Cincinnati Bengals vs. Oakland Raiders Analysis & Pick ATS
Cincinnati Bengals (0-9 SU, 3-6 ATS) vs. Oakland Raiders (5-4 SU, 6-3 ATS)
NFL Week 11
Date/Time: Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 4:25PM EST
Where: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, California
Point Spread: CIN +10.5/OAK -10.5 (BetNow)
Over/Under Total: 48.5
The Cincinnati Bengals come into the Coliseum for an AFC showdown with the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Needless to say, things haven’t come off well for the Bengals this season, winless through nine games. They appeared to hit a new low on Sunday in a 49-13 loss to the Ravens, It’s getting ugly, and they have only covered one spread since week three. The Raiders, meanwhile, are now above .500 following a 26-24 win over the Chargers last Thursday. Back home again after the long week, they look to give their postseason cause some real credence in a golden opportunity for another win against a winless adversary. At 5-4, only the 6-4 Chiefs are ahead of them in the AFC West, and this could be huge.
The Power of Sentimentality
Oakland has that scrappy underdog thing going for them. You see a team playing with a lot of emotion and swagger. They play over their heads at times, thriving in spots where on paper it says they shouldn’t. Their last year in Oakland has to figure into it, as well. Against the Chargers, you saw an Oakland throng realizing that they will soon part ways with their beloved team—this time for good. Combine that with the way they’re playing, and for the first time in years, the Coliseum has a real home-field feel to it for the Raiders. There’s just a little extra edge, a specific indefinable force that seems to be propelling the Raiders beyond a point where most people thought they would be.
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Never as Bad as it Looks
Of course, an 0-9 record is never good, especially when only four of those losses were of the one-score variety. The Bengals have basically gotten their butts kicked five times already this season. They weren’t expected to be good, but no one thought they would be as bad as this—winless going into week 11. Andy Dalton has been benched. Their aerial game is up and down, and the run game has been inconsistent. The defense is ranked 32nd in the league, 32nd against the rush, and looked downright awful in giving up a highlight-reel performance to the Baltimore offense on Sunday in a 36-point loss.
In NFL betting, however, a different perspective is needed. Sure, they got handed a frightful beating to the Ravens, but Baltimore can do that to teams from time to time. Coming off the bye, one would have expected more from Cincy, but it wasn’t a good spot. Ryan Finley was underwhelming in his debut as a starter and didn’t get the job done. He could get better. Joe Mixon is coming off a 100-yard game and looks to be warming up. But goodness, the big plays on offense are so few and far between. And a leaky defense is just out there taking up space. You could be waiting all afternoon for a clutch stop or a big play of any kind, They barely get turnovers and hardly ever rush the passer.
Right Role for Oakland
So far this season, Oakland has been a team that has caught some people by surprise, as a lot of people figured they wouldn’t win five games all season. The crazy thing is that they have only been favored once this season, as 2.5-point favorites at home against Detroit in week nine. Now you take a team like that, a squad that has played over its head and delivered in an underdog role and give them expectations, it could mess up the winning formula, as Oakland has only failed to cover the spread once since September 22. In other words, they’ve thrived in that role, and now you’re asking them to deliver as double-digit favorites, and that might not be the right spot for them.
Glaring Matchup Concerns
The Raiders’ offense has gotten a big boost from the run-game, with rookie Josh Jacobs starting to string together some big games in recent weeks. That could be big at home against a Cincinnati run-defense that is one of the worst seen in the NFL in this decade. They really can’t stop much of anything, and an Oakland offense that is able to peel off big runs at will is one that could make life hard on the Bengals. And with a Cincinnati secondary that can’t make much of anything happen, we could see a sharp-shooting Carr working well with his targets.
Cincinnati has seen some guys step up aerially, with Auden Tate making his presence known this season, and Tyler Boyd having another good season. Alex Erickson and Tyler Eifert are viable targets, as well. Whether they can make it work against Oakland remains to be seen, as they’ve been better against the pass, while it has been the weakest part of the Oakland “D.” But it’s hard to picture the Bengals running the ball all that well against a rigid Oakland run-defense. If you want to get excited about the Cincinnati passing-attack led by Ryan Finley, it’s not a ton to hang your hat on.
Take the Home Favorite
There are some pangs in signing off on Oakland as big favorites after being listed as favorites just once all season. But the urgency of their situation, their heart, the home environment, and the state of their opponent all point to something resembling an Oakland bonanza this week. They’re still the Raiders and are a work in progress, but I believe the conditions favor a thorough Oakland win this week. I’ll take Oakland.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Oakland Raiders minus 10.5 points.