Bengals vs Patriots Week 16 Picks and Predictions: Expected Game-Script Hurts Burrow's Passing Total

Cincinnati is on a six-game win streak and will hope to extend it in Foxborough this weekend. However, history this season tells us that Joe Burrow could be in tough against a defense like New England's. Read more in our Bengals vs. Patriots betting picks.

Last Updated: Dec 24, 2022 8:21 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
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The Cincinnati Bengals put away Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 15 to extend their win streak to six and now visit Brady’s former team, the New England Patriots, for a Christmas Eve showdown in Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots fell out of the top seven in the AFC last weekend after losing to the Las Vegas Raiders on a walk-off fumble return by Chandler Jones. Now 7-7 and on the playoff bubble, New England closes out the season with matchups against Cincinnati, Miami, and Buffalo — all three of whom would make the postseason if it were to start today.

Below, we look ahead to Saturday’s holiday battle and offer our best free NFL picks and predictions for the Bengals vs. Patriots on December 24.

Bengals vs Patriots best odds

Bengals vs Patriots picks and predictions

The Bengals’ 34-23 win over Brady and company was not as dominant as the final score might imply. Heading into halftime, Cincinnati trailed 17-3 as Tampa Bay got off to an uncharacteristically fast start at home.

In the second half, however, Tampa Bay beat itself, as Brady lost two fumbles and got picked off twice, setting up plenty of scoring opportunities for Cincinnati. From there, Joe Burrow began to light it up, recording four touchdown passes in the second half.

The entire third quarter was played inside Tampa Bay’s 40-yard line, and Burrow turned one of Brady’s interceptions, both of his fumbles, and a botched fake punt into three touchdowns and a field goal for the Bengals.

Despite tying his season high in touchdown passes, Burrow finished with 200 yards on 27-of-39 passing with an interception against the sixth-best pass defense in the league.

On Saturday, he’ll confront another Top-10 pass defense in the Patriots, who surrender an average of 202 yards per contest and have not allowed an opposing quarterback to throw for more than 246 yards in their last three games.

The Bengals rank sixth in the league in passing yards per outing (262.1), but against Top-15 pass defenses this season (six games), Burrow has surpassed 259 passing yards just once. This came in Week 3 against the Jets when he racked up 275 through the air.

Add in the fact that Saturday’s temperature high in Foxborough is 25 degrees with winds between 10 to 20 mph, and Burrow is in for a test.

This game is likely to feature both rushing attacks heavily, although moving the ball on the ground will be its own challenge. Entering Sunday, the Patriots and Bengals each own Top-10 rush defenses in terms of yards allowed per game. 

Expect a low-scoring battle in light of inclement weather, with Burrow doing just enough in the passing game to keep Cincinnati competitive. Still, the Bengals' star pivot will turn in one of his lower passing performances in the process.

My best bet: Joe Burrow Under 258.5 passing yards (-115)

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Bengals vs Patriots spread analysis

The line for Saturday’s matchup opened at Cincinnati -3.5 but has since dropped half a point.

The Bengals own the best record in the league against the spread at 11-3, while the Patriots are 7-6-1 ATS in 2022. As the home team, New England is an even 3-3 ATS, but Cincinnati has been hot on the road, covering in six of its eight road games this year while winning straight up in five of them.

Cincy is also 8-3 ATS when favored, but New England is an alarming 2-5 ATS when listed as the underdog and 0-2 ATS as a home dog.

In the last 12 games overall, the only time Cincy didn't cover was in a 32-13 road loss to Cleveland on Halloween. Since then, the Bengals have covered the spread in six straight, with four of those games seeing them listed as a 3.5- to 7-point favorite.

New England, on the other hand, is 1-3 ATS in its last four. The lone time the Pats covered in that span was as a two-point road favorite in Arizona. In the three most recent games in which they were listed as a 2.5- to 4-point underdog, they failed to cover the spread each time.

Bengals vs Patriots Over/Under analysis

The total for this game opened between 39.5 and 42 and has settled at 41.5 by midweek.

The Under is 5-2 in New England’s last seven games overall, while it’s 12-3-1 in Cincinnati’s last 16 versus the AFC, 9-3-1 in the Bengals’ last 13 road games, and 11-4-1 in their last 16 games following an ATS win.

Cincinnati averages the fifth-most points in the NFL (26.4) and has bumped that up to 30.5 in the midst of its six-game win streak. Meanwhile, New England is 17th in the league in points per game (21.4) and has averaged 20.5 in its last six.

Both of these teams own Top-10 scoring defenses, with the Patriots forcing 22 turnovers (tied for fourth-most) and the Bengals recording 19 takeaways (tied for 10th in the NFL).

The Under is also 4-2 in New England’s home games in 2022 and 4-3-1 in Cincinnati’s road games, while it’s 6-3 in the Patriots’ AFC matchups and 7-1-1 in Cincy’s conference slates.

Bengals vs Patriots betting trend to know

The Under is 13-5-1 in Cincinnati’s last 19 games overall and 4-1 in New England’s last five home games. Find more NFL betting trends for Bengals vs. Patriots.

Bengals vs Patriots game info

Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
Date: Saturday, December 24, 2022
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. ET
Opening odds: Patriots +3, 40 O/U

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