. With three years under his belt, he has 25 sacks, including eight this season. In the Raiders’ Week 11 loss to the Bengals, Crosby failed to record a sack on Burrow, but he did have three tackles and a tackle for a loss. That said, the Raiders did sack Burrow three times and held him to 148 yards and one touchdown.

Joe Mixon vs Run Defense: Containing Joe Mixon the last time this pair met was a problem. The star running back scampered for 123 yards and two scores to help lift the Bengals to a lopsided 32-13 win. The Raiders’ 18th-ranked run defense is allowing 114.3 yards per game on average.

Bengals Offense vs Raiders Defense: The Bengals have one of the most electric young offenses in the league. Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and C.J. Uzomah provide firepower across the field that’s tough to contain. The last time this pair met, the Raiders gave up 288 total yards of offense. They allowed the Bengals to convert on 50% of their third downs (8-16 in third-down efficiency) and on 100% of their red-zone forays (2-2 in red-zone efficiency).

Raiders vs Bengals Key Stats

2015: The last time the Cincinnati Bengals won the AFC North and clinched a playoff berth.

2016: The last time the Las Vegas Raiders clinched an AFC playoff spot.

5: Derek Carr finished the regular season ranked fifth overall in passing yards with 4,804 yards.

6: Joe Burrow finished the regular season ranked sixth overall in passing yards with 4,611 yards, but there’s a caveat. Burrow sat out Week 18, meaning he finished 193 yards behind Carr after playing one game less.

14: The number of interceptions both Carr and Burrow threw this season.


Weather Forecast

The early weather report calls for mostly cloudy conditions with a high of 32 degrees. There’s a 50% chance of precipitation and a slight chance of snow.


Raiders vs Bengals Moneyline

The Las Vegas Raiders have emerged as a popular bet for the upset in NFL betting circles – a knee-jerk reaction to their wild 34-31 win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 18 that went the distance. That trend appears to be propelled by a genuine sense that the Raiders are being undervalued by the oddsmakers. BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook, to name a few, are offering a Raiders win as high as +200 ($100 bet would yield $200).

Las Vegas deserves credit for defying the odds and overcoming adversity to reach the Wild Card round of the playoffs. They’re the quintessential Cinderella of the AFC playoffs. However, the playoffs are a different ball game entirely. All that pent-up frustration, emotion, and the high after beating the Chargers, might signal a letdown performance is on the cards.

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Raiders vs Bengals Point Spread

Most top-rated sportsbooks opened this game with the Bengals at -6.5 points. However, the line quickly dropped down to -5.5 for NFL spreads picks as the public bet up the Raiders. If home-field advantage is worth approximately a field goal, then the current line (-5.5) implies the Bengals are only 2.5 points better than the Raiders. This is the same team that beat the Raiders 32-13 on the road. If that’s not a steal bet, what is?

Consider the Bengals will be well-rested for this pivotal game. Zac Taylor fielded a watered-down side in Week 18 against the Browns, mindful of his side’s postseason bid. In the meantime, the Raiders were involved in a game that went down to the wire in their regular-season finale. To be fair, they weren’t even certain of a playoff spot until the game concluded.

Yes, the Bengals lack experience at this stage, but so do the Raiders. So, the field is level on that score. What tips the scale towards the Bengals is the fact that bettors know what the Bengals are about. The Raiders are an impossible side to figure out and that unpredictability makes them a risky bet for NFL picks.

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Raiders vs Bengals Totals

The last time these two sides met, they combined for 45 points at Allegiant Stadium where the weather was a non-factor. That said, the game was played during a period of intense drama and distraction for the Raiders, highlighted by the departure of disgraced former head coach Jon Gruden and the horrific and fatal accident involving Henry Ruggs III.

The game total for this intriguing AFC Wild Card round is set to a much higher total of 49 points with multiple betting sites, suggesting more points might be packed into the outcome of this game. It’s easy to understand why that may be the case. The Bengals dropped 41 points three times this season, twice at home and as recently as Week 16 when they beat the Baltimore Ravens 41-21.

With all the offensive power the Bengals bring to the table, the Raiders will be forced to rise to the occasion. That fact may well lead to a shootout as projected by the markets, which would underline the over bet for picks against the total. That is, so long as the weather forecast doesn’t take a turn for the worse and bring a veritable snowstorm.

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About the Author

Isla Knightley for Bookies.com
Isla Knightley
Isla, a sports journalist and betting expert, covers several sports, including the NFL, as well politics. She joined Bookies.com in 2021 after contributing to other betting sites.