Raiders-Bengals Betting Preview: How to Handicap Two of the NFL’s Worst Defenses
Neville Guard, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Derek Carr
Betting odds: Oakland Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals
- Spread: Bengals -3
- Over/Under: 46
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
>> All odds as of Friday afternoon. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: Not many folks wanted to lay 3.5 points on Jeff Driskel and the Bengals regardless of their opponent, as it didn’t take very long for early bettors to grab the hook and drive the line down to the key number of 3. Oakland’s support didn’t stop there, though, as more steady action dropped the line down to 2.5.
That’s when Bengals money (finally) showed up, as the spread is 3 at the time of writing. It appears oddsmakers found the right number: Bets and dollars are both split almost exactly 50-50 at the time of writing (see live betting data here). — Mark Gallant
Trends to know: The Raiders are coming off their third win of the season. Under Derek Carr, the Raiders are 11-18 ATS (37.9%) after a win, failing to cover by 4.3 points per game and losing bettors 7.1 units.
Only two quarterbacks have been less profitable for bettors in this spot since the Raiders drafted Carr in 2014, Nick Foles and Marcus Mariota. — Evan Abrams
These are two of the worst defenses in the NFL. Cincinnati is allowing 30.5 PPG (32nd) and Oakland is conceding 29.8 PPG (31st). Since 2003, when two defenses meet that are allowing 28 or more points per game the over has gone 39-22 (64%). — John Ewing
Biggest mismatch: Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap vs. Raiders right tackle Brandon Parker
One of the few bright spots on the Bengals defense this season has been the steady play of the ninth-year vet Dunlap, who has 8.5 sacks, ranking 19th overall and sixth against the run in Pro Football Focus’ edge-rusher grades.
Parker has been a liability for Oakland, ranking 74th in pass blocking and 70th in run blocking. Geno Atkins is a force who warrants a fair share of attention on the inside, so expect Parker to get a lot of help from blocking tight end Lee Smith. — Chris Raybon
Which team is healthier? Raiders
The Bengals’ injury-riddled defense doesn’t appear to be any healthier entering Week 15, as linebacker Vontaze Burfict (concussion), defensive end Michael Johnson (concussion) and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (ankle) should be considered very questionable for Sunday.
The likes of left tackle Cordy Glenn (back) and wide receiver Josh Malone (hamstring) also aren’t guaranteed to suit up.
Meanwhile, the only Raiders thought to be at risk of missing Sunday’s game are left guard Kelechi Osemele (toe), defensive tackle Maurice Hurst (ankle) and linebacker Kyle Wilber (hamstring).
DFS edge: Joe Mixon saw a season-high 26 carries and 31 total touches against the Chargers this past Sunday. With Driskel at quarterback, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Bengals continue to lean on Mixon against the Raiders on Sunday.
Mixon should be set up for success against the Raiders’ 27th-ranked defense in Football Outsiders’ rush DVOA.
You can even pair him with Tyler Boyd since they own a positive correlation of 0.30, per our FantasyLabs Player Models.
Boyd leads the Bengals with 22.5% of their market share of targets in Driskel’s two full games as their starting quarterback. The Raiders have allowed a league-high 31 passing touchdowns and rank dead last in pass DVOA.
Boyd’s price has decreased on both DraftKings and FanDuel. — Justin Bailey
Bet to watch: Raiders-Bengals over 46
I usually prefer taking the over with a pair of good quarterbacks, but the Raiders and Bengals defenses might just be bad enough to do the trick anyway.
Carr and Driskel should always be approached with extreme caution, but both offenses have exhibited enough explosiveness and consistency to warrant some optimism in this matchup.
Overall, the Raiders-Bengals’ matchup boasts top-three marks in combined explosive pass play rate and combined net yards per pass attempt.
The cherry on top? Neither defense boasts a pass rush that figures to cause much concern for either quarterback. — Ian Hartitz
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.