Las Vegas at Cincinnati prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday January 15
Las Vegas at Cincinnati How To Watch
Date: Saturday January 15
Game Time: 4:30 ET
Venue: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
How To Watch: NBC
Record: Las Vegas (10-7), Cincinnati (10-7)
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Las Vegas at Cincinnati Game Preview
Why Las Vegas Will Win
Forget about the playing with house money aspect to getting into the NFL Playoffs – the Raiders earned this, and they have the same record as the flashier Bengals.
They might not be 100% healthy, and they’re going to need Josh Jacobs and the ground game to get going, but no team has gone through more tough games and more adversity – it’s ready.
Las Vegas didn’t knock out four straight teams – Cleveland, Denver, Indianapolis, LA Chargers – but it dealt a few big body blows. Pressure isn’t going to be an issue, especially on the road.
More specifically, the defense has stepped up in big situations. The run D has been terrific over the last month – Cincinnati hasn’t hit 100 yards on the ground in five of the last six games – the pass rush should be able to get to Joe Burrow enough to matter, and …
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Why Cincinnati Will Win
The Bengals basically got a week off, and the Raiders had to go deep into Sunday night for their emotional win over the Chargers. This is hardly a 100% healthy Cincinnati team, but it’s in much better shape than the Raiders.
Can the passing attack keep the firepower going? Yeah, the Las Vegas defense has been fine over the last month of the season, but it doesn’t come up with interceptions, the two takeaways against the Chargers were an anomaly, and even if the Bengals struggle …
It happened in Week 11. The Bengals had problems until rolling late – it wasn’t as ugly as the 32-13 final score – but that also showed off the firepower.
The Raiders can move quickly – Carr is great at efficiently moving the chains – but blink, and the Bengals can end it.
That’s why …
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What’s Going To Happen
Really? The 1990 season – technically it was early January 1991 – was the last time Cincinnati won a playoff game?
No pressure or anything, but this is supposed to be the beginning of something special, and Las Vegas is supposed to be happy to be playing at all.
The Raiders have a way of just hanging around.
Will Cincinnati start to panic if the big plays aren’t there early? Will they abandon the run if Joe Mixon isn’t going off right away?
Las Vegas will overcome the early energy surge and Bengal adrenaline, settle in, and have the lead early in the fourth quarter, and then …
Burrow finds Tee Higgins for one, Tyler Boyd for another, and the Bengals survive and move on after Carr leads the way to a late scoring drive. This will end on an onside kick.
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Las Vegas at Cincinnati Prediction, Line
Cincinnati 27, Las Vegas 23
Line: Cincinnati -5.5, o/u: 49
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 4.5
5: Top Gun: Maverick
1: Don’t Look Up
NFL Playoff Wild Card Expert Picks
Las Vegas at Cincinnati | New England at Buffalo
Phil at Tampa Bay | San Fran at Dallas
Pittsburgh at Kansas City | Arizona at LA Rams
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