The Cincinnati Bengals are favored in the NFL odds to beat the Las Vegas Raiders in their AFC Wild Card game. The Bengals haven’t won a playoff contest in this century while the Raiders are in the postseason for only the second time in the last 19 years.
Game: Las Vegas Raiders (10-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (10-7)
Location: Paul Brown Stadium
Day/Time: Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET
Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals AFC Wild Card 2022
The Las Vegas Raiders survived a tumultuous season that saw coach Jon Gruden resign over disparaging emails and top wide receiver Henry Ruggs III leave the team after he was charged with felony DUI.
The Raiders were 6-7 after a humiliating 48-9 loss to the Kansas Chiefs in Week 14. But four victories later – the last three were also winners against the spread – and here they are under the guidance of interim coach Rich Bisaccia. Las Vegas boasts five walk-off wins in 2021 after Daniel Carlson’s 47-yard field goal as time expired in overtime gave it a memorable 35-32 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 18. If Carlson had missed, the Raiders would have played the Chiefs.
Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr has enjoyed a solid season during which he set a career high for passing yards. Two of the club’s biggest offensive weapons – running back Josh Jacobs and tight end Darren Waller – were limited in practice Wednesday with rib and knee injuries, respectively. The defense is led by ends Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby, who have combined for 18 sacks.
The franchise hasn’t won a playoff game since defeating the Tennessee Titans 41-24 for the AFC championship on Jan. 19, 2003. The Raiders lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48-21 one week later in Super Bowl 37. Their only appearance in the interim was a 27-24 loss to the Houston Texans in a 2016 season wild-card contest.
Bengals Moseyed Way into Postseason
There was no drama involving the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 18. The Bengals chose rest and recovery rather than worrying about their seed, and lost 21-16 to the Cleveland Browns. Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow did not make the trip and rookie receiver JaMarr Chase played only two series after setting the franchise record for receiving yards with 1,455. The outcome ultimately made the Bengals the four seed and may have provided an easier path to the promised land.
First, Cincinnati avoided Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots in the first round. And if Cincinnati gets past Las Vegas, the Bengals stand a better chance of avoiding a trip to Kansas City in the divisional playoffs. Burrow and Chase had spectacular seasons during which Burrow threw 13 of his 34 TD passes to his former LSU teammate. Burrow was a full participant in practice Wednesday after sustaining a knee injury in the division-clinching victory over Kansas City in Week 17. Cincinnati has lost eight straight playoff games, starting with a 20-10 setback to the Los Angeles Raiders in a 1990 Divisional playoff.
— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) January 12, 2022
Can Bengals Exorcise Demons of Playoff Failures Past?
The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Las Vegas Raiders 32-13 in Week 11 as a 2½-point favorite in Sin City. The total was 51. Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon was the star, rushing for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Burrow passed for a career-low 148 yards, but managed to connect with Chase for a score. The line opened at 6½ in the Las Vegas odds, but has dropped a point with the Raiders taking on a team of destiny appearance. It appears to be a solid line, though, providing Burrow and the high-powered Cincinnati offense enough respect while giving the Raiders a puncher’s chance.
The total has settled at 48½ when betting online. Las Vegas has won four in a row straight-up and its last three in the NFL picks against the spread. The Bengals have won four straight ATS. The Raiders seem to be an attractive play seeing as they are on some sort of roll and would be a good gamble even if the line dropped to +4½.
The +200 moneyline is a square price against a franchise with a brutal postseason track record, although this Cincinnati team had nothing to do with past failures. The total could be a bit low seeing as the Bengals have totaled 75 points in their last two home games, when Burrow passed for 971 yards and eight touchdowns. It’s hard to imagine the Raiders stopping Burrow and the Bengals.