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Bengals open as favorite over Raiders

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The Bengals have a chance to end their home season with a win.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Chargers The Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY

For the first time in what feels like forever (actually just three weeks), the Bengals are a favorite.

It’s been a rarity for Cincinnati to be favored in any of its games since their 4-2 start. Since then, the Bengals have been underdogs in five of their last seven games. They’ve actually failed to cover the spread in six of their last eight games, though they managed to beat the 16-point spread they faced against the Chargers on Sunday.

Now, the Bengals will return home as favorites over the Raiders in Week 15. The early odds have Cincinnati favored by three points in the friendly confines of Paul Brown Stadium. It’s the first time Cincinnati has been favored since Week 12 at home vs. the Browns.

The Raiders have shown flashes this season, including Sunday’s hard-fought win over the Steelers. Oakland actually has three one-score losses this season, the same number Cincinnati has.

There’s no question this is the best remaining chance for a Bengals win in their final three games, as they’ll have road games vs. the surging Browns and AFC North-leading Steelers after that.

A win Sunday would actually give the Bengals a 4-4 record at home this season, the same mark they had in 2017 after going 4-3 in PBS in 2016 (the London tie vs. Washington counted as a home game for Cincinnati.

This will also be a great chance for Jeff Driskel to score his first win as a starting NFL quarterback. He’s been decent in his first two starts but has yet to pick up his first win, and he may never get a better chance to get one then on Sunday.