Bengals vs. Titans Props For NFL Playoffs: Julio Jones, Joe Mixon Are Top Divisional Round Picks For Saturday
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Titans WR Julio Jones
- In search of the top Bengals vs. Titans props for Saturday's Divisional Round showdown?
- Find out how (and why) we're betting a pair of Julio Jones and Joe Mixon receiving overs for the NFL playoffs.
If you’re looking for an edge when it comes to player prop bets for this year’s NFL playoffs, look no further than Sean Koerner’s projections in our Player Props Tool on Action Labs.
While the market on many of the available prop bets is tight, there are a couple of value plays that stand out this week for this Divisional Round matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Tennessee Titans.
What are player props? They’re bets on a player’s statistical outcome. Learn more here.
NFL Props: Bengals vs. Titans
Julio Jones Under 47.5 Rec Yards (FanDuel)
Jones’ first year with the Titans has been underwhelming, to say the least. In the games he’s been active, he’s underperformed the lofty expectations the Titans had when they traded for him during the offseason.
It’s no secret that the Titans are a run-first team. In fact, their 48.6% rushing play percentage is second to only the Philadelphia Eagles this season in terms of rush-to-pass ratio.
In a matchup that could send them to the AFC Championship Game, there’s no reason to expect that they will change their game plan, even against the Bengals’ susceptible 24th-ranked pass DVOA.
When the Titans do take their shots passing against this defense, it will likely be down the field to deep threat A.J. Brown. I expect another run-heavy game plan — especially with star back Derrick Henry activated off injured reserve — as they look to shorten the game and keep the red-hot Joe Burrow off the field.
Jones’ current 47.5 receiving prop is simply too high given the projected game plan and his usage this season. He’s also exceeded 47.5 receiving yards in only four of his 10 games this year and has averaged only 4.3 targets per game since Week 3.
At the current number, this prop is also above Koerner’s projection of 41.8 yards. I’d play this one down to 42 yards if the line were to shift prior to kickoff.
Joe Mixon Over 3.5 Rec (DraftKings)
Over the last three games, the Bengals have embraced a pass-first approach and unleashed the full potential of 2020 No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow.
While they averaged only a 58.3% pass rate on the season (19th in the league), that numbered jumped up to 64.6% in their last three games, the third-highest among all teams.
The Bengals also went 3-0 over that span, with impressive wins over the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and Las Vegas Raiders.
While that approach hasn’t helped Joe Mixon’s rushing totals, it has shown up in the form of receiving production. During that three-game span, Mixon averaged 6.3 targets, 5.7 receptions and 46 yards per game out of the backfield.
While he’s always been a solid receiving back, he’s become a safety valve for Burrow in this pass-first offense.
Not only are we getting this prop well below his recent averages, but we’re also getting it at plus-money (+125 at DraftKings as of Friday afternoon) in a must-win scenario.
While the Titans will undoubtedly try to limit their possessions with a run-first approach, expect a heavy dose of the pass on the Bengals’ side — including a ton of Mixon — as they look to upset the top-seeded Titans.
Hurry and grab this one while it’s still at plus money. I’m playing this one at the current number, but I would play it all the way down to -115 if necessary.