The Divisional Round of the 2022 NFL Playoffs will kick off on Saturday afternoon in Nashville with the Cincinnati Bengals visiting the Tennessee Titans.
The Titans are the AFC’s No. 1 seed and get to play this home game after a week of rest and preparation.
Meanwhile, the AFC North champion Bengals continued their late-season surge in the Wild Card Round, taking down the Las Vegas Raiders 26-19 for their first postseason victory since 1991.
Joe Burrow and Co. have won over the hearts of NFL fans everywhere, but does Cincinnati have the talent to upset the conference’s top seed?
Let’s dig into our Bengals vs Titans predictions and best bets to find out.
All NFL Divisional Round odds and lines are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and current as of 1:30 p.m. ET on Friday, January 21.
Bengals vs Titans Prediction AFC Divisional Playoffs
All things considered, these are two relatively even teams.
The Bengals finished the regular season 17th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA while the Titans ranked 20th.
Both teams finished 4-2 against eventual playoff teams. Both won their respective divisions. While the Titans topped the AFC at 12-5, the Bengals were right there at 10-7.
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So, where can we find the matchup advantages?
For starters, the Titans are finally healthy.
After an extra week of rest, the Titans are expected to get Derrick Henry (foot) back in the fold. Plus, Tennessee will finally have wide receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones at full health.
Those three playmakers were only on the field together for 120 of the Titans’ 1,133 offensive snaps this year, according to Mike Keith of Titans Radio, but their offense should be legitimately dangerous with everyone playing.
Meanwhile, the Tennessee defense is perhaps the most underrated unit on the field. The Titans finished the season ranked eighth in weighted DVOA and ninth in EPA per play allowed.
Factor in the bye week and the Mike Vrabel coaching advantage and this game should end up in a comfortable Tennessee victory.
Prediction: Titans 30, Bengals 23
Bengals vs Titans Best Bets
*Tanner McGrath’s 2021-22 NFL Betting Record: 22-20, +0.00 Units
Best Bet: Titans -3.5 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 0.5 Units
Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase are the youngest, most dangerous QB-WR tandem in the NFL.
The Bengals finished top-1o in passing EPA per play this season, however, they didn’t really love to pass the ball.
Cincinnati rushed at the 11th-highest rate in the NFL this season, and it did so with little success. Literally, little success, as Joe Mixon and Co. finished 22nd in Rush Success Rate.
The Bengals also finished 22nd in rush EPA per play and 20th in rush DVOA. Cincinnati will now try to establish the run against a Tennessee rush defense that was top-15 by every meaningful metric.
The Titans also finished 10th in Defensive Line Yards while allowing just 3.9 yards per rush.
I have little faith in a Bengals team that finished 24th in weighted defensive DVOA, especially against a Titans attack that’s sure to be balanced with everyone finally healthy.
Back Tennessee to cover the spread as your NFL bet of the day.
Check out more of our Bengals vs Titans betting tips:
Best Bet: Over 47.5 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 0.25 Units
This will be a smaller-sized play for me.
Sharp money has been hitting the Over, pushing this total up from its opening line of 46.5, per our NFL gameday odds. While less than 60 percent of the tickets are coming in on the Over, it is still seeing 90 percent of the money.
With all the playmakers on the field, there are plenty of places to find explosive plays. Plus, the Over has hit the last two times Cincinnati and Tennessee have matched up.
If I had to make a play on the total, I’d play the Over up to 48.