Raiders vs. Bengals Odds, Picks, Predictions: 5 Ways Experts Are Betting Saturday’s NFL Playoff Wild Card Game
Getty Images. Pictured: Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase, Bengals RB Joe Mixon, Raiders TE Darren Waller, Raiders RB Josh Jacobs
- The Bengals are favored at home against the Raiders to open the NFL playoffs.
- Our team of NFL betting analysts have found value throughout this game, from the a moneyline pick to player props.
- Check out their detailed breakdowns and best bets for the Saturday-afternoon kickoff below.
Raiders vs. Bengals Odds
|Time||4:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings as of writing. Find real-time NFL odds here.|
The Bengals covered as 2.5-point road favorites against the Raiders when the two teams met in Week 11. Now, Joe Burrow and Co. are 5-point favorites at home in the opening game of the 2022 NFL playoffs on Wild Card Weekend.
Which team should you bet on to cover the spread? Our analysts are split, with two on Las Vegas and another on Cincinnati. You’ll find their cases for both sides below, followed by three other ways we’re betting on Saturday’s matchup.
Raiders vs. Bengals Picks
|Click on a pick to skip ahead|
|Josh Jacobs Under 3.5 Rec|
|C.J. Uzomah Under 26.5 Rec Yds|
Raiders-Bengals Spread Picks
Case For Raiders To Cover
written by Chris Raybon
Let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat: The Bengals’ 32-13 victory over the Raiders in Week 11 does not mean the Bengals are the smash play here. On the contrary: Per my co-host Stuckey on the Action Network Podcast, non-divisional teams that lost in the regular season to an opponent that they go on to face again in the postseason are 60% against the spread (ATS) in the rematch since 1980.
The Raiders have the benefit of making adjustments … and Raiders backers have the advantage of an inflated line because of the result of the first matchup.
As crazy as it may sound after Joe Burrow threw for a cool 971 yards over his past two games, the Raiders defense matches up quite well with the Bengals – or as well as you can possibly matchup against a unit as talented as this, at least.
This is due to three main factors:
1. The Raiders are the zone-heaviest defense in the NFL.
Burrow is in a class of his own against man coverage.
Against man, the Bengals led the NFL with 11.1 yards per targeted pass attempt — more than a full yard more than the second-place Rams (10.0). Their 10.8% touchdown rate versus man coverage was fifth-best. The Bengals are still good against zone, but not otherworldly, averaging 8.7 yards per target pass attempt and a 3.1% touchdown rate.
2. The Raiders blitz at the lowest rate of any defense in the NFL.
Burrow also shreds the blitz, averaging 10.8 yards per attempt and a 9.2% touchdown rate. When not blitzed, those figures dip to 8.3 and 5.8%, respectively.
3. The Bengals’ biggest weakness is right tackle.
And that’s where Raiders DE Maxx Crosby lines up. He led the NFL with 101 pressures during the regular season and is sure to impact the game lined up across from right tackle Isaiah Prince, who has been a disaster in pass protection in place of injured starter Riley Reiff (IR-ankle).
In the first matchup between these teams, Burrow threw for just 148 yards and averaged just 5.1 yards per attempt, both season-lows. Coupled with the Raiders’ strides on run defense — they finished the regular season ranked 10th in Football Outsiders’ rush defense DVOA — this does not have the looks of a blowup spot for the Bengals offense.
All of the talk of the Raiders’ luck in overtime games is fair, but it ignores the fact that the Raiders are also due for positive regression in key areas on offense.
The Raiders are 26th in third-down conversion rate (37.4%) and 22nd in red-zone conversion rate (51.7%), both last among playoff teams. However, those metrics tend to regress heavily toward the mean and aren’t as predictive as how a team performs on early downs, and the Raiders rank fourth in success rate on first and second downs (54%), according to Sharp Football Stats.
The Bengals have been mediocre on defense, clocking in at 19th in DVOA — two spots below the Raiders, mind you — so it wouldn’t be surprising at all if the Raiders are able to hang with the Bengals in the scoring department.
The Bengals are the better team, but this is one of the tougher matchups they could have drawn.
Taking the Raiders at +4.5 or higher not only allows you to capitalize if the Raiders pull off the upset — which is not out of the question — but also to cover if the Bengals simply win by the key numbers of three or four. That’s a very likely outcome given how these teams matchup and also given how teams that lost the regular season matchup tend to tighten things up in the postseason rematch.
Per our Action Labs data, wild-card underdogs of seven or fewer points have covered at a 67% clip since 2003 (28-14-1).
Case For Bengals To Cover
written by Billy Ward
The Raiders are one of the NFL’s luckiest teams, finishing 10-7 despite a -65 scoring differential on the season. They’ve also gone 5-1 in games decided by three or fewer points. In contrast, 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 of a regular-season meeting between these teams — and the Bengals won the first matchup, 32-13, on the road. Now, at home with an extra week of rest, expect them to repeat that performance.
You can read my full preview of this matchup here.
Raiders vs. Bengals Moneyline
written by Brandon Anderson
Just about anything could happen in this game. You could tell me either team wins by one score or by double digits, and both outcomes would make sense.
The Bengals are the better team with the higher ceiling, but neither team has been predictable enough for me to bet on a cover and neither is a serious threat to make a deep run, so this is more of a playoff amuse-bouche.
Given how open this matchup feels, I’m nibbling on the Raiders moneyline at +200, which gives them an implied probability of 33% to win (convert more odds here).
Raiders vs. Bengals Props
Josh Jacobs Under 3.5 Rec
written by Sean Koerner
Josh Jacobs has seen his receiving usage drop-off ever since Jalen Richard returned to the lineup in Week 15.
In last week’s must-win game, Jacobs ran a route on 43% of Derek Carr’s dropbacks — his lowest rate since Week 9 — with Richard running the same rate. In fact, it was Richard who received every snap in the Raiders’ two-minute offense, which is the ideal time for a running back to rack up receptions.
Jacobs has been held under this number in four of five games when Richard has a routes run rate of 20%+. We should see that trend continue as the Raiders lean on Jacobs as a runner (averaging 21 carries a game over the last four).
I’m projecting the under closer to -200 and would bet this down to -160 odds.
C.J. Uzomah Under 26.5 Rec Yds
written by Chris Raybon
The Bengals can’t leave Prince one-on-one with Crosby, so I expect Uzomah to chip often, and just flat-out stay in to block on some passing plays. And even if the Raiders didn’t have the threat of Crosby, this is still a bad matchup for him, as he tends to have his big games against man coverage teams, not zone-heavy teams like the Raiders.
- vs. man: 1.67 yards per route, 19.2 yards per reception, 8.8 aDOT
- vs. zone: 0.97 yards per route, 7.5 yards per reception, 3.6 aDOT
In the first matchup, Uzomah had just two catches for nine yards on three targets, and he’s been held to 20 or fewer yards in four of his past seven games.