NFL Playoff Odds, Picks, Predictions For Raiders vs. Bengals: A Spread Bet For Saturday’s Early Wild Card Game
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images. Pictured: Bengals QB Joe Burrow rushes against the Raiders
- In search of Raiders vs. Bengals odds? We've outlined the spread and over/under in our guide to betting this NFL playoff matchup.
- The spread has moved as kickoff nears, with the Bengals now a 6-point favorite. But that's still within our analyst's threshold for his spread bet.
- Find out his top play for this wild-card game in the full betting preview below.
|Time||4:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
Two of the league’s hottest teams kick off the 2022 NFL playoffs as the Raiders travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals.
The Raiders have been effectively playing postseason football for two weeks already. They defeated the Colts in Week 17 and Chargers in Week 18 in must-win games for all teams involved — the Raiders needed both wins to make the playoffs while the Colts and Chargers were eliminated (in part) due to their losses.
The Bengals had a more comfortable end to the season, clinching the AFC North before their Week 18 matchup with the Browns, allowing them to rest Joe Burrow and Joe Mixon. Prior to that, the Bengals beat the Chiefs, Ravens and Broncos in three straight contests. Their offense stole the show, scoring 75 combined points against Kansas City and Baltimore.
In a matchup that looks incredibly close on paper between two hot teams, does the advantage go to the well-rested Bengals? Or to the in-rhythm Raiders?
Let’s dig in and find out.
Raiders vs. Bengals Injury Report
We’re tracking practice participation and statuses of every player on the Raiders’ and Bengals’ injury reports here.
Raiders vs. Bengals Matchup
|Raiders Offense||DVOA Rank||Bengals Defense|
|Raiders Defense||DVOA Rank||Bengals Offense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
Raiders Can Control the Clock
The Raiders have walked a fine line between luck (or variance) and late-game execution lately — during their recent four-win streak, each game was decided by four or fewer points.
Part of their success can be attributed to their strong run game. While running the ball is generally overrated in the NFL, being able to control the clock in late-game scenarios is valuable.
Las Vegas ranks 27th on the season in yards per rush attempt at 3.9, but over the last four games, Josh Jacobs is averaging 4.5 yards per carry. His clock-chewing abilities were in full display in the final game of the NFL regular season as he picked up first down after first down to keep the Chargers off the field.
Unfortunately for the Raiders, run defense is a strength of the Bengals. That means Derek Carr and the Raiders’ passing offense will likely need to contribute more than they have in recent memory.
Defensively, Las Vegas is also better in the run game. That’s not an ideal combination against the explosive Cincinnati passing attack. The Raiders certainly has the edge on the ground on both sides of the ball, though, which gives them an edge in controlling the clock.
Bengals Defense Matches Up Well
Cincinnati finally showed the explosive passing attack we’d all anticipated down the stretch, with Burrow passing for eight touchdowns and 971 yards in his final two games of the season. He finished the season with the league’s best Adjusted Yards per Attempt (AY/A) mark — and that’s despite being sacked more than any other quarterback (AY/A factors in sacks).
The Raiders rank 24th in Adjusted Sack Rate on the season. Pass protection is the weakness of the Bengals offense, but don’t expect it to be a major factor here.
Running the ball may be a challenge, though. Cincinnati ranks 26th in yards per rush attempt while Vegas has a top-10 rushing defense. That should give Vegas plenty of opportunities to come back late in the game, as Cincinnati struggles to eat the clock.
On the other side of the ball, the Bengals will force Carr and the Raiders’ passing attack to beat them. The Bengals defensive front ranks among the top 10 in defensive Line Yards and will make it tough for the Raiders rushing attack.
Raiders vs. Bengals Predictions
Las Vegas is one of the league’s luckiest teams, finishing 10-7 despite a -65 scoring differential on the year. The Raiders have also gone 5-1 in games decided by three or fewer points while the Bengals are far more deserving of their 10-7 record — they have a +84 scoring differential and a sustainable 3-4 record in close games.
Don’t expect the Raiders to keep getting lucky. Close-game records should theoretically regress to the mean, which means the Raiders are an 8-9 team that got lucky while the Bengals are slightly better than their record would indicate.
Furthermore, this is a rematch between these teams, with the Bengals winning the first matchup in Las Vegas, 32-13. At home, with an extra week of rest, expect them to repeat that performance.
Pick: Bengals -5 | Bet to: -6.5
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