On the surface, Saturday’s AFC divisional showdown between the Cincinnati Bengals and Tennessee Titans appears to be a classic matchup between “old school” football and a modern passing attack. Derrick Henry is expected to be active for the first time since breaking his foot in Week 8. He’s at the head of a ground game that led the league in rushing attempts.
The Bengals, while seemingly a pass-heavy team built around Joe Burrow and ace receiver Ja’Marr Chase, are well-balanced. They ran the ball 41.7 percent of the time and were led by Joe Mixon’s 292 carries. That balance shifted a bit more to the pass as Burrow regained his footing over the course of the season. However, Cincinnati still falls short of qualifying as “pass happy”.
The Titans are 3.5-point favorites across the betting market. The total is 47.5 on most oddsboards, with stray 47 or two available for ‘over’ bettors. We’ll keep all these factors in mind as we consider touchdown scorer bets and player props offered at DraftKings and FanDuel.
Bengals vs. Titans QB Props and Touchdown Scorers
Joe Burrow Over/Under 277.5 passing yards, O/U -115 (DraftKings)
The Bengals eased Burrow back into the mix. They limited his pass attempts early in the season and gradually opened up their offense down the stretch. Over his last six games, Burrow has four 300-plus-yard performances with outbursts of 446 and 525 yards. He has the weapons — and brimming confidence — to threaten the 300 plateau again this weekend.
Ryan Tannehill Anytime Touchdown +310 (FanDuel)
Tannehill has seven touchdowns in each of the last two seasons. He’ll remain a threat with his legs this weekend. There’s naturally a lot of discussion and excitement regarding the expected return of Henry. His mere presence will open opportunities for others — including Tannehill — as the Titans venture deep into Bengals territory.
Ryan Tannehill Over/Under 238.5 passing yards, O/U -114 (FD)
Tannehill reached 239 yards in four of the eight games Henry was active this season. However, he met that mark in only two contests following Henry’s broken foot. Henry’s return may revive “first-half” Tannehill, but it’s important for bettors to consider the degree the Titans will unleash Henry.
Bengals vs. Titans Running Back Player Props and Touchdown Scorers
Joe Mixon Anytime Touchdown -105 (DK)
Mixon totaled 16 touchdowns this season, so he’s no stranger to the painted area. The most appealing consideration as it pertains to Mixon — aside from these reasonable odds — is his work both as a runner and a receiver out of the backfield.
Joe Mixon Over/Under 83.5 Total Yards, O/U -114 (FD)
It’s worth reiterating Mixon’s versatility. Not only did he deliver one of his best seasons as a pass-catcher, he also accounted for 40.7 percent of the Bengals’ offensive volume. Being able to impact games in a multitude of ways leads to more touches, and — hopefully for those who bet the ‘over’ — yards.
Derrick Henry Anytime Touchdown -185 (FD)
Bettors should consider how confident they are in Henry’s fitness. It’s one thing to go through a few practices and receive clearance to start Saturday’s showdown. Expecting him to reprise his role as a human freight train immediately requires a degree of faith not everyone shares. There’s a reality in which Henry is used as a decoy, setting the stage for others to make impactful contributions. Of course, if Henry receives enough snaps, -185 may look like a bargain in retrospect.
Also read: Bengals vs. Titans pick
Bengals vs. Titans Receiving Props and Touchdown Scorers
Ja’Marr Chase Anytime Touchdown +140 (FD, DK)
There may not be a single person in Music City who doesn’t know Chase is the talisman of the Bengals receiving corps, and the Titans will presumably address the threat he presents in their defensive gameplan. It’s easy to envision a scenario in which the Titans manage to contain Chase’s yardage numbers listed at various books — after all, he was limited to several lean performances throughout the regular season. However, when it comes to scoring a touchdown, there are just too many ways for him to deliver. He’s a threat on deep shots, he can roast a defense after the catch, and he’s a load to handle in close quarters.
A.J. Brown Anytime Touchdown +145 (FD)
Brown is similar to Chase in a lot of respects. Deep threat? Check. Quick slant or jet sweep to the house? Check. Red zone and goal line dominance? Check. Brown’s full-season numbers left a lot to be desired, but that’s due to factors outside of Brown’s game-breaking ability. In a one-game setting, Brown is as capable of wrecking an opposing secondary as any receiver in the game.
A.J. Brown Over/Under 72.5 receiving yards, O/U -115 (DK)
Considering Brown’s injuries this season and the Titans’ conservative, run-heavy offense, 73 receiving yards may look like a high bar. However, it won’t take more than a chunk play or two — something well within his ability — to eat up much of that 73-yard marker.
Tee Higgins 100+ receiving yards +310 (FD)
Higgins is a quality, big-time talent in his own right. He doesn’t need a budding All-Pro on the opposite side of the formation to allow him to shine. It certainly doesn’t hurt, though. Bettors convinced the Titans will try to eliminate Chase — head coach Mike Vrabel is a disciple of Bill Belichick, after all — may want to consider the extra opportunities that will head in Higgins’ direction. For those circling this particular wager for their bet slip, Higgins’ O/U is set at 65.5 at FanDuel.
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