Playing a same-game NFL parlay with the Cincinnati Bengals involved would be a lot more interesting if Joe Burrow was suiting up. Unfortunately for fans and bettors the star quarterback was shelved with a season-ending injury a few weeks ago. In their first attempt with Jake Browning, the Bengals managed just 10 points in a loss to division rival Pittsburgh last week. They’ll attempt to snap a 3-game losing streak and get back in the AFC playoff picture when they visit the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Week 13 edition of Monday Night Football.
As a result of Burrow’s injury the Bengals are an 8.5-point underdog on the NFL betting line at BetRivers sportsbook. And they’re playing a good team, which also has something to do with the NFL football lines. The Jags lead the AFC South with an 8-3 record and can match Baltimore for the best ledger in the AFC with a win. Fans are also denied the opportunity to see recent No. 1 overall draft picks go head-to-head. Burrow was the top choice in 2020 with Trevor Lawrence taken one year later. Jacksonville has won two straight and seven of its last eight games while being a top NFL pick against the spread in the that span with seven payouts.
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It would be easy to make a NFL wager against the Bengals in this matchup. They lost their starting quarterback in the middle of what is now a three-game skid. Making his first start in last week’s game against the Steelers, Jake Browning looked poised and comfortable but the offense didn’t click. He was 19 of 26 for 227 yards and a touchdown but he failed to move the sticks with the Bengals going just 2 of 10 on third downs. They possessed the football for less than 23 minutes. With more time to prepare as the starter and facing a defense not quite as ferocious as Pittsburgh’s, I think Browning will have more success. He needs help from a ground game that produced just 25 yards on 11 carries against the Steelers.
By no means are the Bengals going to be as potent with Browning running the show but they should at least be able to move the ball against a defense that surrendered nearly 400 yards to Houston last week. And despite their three-game slide the Bengals are still very much alive in the playoff race just a game behind the seventh-place Indianapolis Colts, so there is plenty at stake. And that makes backing the Bengals and the points a NFL best bet on a same-game parlay.
The Jags are on a nice run with only one loss in their last eight outings. However, a look at their opponents tells a different story. Only one of their victims is currently more than one game over .500 and three of them have a losing record. The only club that would be considered elite is the Niners, and they blasted the Jags 34-3 in Florida three weeks ago. It tells you a lot about the Jags that they won the games they were supposed to win. They are 6-1 SU and ATS when favored on the NFL betting line but they’ve never been favored by this much.
Boasting one of the NFL’s worst defenses, the Bengals will likely take more risks in order to keep the football and increase their chances of scoring. And they’ll need to take advantage of their opportunities. They average fewer than 20 points but with the return of Tee Higgins they’ll have another weapon giving them more options. This has me leaning toward the OVER on Cincy’s point total of 14.5.
We don’t get the Burrow-Lawrence matchup that produced a combined 761 yards of offense in the last meeting between the clubs. But we do get Lawrence, who over the last two games has completed more than 67 percent of his passes for 626 yards. He has a great duo of pass-catchers in Christian Kirk and Calvin Ridley, who each having more than 660 yards receiving with eight combined touchdowns. Lawrence threw for 336 yards last week and three times in the last four weeks he topped his game total of 251.5.
Bengals OVER 14.5 Points
Trevor Lawrence OVER 243.5 Passing Yards
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