It’s an important game in the AFC postseason race on Sunday and a playoff rematch from last season when the Cincinnati Bengals visit the Tennessee Titans. Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated books?
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Cincinnati Bengals vs. Tennessee Titans
Sunday, November 27, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at Nissan Stadium
It’s a potentially huge tiebreaker game in the AFC playoff race on Sunday as Cincinnati visits Tennessee. CBS has the telecast from Nashville.
It seems easy to forget now, but the Titans were the top seed in the AFC playoffs last season. The Bengals squeaked by the Raiders in the wild-card round and then headed to Nashville for the divisional round as 4-point underdogs on the NFL odds.
Cincinnati won 19-16 thanks to three interceptions of Ryan Tannehill, the last one with under a minute left that led to Evan McPherson’s 52-yard field goal as time expired to reach the franchise's first AFC Championship Game in 33 years. Cincinnati would win that, too, before losing in the Super Bowl to the Los Angeles Rams.
The Titans sacked Joe Burrow a whopping nine times, but he still managed to throw for 348 yards. Tannehill was only sacked once and had 220 yards with a TD. Derrick Henry was held mostly in check with 62 yards and a TD on 20 carries.
The Titans lead the series with the Bengals 40-36-1, but Cincinnati has taken the last two matchups. The underdog is 5-1 against the spread in the past six meetings.
Bengals Waiting On Chase and Mixon
Will the Bengals get star receiver and 2021 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja’Marr Chase back? He hasn’t played since Oct. 23 due to a hip injury. Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said that Chase will practice this week but that it’s a very day-to-day status. Chase was off to another fine start with 47 catches for 605 yards and six scores.
Former Pro Bowl running back Joe Mixon left Sunday’s 37-30 win in Pittsburgh and is in the concussion protocol, so we may not know about him until Friday.
The Active Players
Samaje Perine came up big for Mixon vs. the Steelers with three touchdown catches out of the backfield, the most in a single game by a Cincinnati running back.
"The three touchdowns from the running back, mind-boggling," said Steelers Pro Bowl defensive tackle Cameron Heyward. "Receiving out of the backfield. We didn't get home enough."
Joe Burrow threw for 355 yards and four scores in the win, and the former No. 1 overall pick has 10,189 passing yards in 36 career games, tied with Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (36 games) for the third-fewest games to reach 10,000 career passing yards in NFL history. Only Patrick Mahomes (34 games) and Justin Herbert (35) reached the mark in fewer games. Burrow is now 26-14 ATS (65%) in his career including playoffs, the third-best by a QB since the 1970 merger with a minimum of 30 starts.
Tee Higgins had a season-high nine catches for 148 yards and is now on pace for a 1,200-yard season. Cincinnati is 10-2 against the spread in its past 12 after a win.
Titans Have Been ATS $$ Machine
The Titans are 7-1 SU & 8-0 ATS since Week 3 and have the best scoring defense in NFL in that span (15.4 PPG). They are coming off a mini-bye as they won in Green Bay on Thursday in Week 11, 27-17, in a minor upset.
The Packers sold out to stop Derrick Henry –he still had 87 yards and a TD on 28 carries and even threw a short TD pass– so Ryan Tannehill stepped up and threw for 333 yards and two scores. Bengals coach Zac Taylor actually coached Tannehill for eight seasons: In 2008-11 as a Texas A&M graduate assistant and in 2012-15 as the Dolphins’ QB coach/offensive coordinator.
The 27 points scored against the Packers were the Titans’ most this season. They are the eighth team since the 1970 merger to start 7-3 or better without scoring 28+ points in a game (including 2022 Giants).
I’m a bit surprised the Titans are home dogs here, but they are 20-15 straight up as an underdog under Mike Vrabel (since 2018). That’s the second-best record by a head coach since the merger with a minimum of 20 games (George Allen). Vrabel is 9-4 SU as an underdog since the start of last season, the best win percentage in the NFL.
Defensively, Vrabel said he expects edge rusher Denico Autry (knee) to "miss some time." Vrabel said that they were "lucky" regarding the injury. It's another hit to a Titans front seven that has lost Harold Landry for the season and missed Bud Dupree the last few weeks.
Tennessee has designated kicker Caleb Shudak to return to practice from the team's Physically Unable to Perform list. As a result, Shudak now has a 21-day window to be activated. The move comes one day after the team waived kicker Josh Lambo from the roster. Lambo kicked vs. the Packers with Randy Bullock hurt.
This will be the 1,000th all-time game for the Titans franchise, including every contest in the regular season (960) and playoffs (40) since its inception in 1960.
Without knowing about Chase and Mixon, I like Tennessee at home for this betting pick.
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