The NFL Wild Card Weekend is set, and it will kick-off on Saturday afternoon with an AFC matchup between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Raiders finished the regular season off with one of the most exciting games of the year, edging out the Chargers for the final berth in the postseason by beating them 35-32 in overtime. Meanwhile, the Bengals sat most of their starters in Week 18, which resulted them in losing to the Browns by a final score of 21-16.
These two teams met already once this season. Cincinnati got the better of Las Vegas, beating them 32-13 in Week 11.
Let's take a look at the odds via WynnBET for this Wild Card showdown.
Raiders vs. Bengals Odds, Spread, and Total
- Raiders +6.5 (-105)
- Bengals -6.5 (-115)
- Raiders +225
- Bengals -280
- 49 (Over -110/Under -110)
Raiders vs. Bengals Betting Trends
- The UNDER is 4-2 in the Raiders' last six games.
- Raiders are 4-1 SU in their last five games.
- Bengals are 5-0 ATS in their last five games vs. Raiders.
- Bengals are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games this season.
Raiders vs. Bengals Prediction and Pick
I have some stock in the Las Vegas Raiders, so full disclaimer, I might be biased. I wrote over a month ago that I felt the Raiders were a fantastic value bet to win the Super Bowl. They were listed at 150/1 at WynnBET at the time, so if you jumped on them with me, your ticket has some value heading into the postseason.
Despite their Week 11 result against the Bengals, I think the Raiders are being undervalued in this spot. The Raiders defense, believe it or not, was a much stronger unit than the Bengals' this NFL season. Heading into the post season, the Raiders rank ninth in opponent yards per play, while the Bengals rank 21st.
The Raiders also rank sixth in opponent yards per pass attempt, allowing opponents to gain 6.3 yards per pass. That's going to prove to be key in slowing down Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati explosive offense. Meanwhile, the Bengals defense is 21st in opponent yards per pass attempt, allowing an average of 6.7.
The two offenses are comparable, ranking seventh and 10th in offensive yards per play. I think the difference maker in this game are the defenses, and the Raiders hold the significant advantage.
Pick: Raiders +6.5
Iain's NFL betting record this season: 151-120-1 (+25.47 units)