A triple-header of Wild Card action on Sunday will conclude with an SNF showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Ravens will be without Lamar Jackson once again, but the Bengals have no such worries on offense. Not only is Joe Burrow calling the shots under center, but he has a dynamic teammate in the backfield in Joe Mixon to turn to.
I’m expecting Mixon to make some major contributions in the passing game, which I’ll dive into below, as well as break down a three-leg Same-Game Parlay built around my best NFL pick of the evening.
Joe Mixon prop pick and same-game parlay
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Joe Mixon best bet
Joe Mixon has certainly had better seasons running with the football, as his 814 rushing yards on the campaign are the fewest he’s accumulated in a season (min. 14 games played) since his rookie year. However, he’s played a significant role in the passing game all year and looks poised to make an impact in this department on Sunday night.
Mixon has cleared the 20-yard plateau in each of his last three games, amassing an average of 39 receiving yards per contest in that span. In fact, Mixon has at least 21 receiving yards in 10 of the 14 games he suited up for this year.
The Bengals tailback will be facing a Ravens defense that’s been burned by opposing running backs through the air all year long. This unit ranks 27th in receiving yards allowed to tailbacks per game (42.9), and 23rd in receptions allowed per game (5.47).
Ball security is paramount to winning in the NFL, especially in the playoffs, and getting the ball into Mixon’s hands offers head coach Zac Taylor peace of mind. Mixon has yet to register a single fumble this season.
Look for Joe Burrow to check it down to Mixon on a regular basis on Sunday night, especially if the former Pro Bowl running back fails to get momentum going on the ground.
Joe Mixon Prop: Over 20.5 receiving yards (-125)
Joe Mixon SGP
While 20.5 receiving yards is the best available line for that prop, we’ll opt for a slightly higher mark in that department to help fill out a manageable Same-Game Parlay.
As we mentioned above, the Ravens allow plenty of yards and receptions to opposing tailbacks. Mixon has recorded no fewer than four catches in three straight games, and in eight of 14 starts on the year. He went 6-for-9 in that category to end the season.
The targets have been coming at a steady rate for the Oklahoma product, as he’s received 5.36 looks per game from Burrow this season and hauled in 4.29 passes per game.
While Mixon’s prowess in the passing game has served to lessen receiving contributions from fellow halfback Samaje Perine, it’s enabled the Bengals to work Perine into the running game more often. Perine had just one carry in five of the first seven games of 2022 but has averaged 5.3 carries over four games since Mixon returned from a minor injury.
Not only will Mixon have to run against Roquan Smith and the rest of a Ravens run defense that ranks third in the NFL (92.1 rushing yards allowed per game), but he’ll have fewer carries with which to reach a fairly high number. Bank on Mixon’s usage in the passing game taking away from his responsibilities on the ground and continuing the trend for the Cincinnati offense.
SGP odds: +310 at Unibet