Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cincinnati Bengals Prediction and Best Bet

Eddie Griffin

The NFL playoffs kick off with two of the season’s surprise successes facing off in Cincinnati. The Bengals were expected to finish last in the AFC North but won their first division title since 2015. In their Super Wild Card Weekend matchup, they will host the Las Vegas Raiders.

With four weeks to go, things could have easily panned out differently for both teams. But the Bengals won three in a row to lock up the AFC North, and the Raiders won four straight games to secure the fifth seed in the AFC.

It is unfortunate that the Raiders-Bengals matchup will mark the end of a successful season for one of these teams. But 13 teams will be left heartbroken on the road to crowning a Super Bowl champion.

Which team will move on to the divisional round? And which team’s Super Bowl 56 hopes will come crashing down at the first hurdle? Feel free to scroll to the end for our Raiders-Bengals prediction if you are so inclined but stay to find out more about the matchup in Cincinnati and what will decide the game.

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cincinnati Bengals Matchup Info and Betting Odds

Matchup Information

  • Game Matchup: Las Vegas Raiders (10-7, 2nd in AFC West, #5 seed in AFC) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (10-7, 1st in AFC North, #4 seed in AFC)
  • Venue & Location: Paul Brown Stadium (Cincinnati, Ohio)
  • Date: Saturday, January 15, 2022
  • Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: NBC

Betting Odds

  • Spread: Las Vegas Raiders +6.5 (-110), Cincinnati Bengals -6.5 (-110)
  • Total: OVER 48.5 (-110), UNDER 48.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Las Vegas Raiders +210, Cincinnati Bengals -275

Odds are via BetMGM.

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cincinnati Bengals Betting Outlook

Can the Raiders Win Another Close Game?

NFL statistics won’t show a lot of impressive numbers for the Raiders, but the NFL playoff bracket speaks for itself.

The Raiders are in the playoffs because they have excelled at winning close games. In the regular season, they had nine games decided by seven or fewer points. They won seven of them and posted a perfect 4-0 overtime record.

To book their playoff spot, the Raiders outlasted the rival Chargers in one of the wildest games of the season. Or recent seasons, for that matter.

A veteran quarterback is a valuable asset to have in big games, and the Raiders have that in Derek Carr. This will be only his second playoff game, but Carr has 127 NFL regular season games under his belt and threw for a career-high 4,804 yards in the regular season.

Carr will be able to turn to one of his favorite targets against Cincinnati. Tight end Darren Waller missed six games this season, including five games down the stretch. But he returned against the Chargers, catching two passes for 22 yards. In the Week 11 game against the Bengals, Waller had seven catches for a season-high 116 yards.

Will the Bengals Finally End Their Playoff Win Drought?

The Raiders haven’t won a playoff game since they went to Super Bowl XXXVII. It has been even longer for the Bengals.

Cincinnati’s last playoff win came on January 6, 1991, when they defeated the Houston Oilers 41-14 in the wild-card round. That 31-season dry spell is the longest current playoff drought in the NFL, one season ahead of the Detroit Lions.

While the Lions look likely to be wandering through their wilderness for a while longer, the Bengals have a golden opportunity and the talent to shake their streak.

The centerpieces, of course, are the LSU alum duo of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. After a season-ending knee injury in his rookie season last year, Burrow put together an NFL MVP-caliber season. A big part of his success was due to Chase, who is the likely NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Like the Raiders, the Bengals have played in nine one-score games this season. They have not fared as well, however, winning only four of those games. But they won two that mattered down the stretch, a 15-10 win in Denver in Week 15 and an AFC North-clinching comeback against the Chiefs in Week 17.

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cincinnati Bengals Prediction and Best Bet

Cincinnati Bengals 34, Las Vegas Raiders 27 (Best Bet: OVER 48.5)

Will the three-decade drought finally come to an end for the Bengals? They should have many more playoff opportunities in coming seasons, but this is as good an opportunity as they will have.

In the previous Raiders-Bengals matchup, the Bengals scored 16 unanswered points in the final five minutes to close out a 32-13 road win. The rematch should be closer, but the same reasons the Raiders won that game should guide them to the playoff win.

The Bengals have a decisive advantage in the ground game, and that advantage was key in the first meeting. Joe Mixon ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries, and the Bengals held a 14-minute, 40-second advantage in time of possession thanks to churning out 159 rushing yards on 38 attempts.

Mixon averaged barely over three yards per carry over his last five games, but he will be fresh and rested against the Raiders. So will Burrow, receiver Tee Higgins, and others who sat out last Sunday’s finale against the Browns. Look for Mixon and his fresh legs to have a big game as the Bengals finally, finally, finally earn a long-awaited trip to the next round of the playoffs.

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