Cincinnati Bengals vs. Tennessee Titans AFC Divisional Round Preview, Picks, and Betting Guide

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Cincinnati Bengals (10-7) vs. Tennessee Titans (12-5)

Date: Saturday, January 22, 2022
Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Nissan Stadium

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Tennessee Titans Moneyline, Total and Odds

All NFL Betting Lines, Odds, and Prop Bets are available on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Moneyline: Bengals +152|Titans -180
Spread: Bengals +3.5 (-114)|Titans -3.5 (-106)
Total: 47 Over (-112) Under (-108)
Odds to win Super Bowl LVI: Bengals +1500|Titans +850

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Tennessee Titans Predictions and Picks

  • Joe Burrow over 278.5 passing yards
  • Ja’Marr Chase over 77.5 receiving yards
  • Titans -3.5

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Tennessee Titans News, Analysis and Picks

The NFL’s divisional round gets underway Saturday, beginning with an AFC matchup, as the Tennessee Titans host the Cincinnati Bengals. It’s the first meeting between the two teams this season, with the winner moving on to the AFC Championship game, where they will face the winner of Sunday’s Buffalo Bills versus Kansas City Chiefs matchup.

Cincinnati is coming off the franchise’s first playoff victory since 1990 – a 23-16 win over the Las Vegas Raiders in last week’s Wild Card game. Meanwhile, the AFC’s top-seeded Titans return from a two-week layoff after securing a first-round bye.

Of course, the biggest story heading into Saturday is the expected return of Titans’ star running back Derrick Henry. Henry, sidelined since Week 9 after undergoing foot surgery, has been practicing the past three weeks, and all signs point to No. 22 being active and handling a normal workload. The 28-year-old was on a record pace before his injury, racking up 937 rushing yards and ten touchdowns in just eight games.

To underscore Henry’s importance, one just has to look at the performance of Tennessee’s offense with and without him in the lineup. Through weeks 1-8, the Titans averaged 28 points per game and 5.5 yards per play. Although posting a 6-3 mark without Henry, those numbers dropped to 21.3 and 4.6, respectively. With defenses forced to stack the box, King Henry’s return also bodes well for quarterback Ryan Tannehill, opening up the play-action passing game in which he excels. The signal-caller will be looking for stud receiver A.J. Brown, who represents a tough matchup for the Bengals’ 27th ranked secondary.

While the Bengals ranked fifth against the run during the regular season, they suffered a significant blow in last week’s victory, losing outstanding defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi to a season-ending foot injury. Ogunjobi enjoyed a career season in 2021, notching 49 tackles, including 12 for loss, to go along with seven sacks. His absence surely boosts the prospects of Henry and Tennessee’s running game.

Fortunately for Cincy’s D, all signs point to leading sack getter Trey Hendrickson (14.0) returning to the lineup after exiting the Wild Card game with a concussion. Hendrickson remains in the league’s concussion protocol but was able to practice on a limited basis Tuesday and should gain clearance ahead of Saturday’s kickoff.

Offensively, Joe Burrow and company’s best course of action appears to be through the air. The Titans ranked second in run defense during the regular season ( 84.6 YPG) but just 25th against the pass, allowing 245.2 yards per game. This bodes well for Burrow as he possesses perhaps the game’s best trio of wide receivers in Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd. Following a relatively conservative approach against the Raiders, head coach Zac Taylor will likely have to be more aggressive on the road. We anticipate that being the case, and like over 278.5 yards passing for Burrow and over 77.5 receiving yards for Chase, who torched Las Vegas’ 12th ranked pass defense for 116 yards on nine catches in the Wild Card round.

Overall, this game shapes up to be a close one, with the Titans currently favored by -3.5. Tennessee was 7-2 in their friendly confines and 3-3 against the spread as a home favorite, while Cincinnati was 5-2 away from Paul Brown Stadium, posting a 4-1 mark against the number as a road underdog. The difference will likely come down to the effectiveness of Henry. Health permitting, he’s demonstrated to be matchup proof, and the Bengals are going to be in tough trying to slow him down, especially given Ogunjobi’s absence. We’re expecting Henry to hit the ground running and like the Titans to cover the -3.5 spread.

All NFL game predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid

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