Bengals vs Raiders: Who are the experts picking in the Wild Card Round?

Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals get their best opportunity yet to end a 31-year playoff losing streak on Saturday against the Las Vegas Raiders. The experts think they’ll get it done.

Back in Week 11, the Bengals beat the Raiders 32-13, but the game was much closer than the score reflects.

Both teams had a chance to win up until the fourth quarter when Derek Carr threw two turnovers. Joe Burrow ultimately played the cleaner game and Cincinnati went home with a deserved win.

This time around, the same players will be in action in a much-higher-stakes matchup. Burrow faces off against Carr. Mixon against Jacobs. Chase, Boyd, and Higgins against Renfrow. Hendrickson against Crosby.

We’re rubbing our hands together for one of the most exciting Wild Card Round playoff games of the year.

Some things to keep an eye on: Joe Mixon (and many other Bengals players) is officially off the COVID-19 list, and Tee Higgins appears to be fully healthy after being limited in practice last week.

Here’s what the experts have to say about the Wild Card Round:

Expert picks for Cincinnati Bengals vs Las Vegas Raiders

CBS Sports’ John Breech shares a special connection to the Bengals and their playoff drought in particular. His dad, Jim Breech, was Cincinnati’s kicker back in 1991 and he kicked an extra point in the fourth quarter of the Bengals’ playoff win against the Houston Oilers. One week later, the Bengals got knocked out by the Raiders (and cursed by Bo Jackson).

So technically, Jim Breech was the last Bengals player to score a point in a Bengals playoff win. Crazy stuff.

Family history aside, John Breech does give a compelling reason as to why Cincinnati will defeat Las Vegas:

"If the Raiders are going to win, Carr is going to have to play a nearly perfect game and I’m not sure that’s going to be possible because this game is going to feature Carr’s personal kryptonite: Cold weather."

We recently wrote about Carr’s tendency to freeze up when he plays in sub-38 degrees temperatures. It sounds ridiculous that this game could depend on whether Carr can hurl the pigskin in cold weather, but it’s true. (And he’s not the only one — Josh Allen has that problem, too.)

Bleacher Report’s Moton projected the sole Raiders victory, but it should be noted that Moton is a well-known Las Vegas fan. He writes:

"Vegas fields the ninth-ranked pass defense, which will make it difficult for Burrow, Chase and Higgins on the back end. Coupled with solid coverage, edge-rushers Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby should be able to consistently collapse the pocket.Burrow has taken the most sacks (51) this season. Under constant duress, he’ll make a couple of mistakes, allowing the Raiders to score off turnovers."

Burrow hasn’t thrown a pick since Week 13, so suck on that, Moton.

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We’re rooting for the Bengals to end their playoff drought so that we can finally stop bringing it up in every article. Here’s to making history on Saturday.