The Cincinnati Bengals are back in the NFL playoffs, and current football betting odds have them favored to beat the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday. Does Cincinnati have what it takes to reach the Super Bowl?
Before answering that question, though, here’s what you need to know for this week’s matchup.
Raiders at Bengals (-4.5)
- Date: Saturday, Jan. 15
- Time: 4:30 P.M. EST on NBC
- Venue: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
Can the Cincinnati Bengals Beat the Raiders?
On Saturday, Cincinnati hosts the Las Vegas Raiders, a team they beat 32-13 during the season.
The team was coming off a bye week, having lost two straight before the break. In their win against Las Vegas, the Bengals relied on Joe Mixon, who had 30 carries for 123 yards. Quarterback Joe Burrow was 20 for 29 with only 148 yards in that game, his lowest passing total all season.
The Bengals outscored the Raiders 19-7 in the fourth quarter. The Bengals defense played an excellent game, holding the Raiders to 13 first-downs and 1-7 on third-down conversions.
The Raiders come into the playoffs on a four-game winning streak. Last week against the Los Angeles Chargers, they scored 35 points, and Josh Jacobs ran for 132 yards. Cincinnati’s fifth-ranked rushing defense will have to limit Jacobs and the Raiders’ ability to eat clock.
Quarterback Joe Burrow has had a remarkable year with 4611 passing yards, 34 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. But even more important, Burrow hasn’t thrown an interception in his last four games. Still, Burrow has taken 51 sacks this season for 370 yards, which is troubling heading into the playoffs.
In October, RB Joe Mixon got hobbled with an ankle injury, which slowed his progress. His last hundred-yard game was against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 12 when he ran for 165 yards.
Since then, he’s averaged less than twenty carries per game. The Bengals rush offense is only ranked 23rd in yards per game, but the Bengals rushed for 159 yards in Week 11 against the 19th-ranked rush defense of the Raiders (114.3 yards allowed per game).
The Bengals can’t afford to look past this week’s game against the Raiders, but to handicap their chances for a deep playoff run, we must explore how they match up against the AFC’s playoff teams.
The Bengals played three AFC playoff teams this season: the Steelers twice, the Raiders, and the Kansas City Chiefs. Cincinnati went undefeated in those four games, winning by a total margin of 131-64.
In those games, Joe Burrow averaged 239 passing yards. He also threw for nine touchdowns and only two interceptions. Throughout the season, this Cincinnati team has shown it can hang with the other skilled teams in the conference.
Super Bowl Hopes
The Cincinnati Bengals enter the NFL playoffs at home this week. They have a premier quarterback that can put up huge numbers. But, this team is young and doesn’t have the experience of other teams in the playoffs.
I like the Bengals to win their first playoff game in three decades.
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