Patriots-Bengals Betting Preview: Trends, Props, Pick For Week 16

New England might have a long afternoon vs. Cincinnati


December 23, 2022

Week 15 was one to forget for the Patriots, but New England faces a tall task against a hot Bengals team.

Cincinnati travels to Foxboro, Mass., for what is expected to be a cold Saturday matchup. The Bengals can clinch a playoff spot with a win in Week 16, and the Patriots hope to keep their playoff hopes alive with a victory.

The quarterback matchup could not be more stark. Joe Burrow is a bona fide stud, while Mac Jones has faced multiple questions and criticism over his play against the Las Vegas Raiders and his on-field outbursts. The coaching staff hasn’t done much to help out the second-year quarterback, and injuries continue to pile up for New England.

DeVante Parker has been ruled out due to a concussion, and Jakobi Meyers, Tyquan Thornton, Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson are questionable for Saturday.

Also, while it is easy to scoff at, long snapper Joe Cardona was ruled out for the Bengals game. It’s common to look down on special teams, but for a New England offense that ranks 24th in expected points added per play and 25th in DVOA, it needs any edge it can get.

The weather and defense might be relied upon more than ever for New England as Burrow hopes to stay hot and continue Cincinnati’s six-game win streak.

Here’s all you need to know about Saturday’s Patriots-Bengals game from a betting perspective, with lines and props from DraftKings Sportsbook.

(-3) Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots
Total: 41.5
When: Saturday, Dec. 24, 1 p.m. ET
Where: Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Mass.

The Bengals have been the best team to bet on this season. They are 11-3-1 against the spread, having covered in all six games during their win streak. However, despite Burrow leading a top-five offense, according to EPA per play and DVOA, Cincinnati’s games have gone Under the total eight times this season. This plays well to the Patriots’ strengths as their games gave done Under the total at the same rate, but New England has not been a consistent hit for bettors with a 7-6-1 ATS record.

The Patriots also have not fared well as an underdog, going 2-7 ATS in their last nine games catching points. The Bengals have traveled well on the road in their seven games with a 6-1 ATS record. Cincinnati also has gone 14-2 ATS in its last 16 games against the AFC.

First New England Patriots drive result: turnover, turnover on downs or safety (+550) — It only seems fitting the Patriots continue their negative momentum from the finish of the Raiders game. For all the headlines Burrow takes up, the Bengals defense has kept the pace thanks to defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo. Cincinnati ranks ninth in EPA per play on defense and 12th in defensive DVOA. The unit expects to have top pass rusher Trey Hendrickson back, which doesn’t bode well for a Patriots offensive line that has struggled with consistency. The Bengals are focused on getting the job done, and they should make a statement early on at Jones’ expense.

Ja’Marr Chase alternative receiving yards: 100-plus yards (+160) — The Patriots have struggled against No. 1 wide receivers, even while the defense has played at a high level. New York Jets rookie Garrett Wilson caught six passes for 115 yards in Week 8, Minnesota Vikings star Justin Jefferson caught nine passes for 139 yards and a touchdown in Week 12 and Buffalo Bills wideout Stefon Diggs had seven receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown in Week 13.

New England was able to shut down DeAndre Hopkins and Davante Adams in the last two weeks, but it has lost more often than it has won. Chase is a legit star, and the Patriots being without Jalen Mills won’t help matters. Jonathan Jones has played well this season, but teams aren’t afraid to trust their top receiver, and Chase will be the difference-maker Saturday.

PICK: Bengals -3
The matchup to watch will be how Bill Belichick schemes against Burrow and Zac Taylor’s offense. It’s the first time the third-year quarterback will face New England in his career, but Burrow has proven he can rise to the occasion. Jones has faced an uphill battle with offensive assistant Matt Patricia, and that does not appear to be changing anytime soon. The weather in New England isn’t expected to affect each offense too much, so the Bengals should not have much trouble taking care of business against the Patriots.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images

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