- BetOnline has the Bengals as 6-point home favorites over the Raiders on Saturday
- Joe Mixon ran for 123 yards and two TDs in a 32-13 win over Las Vegas in Week 11
- Pro Bowl defensive end Maxx Crosby could wreak havoc versus Cincinnati’s porous offensive line
The opening game of Super Wild Card Weekend features two franchises without a playoff win in decades – January 2003 for the Raiders and way back in 1991 for Cincinnati.
With Marvin Lewis long gone and Joe Burrow generating new hope in the Queen City, the Bengals are expected to advance to the AFC Divisional Round, but Las Vegas is riding a four-game win streak after authoring a 35-32 overtime victory over the Chargers in the NFL’s regular-season finale.
Bengals vs Raiders
|Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+6.0 (-107)||+220||Ov 49.5 (-110)|
|Cincinnati Bengals||-6.0 (-113)||-260||Un 49.5 (-110)|
Joe Burrow enters playoffs red hot
Joe Burrow earned himself some rest last Sunday, throwing for nearly 1,000 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions in Weeks 16-17 to clinch AFC North. The sophomore quarterback only had 148 passing yards when these two teams last met in Week 11, as Joe Mixon piled up 123 yards and two scores on the ground in a 32-13 blowout.
After racking up a career-high 16 touchdowns in 16 games this season, Mixon will be key to slowing down Maxx Crosby’s pass rush. The first-time Pro Bowler piled up six tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss, three passes defended, four QB hits and a career-high 11 QB pressures against Justin Herbert on Sunday night.
"Joe Burrow is the MVP (not Aaron Rodgers)" pic.twitter.com/wzULsPBNNy
— Future MVP Joe Burrow (@FauxJeaux) January 6, 2022
While their offensive line has given up more sacks (55) than any team in the playoffs, the Bengals were somehow able to limit Crosby to just three pressures in Week 11 and will need to replicate that success on Saturday.
Bengals to cover 6-point spread. Before allowing Herbert to put 32 points on the board on Sunday, the Raiders were fortunate enough to face Drew Lock , a sick Carson Wentz (COVID-19) and Nick Mullens during their four-game win streak. With Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins at his disposal, Burrow should have no trouble scoring against a Las Vegas defense that ranks 24th in the league in points allowed.
Entering his first-career playoff game, Derek Carr will look to match points against a Cincinnati defense that ranks 28th in passing yards allowed. However, the Bengals’ top-five unit against the run could render the Raiders offense one-dimensional.
Derek Carr postgame on @SNFonNBC when asked how the Chargers timeout may have shifted their mindset on playing for a tie vs. going for the win:
Carr: “It definitely did…” pic.twitter.com/IscY3Yhaux
— Ben Heisler (@bennyheis) January 10, 2022
Bet the UNDER on 49.5. While the two defenses in this contest certainly aren’t shutdown units, we expect Zac Taylor to keep the ball on the ground in an effort to slowdown Vegas’ pass rush. On the other side of the ball, the Raiders hadn’t scored more than 23 points since Thanksgiving before Sunday night’s triumph.
Interim coach Rich Bisaccia should be commended for holding his club together through tremendous adversity, but traveling to Cincinnati on a short week will prove too difficult. Look for the Raiders’ remarkable story to end on Saturday.
Final Score Prediction: Cincinnati 27, Raiders 17.
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