The first phase of the NFL playoffs “Wildcard Weekend” gets underway with the Cincinnati Bengals vs the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday, and if you’re looking for a full preview and NFL Playoff Picks for the game, you’ve come to the right place. Plus, find out how to claim up to a $1,000 deposit bonus prior to the game at BetOnline.
- NFL Wildcard Round – Cincinnati Bengals vs Las Vegas Raiders
- Saturday, January 15, at the Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
- The game begins at 16:30 EST
- Broadcast live on CBS
After a stunning overtime win against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night, the Las Vegas Raiders booked their passage to the playoffs. Lying in wait, one of the most exciting teams in the NFL, the offensively-minded Cincinnati Bengals on their home patch.
For the latest odds on the game as broadcast at the BetOnline sportsbook, a full game preview, the latest team news, and our resident football expert’s NFL Playoff Picks, read on:
Bengals vs Raiders Odds
Below are the latest odds for Raiders at Bengals as seen on BetOnline on Tuesday, January 11.
Our betting picks are highlighted in bold but do be aware that the odds are subject to change.
|Spread||-6.0 (-110)||+6.0 (-110)|
|Total Points||U49.5 (-110)||O49.5 (-110)|
|NFL Playoff Picks on the Prop Market: Bengals total touchdowns Over 3.5||+115||n/a|
Bengals vs Raiders Preview
The Las Vegas Raiders (10-7) managed to eke their way out of the AFC West and into the playoffs last weekend, rebounding well from a turbulent year on and off the field to win their final four games of the season, concluding with an epic overtime victory against the Chargers on Sunday.
Spearheaded by gunslinging quarterback Derek Carr, the Raiders finished up the regular season as one of the NFL’s elite passing teams, averaging 268-yards per game. Carr’s link-up play with slot receiver Hunter Renfrow was special to behold, especially towards the back end of the year when it felt like Renfrow (1,038-yards; 9 TDs) was posting 100+ yards every week.
Add to this the improved form of WR Bryan Edwards and the return of arguably the league’s most exciting TE, Darren Waller, from injury, and, offensively speaking at least, the Raiders gameplan vs the Bengals is obvious – get Carr to look deep at Edwards and, if it’s not on, hit Renfrow on the slant or Waller on the slant/wheel.
The Raiders run game hasn’t been as effective as fans might have hoped, especially given the team does boast an excellent pair of RBs in Josh Jacobs (872-yards; 9 TDs) and Kenyan Drake. But, Jacobs’ recent form since returning from injury has been good (254-yards in four games played) and the Raiders haven’t lost since he came back into the side.
Defensively, the Raiders boast an upper mid-tier coverage unit and a lower mid-tier run defense. LB Denzel Perryman has had himself a career year, making no less than 154 tackles during the regular season, and DE Max Crosby’s stock continues to rise after he finished up with eight sacks.
However, teams have been known to put up points in bunches against this Raiders defensive unit (25.8 PAPG; 26th in NFL) that struggles to make big plays (-9 turnover differential) and that’s something of a concern up against arguably the most exciting offense in the league.
The Cincinnati Bengals (10-7) lost their final game of the year vs division rivals the Cleveland Browns last Sunday, but it’s pointless reading too much into that since they opted to rest sophomore QB sensation Joe Burrow (4,611-yards; 34 TDs) for the game, and several other key members of the first team appeared only on limited downs. It was a throwaway game for the Bengals; a chance to give the roster some minutes.
On the year, the Bengals -similar to the Raiders- boast an elite passing attack (259-YPG; 7th in NFL) but, despite the excellent form of RB Joe Mixon (1,205-yards; 13 TDs), the supporting cast on the ground just isn’t quite there yet and the run game is lower-tier overall… or at least it’s certainly underutilized.
The reason for the Bengals’ lack of production in the run game is a positive, though: the receiving trio of rookie Ja’Marr Chase (1,455-yards, 13 TDs), Tee Higgins (1,091-yards; 6 TDs), and Tyler Boyd (828-yards; 5 TDs) has been unplayable – arguably the best set of wideouts in the NFL this year, certainly statistically.
On defense, the Bengals have been great up against the run, ranking 5th in the league, ceding just 105-yards per game on average. But, under the high ball, it’s been a different story, and the Bengals secondary ranks 26th in the league for passing yards against, giving up 248.4 yards per game on average.
With both of these teams looking quite similar in terms of their pass-first offense, this game is likely to come down to which quarterback is the most accurate with the deep ball; which defense is able to generate the most pressure on the opposing QB, and which coverage unit comes up trumps with some big plays. But, regardless of the result, it should be an extremely good contest to watch!
Bengals vs Raiders Team News
The big news coming out of Cincinnati is that Bengals QB Joe Burrow is questionable for the game vs Raiders.
After recovering from a torn ACL last season, Burrow put on an MVP-caliber year under center for the Bengals this time around. But the No.1 overall pick at the 2020 Draft has been sacked 51 times since returning and ended up limping off in Cincinnati’s penultimate game. Burrow was rested last week vs the Browns. His exact injury is unspecified at present but, this is the NFL playoffs, so it will take more than a few bruises to keep him out come Saturday – that’s for sure.
LG Quinton Spain and DE Cam Sample are also listed as questionable, while LB Jermain Pratt, who has been ill of late, looks set to sit this one out.
As for the Raiders, second-string DT Darius Philon and backup LB Marquel Lee are the only players unlikely to feature.
NFL Playoff Picks: Bengals vs Raiders
This is a tough game to call because the two teams are quite similar, especially on offense.
However, there’s no doubting that the Bengals have been the more entertaining team to watch and boast a better set of receiving corps overall.
On top of that, with DE Trey Hendrickson (14 sacks and 3 FFs) leading the way for the Cincinnati pass rush, we’re expecting Raiders QB, Derek Carr, to come under slightly more pressure in the pocket than his opposite number, too – something that could prove pivotal.
Ultimately, this game is likely to come down to which team chalks up the most passing yards, and it’s just hard to look past Cincinnati when you look at all the stats surrounding the two teams.
As such, the moneyline odds aren’t great, so we’ll be taking the Bengals on the spread at -6.
Raiders at Bengals Prediction: Bengals win by a touchdown or more… and be sure to take them on the spread at superior odds of -110.
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