NFL · Sat (1/15) @ 4:34pm ET
|Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH|
Sports Betting Spread: Las Vegas Raiders +6.5 vs. Cincinnati Bengals -6.5
The Bengals and Raiders will meet in an AFC Wild Card Game this weekend in Cincinnati, the first playoff game played at Paul Brown Stadium since 2014. The Bengals, who won the AFC North, are slightly favored as betting action opens for this game.
After their head coach quit under a cloud of controversy earlier in the season, the Raiders showed moxie, recovered from a three-game losing skid, and finished their schedule with a four-game winning streak to make the playoffs. Now, after winning three of their last four road games, the Raiders don’t look like such longshots going to Cincinnati.
The Bengals are a big play offense: QB Joe Burrow has three elite targets in Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd; and RB Joe Mixon topped 1,000-yards for the third time. The Bengals led the NFL in passing plays of 25+ yards, and as a result they had relatively fewer first downs and held the ball for less time than most playoff teams. Their scoring drives are often quick and precise.
Thanks to their scoring power, the Bengals cover the spread often. Cincy is 6-1 ATS their last 7 games, and only one other AFC playoff team (the Bills) covered more often this season.
The key to a Las Vegas win on the road as dogs will be their front four on defense. Maxx Crosby, Quinton Jefferson, Johnathan Hankins, and Yannick Ngakoue put pressure on the quarterback (the Raiders rank 9th in the NFL in pressures, and they’ve knocked down opposing QBs 66 times, the 3rd most in the NFL).
Cincy traveled to Vegas for Week 11 back in November and thumped the Raiders, 32-13.
- The Raiders covered only 43.8% of the time this season, the lowest of any NFL playoff team.
- As a road underdog, the Raiders were 4-2 this season, and 8-9 overall ATS.
- Las Vegas is 3-1 in their last four road games, and they were underdogs in all of those games.
- The Raiders are the first team since 1961 to change coaches in mid-season and make the playoffs.
- The Bengals have not won a playoff game since 1990.
- Cincinnati was just 4-5 at home ATS in the regular season.
- The Bengals were 6-3 this season for the OVER at home.