NFL Week 16: Cincinnati Bengals vs New England Patriots preview, picks, bets, more

Joe Burrow and the Bengals take on the Patriots
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (85) and quarterback Joe Burrow (9) celebrate a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half of an NFL football game in Cincinnati, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Joshua Bickel)

Something blue, something Burrowed, something about these Bengals: the young Joe Burrow won’t have Bill Belichick giving him away on Saturday because the New England Patriots are at home.

As Steve Martin once said, ‘All right, let’s start eliminating.’ And that’s precisely what Mac Jones needs to worry about. He’s not walking my daughter down the aisle with arm strength like that, and the Patriots are one loss away from forgetting the 2022 playoffs.

But this New England squad doesn’t need a wedding planner: they need CPR, and I’m not sure they can Bailey Zappe it to 200 watts. It’ll all be in play for CINcity as the Patriots gasp for air against the explosive Bengals offense. 

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Cincinnati Bengals (10-4) @ New England Patriots (7-7)

Game Details:

  • Location: Gilette Stadium at Foxborough, MA
  • Time: Saturday, December 24th at 1:00 pm
  • Channel: CBS

Betting Stats:

  • SPREAD: CIN -3
  • OVER/UNDER: 41.5
  • MONEYLINE: CIN (-176), NE (+148)


It hasn’t been all daisies and sugar plums for Burrow and the Bengals, but they’re 11-3 against the spread. You’re doing alright if you’ve been betting on the other team from Ohio.

For as many discussions as there have been around Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes for MVP, Burrow might be a sleeper. The Bengals’ offense has the fourth most passing yards in the NFL, and Burrow’s 31 passing touchdowns rank only behind Mahomes’ 35.

As a bonus bet, you can get Burrow at +750, or $10 to win $75, to win the MVP on Caesar’s Sportsbook. With the Bengals battling for a one-seed, some vintage performances could have Burrow run away with the thing.

The issue for Burrow on Saturday will be staying on his feet. New England’s defense has the third most sacks in the NFL (48), while Cincinnati has allowed the 8th most in the league, not to mention they’re the only team in the top eight with a winning record.

The combination of the current Bengals offensive line has allowed an average of 16.6 quarterback hurries per player. For context, the Philadelphia Eagles are around 13.4 and can fall back on a mobile quarterback. Not so easy for Burrow.

Furthermore, we can talk about Ja’Marr Chase or the legendary Mac Jones, but I’ll be watching the matchup of defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. against Cincy left tackle Jonah Williams, who’s allowed nine sacks this season and most on the team.

Another issue would be the bright young corners, Jack Jones and Marcus Jones, for New England. Teams have been scared enough of J. Jones who’s being targeted, on average, just three times a game. Although he only has two interceptions to show for it, PFF has his coverage grade at 76.0, the 18th-best in the NFL. Still, the Jones combo hasn’t seen Chase or Tee Higgins yet.

The case for New England is keeping the game low-scoring and harassing Burrow. And that’s my twist; this game has all the hallmarks of a Patriots upset in the cold grip of the unforgiving Northeastern winter. While I don’t doubt Chase will have his way with the New England’s secondary, we’re gearing up for limited scoring and a lot of Rhamondre Stevenson (who’s listed as Questionable but will look to play).


New England  23       Cincinnati 17



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New England Patriots and Mac Jones take on the Bengals
New England quarterback Mac Jones (10) hands off to running back Rhamondre Stevenson (38) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)