That’s due to the Cincinnati Bengals being 0-9 and the clubhouse leader for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and the Raiders being 5-4 fresh off two consecutive home wins.
The Raiders have lost just once at home, and the oddsmakers don’t expect that to change on Sunday.
According to ESPN’s PickCenter, the Raiders are 10.5 point favorites with a 75 percent confidence rating. The money line is +420 for the Bengals and -540 for the Raiders. And the over/under is set similarly to last week at 48.5 points.
The Bengals are 3-5 against the spread while the Raiders are 6-3.
Will the Raiders cover the 10.5 point spread this week?
This poll is closed
The Raiders win by exactly 10.5 and hell freezes over
Cincinnati’s offense is among the league’s worst, averaging just 15.2 points per game. And they are starting rookie quarterback Ryan Finley, who will be making just his second career start. Wide receiver A.J. Green is yet to play a game all year, and his status is uncertain as of Tuesday night.
The Raiders have improved each week and are up to 23.1 points per game offensively. Their point differential is still in the negative, but they are trending up. A nice performance on Sunday could go a long way toward evening it up, if not better.
The Bengals run defense in particular is quite porous. Any prop bets for Josh Jacobs rushing yards might be action worth taking, depending on the risk/reward.
The Raiders as a team are averaging right around 130 yards rushing a game, with Jacobs at around 90 per game. A heavy dose of Jacobs would figure to be in the cards on Sunday.
With the line at 10.5, the Raiders are essentially a touchdown-plus favorite (oddsmakers figure being the home team is good for plus-three points). This is the NFL, so a touchdown and a field goal isn’t necessarily automatic. Heck, the Dolphins have won two games in a row.
The Bengals are probably worse at this point, and many NFL pundits believe first-year head coach Zac Taylor is in over his head. With Jon Gruden entering the Coach-of-the-Year discussion—which I’ll write about later this week—the head coaching matchup figures to be a large edge in the Raiders’ favor as well.
From a betting perspective, the fact the Raiders need every win they can get to stay in the playoff race works in their favor. They should come in focused and ready to play.
Then again, just this past week many of the worst teams in the league proved victorious, with a few of rather large upsets taking place. All those things work for motivation, and if the Raiders are who they’ve shown themselves to be the past couple weeks, betting the over seems like a wise move, even though it won’t win you a ton of money.