The Cincinnati Bengals (5-8) host the Oakland Raiders (3-10) this Sunday in a matchup between two struggling AFC teams. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on December 16th at Paul Brown Stadium and the game will be broadcast on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Bengals listed as 3-point home favorites. That line has yet to shift at all after early betting, as Cincinnati is currently available at -3. The total for this matchup is 46 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 15 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Bengals vs Raiders Vegas Odds & Game Preview
Oakland ended their two game losing streak last weekend, shocking the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-21 at home to pick up their third victory of the season. It was a very solid performance on both sides of the ball from the Raiders, who found a way to pull off the upset despite heading into the game as double-digit underdogs. QB Derek Carr played well, going 25/34 for 322 yards and two touchdowns. He also managed to avoid throwing any untimely interceptions, something he has now done for eight consecutive weeks. Carr had a ton of help from TE Jared Cook, who had seven catches for 116 yards. The wideout duo of Jordy Nelson and Seth Roberts also posted decent numbers, combining for 11 receptions for over 120 yards. The offense will look to keep things rolling on Sunday against a poor Bengals defense that has been one of the worst in the NFL all season long. As a whole, Oakland is currently averaging just 18.8 points per game (29th overall) on 347.5 yards per game.
The Raiders have also really struggled defensively through their first thirteen games, allowing opponents to score 29.8 points per game (31st overall) on 392.2 yards of total offense. They are especially bad against the run, giving up an average of 144.5 yards per game on the ground (31st overall).
Cincinnati lost their fifth consecutive game last weekend, falling 26-21 on the road to the Los Angeles Chargers. The Bengals battled valiantly but couldn’t find a way to pull off the upset after trailing by five points at halftime. QB Jeff Driskel had his best game since Andy Dalton was shut down for the season several weeks ago, passing for 170 yards and a touchdown. RB Joe Mixon was by far and away the star of the game on offense, rushing for 111 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. Tyler Boyd and John Ross struggled to get anything going in the receiving game, combining for only 63 yards, although Ross did find the end zone. Overall, Cincinnati is currently averaging 23.6 points per game (16th overall) on 328.7 yards of total offense.
The Bengals have been one of the worst defensive teams in the entire NFL for basically the entire year, allowing opponents to score an average of 30.5 points per game (32nd overall) on 421.9 yards of total offense. They are currently surrendering the most rushing yards per game in the league, as opponents are averaging a ridiculous 148.1 yards on the ground per contest.
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Oakland +3
While these two teams are both in the basement of their respective divisions, this matchup does have the potential to be fairly high-scoring – it features the worst and second-worst scoring defenses in the NFL. However, Jeff Driskel certainly has shown that he has no real upside in limited action this year, so Joe Mixon may be in for another 25+ carries on offense. Derek Carr has appeared to turn things around as of late, throwing for over 600 yards and five touchdowns over his last two games. He certainly appears to be in a good spot yet again this weekend, as the Bengals have been brutal against both the run and the pass.
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The Raiders are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games in the month of December. They are also a very solid 5-2 ATS over their last seven road games against teams with a losing home record. Cincinnati is a dreadful 0-5 ATS over their last five home games. They are also only 2-6 ATS in their last eight games overall.
I am fully expecting Carr to be able to keep his momentum going this weekend against Cincinnati, especially considering how well he played against a tough Pittsburgh defense in Week 14. The Bengals are a mess on both sides of the ball right now, as Dalton and A.J. Green are done for the year. Joe Mixon might have another big game, but I don’t think it will be nearly enough. I’m taking the free points all day in this spot, as Oakland is coming off a huge win over the Steelers last weekend and a solid performance against Kansas City in Week 13. I’m rolling with the road underdogs on Sunday – give me the Raiders.