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Week 13 in the NFL concludes with a matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Bengals season was derailed because of a season-ending injury to Joe Burrow. Burrow seemed to be holding this team together, as they have lost all their contests since he’s gone.
Cincinnati has lost three consecutive games to the Steelers, Ravens, and Texans. They named 27-year-old Jake Browning the starting quarterback in Burrow’s absence. Last week against the Steelers, Browning was 19 of 26 for 227 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.
While it doesn’t seem like Browning will put them in a spot to win in the long run, he isn’t the worst backup option. However, this offense must rally around him and try to take some pressure off the young, inexperienced quarterback.
The Jaguars have been building over the years and have become a top AFC team this season. With Trevor Lawrence developing into a much smarter and more efficient quarterback, it’s improving his teammates and elevating Jacksonville’s play.
Jacksonville acquired wide receiver Calvin Ridley in the offseason to complement Christian Kirk and Evan Engram. Running back Travis Etienne has also been a massive part of this team's success. While we don’t believe this team will make a long playoff run, they are just a few small keys away from making that a reality.
Jacksonville is listed as a massive 10-point favorite in this game. With the growing questions surrounding Browning’s capabilities, this spread seems warranted. Let’s break down the game and our favorite prop bets for the matchup!
Travis Etienne is one of the most improved running backs of the 2023 season. Last season, he had fumbling issues that caused him to split touches with other backs. He’s been immaculate in that category this season and hasn’t fumbled yet.
The last three games for the star back haven’t been much to brag about, but we believe this is the get-right game. Before the week nine bye, Etienne averaged 72.8 rushing yards per game. He’s had a few challenging games against some tough competition, and we feel like this is the contest where he can return to the guy he was earlier in the year.
Cincinnati is the 28th-ranked defense against the run this year. The Bengals give up just under 140 rushing yards per game. They also give up at least one rushing touchdown per game on average. This defense has struggled against almost every running back that has come their way thus far, and we don’t see that changing in week 13.
Ja’Marr Chase is one of the most electrifying young players in the NFL. He also had Burrow under center, which has helped his development.
With Burrow no longer playing, it’s no surprise that he hasn’t produced at a high level. Nonetheless, this team will have to throw the ball from start to finish if they want to have a chance to win this game.
Joe Mixon has been ineffective lately, so Browning should stay busy. Browning will drop back to pass around 30 times and target Chase frequently. Chase is undoubtedly the number one receiver on this team and will be a huge part of the offensive game plan.
Jacksonville’s defense is one of the worst units against the pass. They give up almost 25 completions per game on average. With Chase having 39 targets in his last five games, this terrible secondary should present ample opportunities for Chase to cash his over.
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Lawrence has played flawlessly in the past few games. He has thrown for 626 yards, three passing touchdowns, and three rushing touchdowns. Lawrence has found a way to get the ball in the end zone week after week this season, even if he has to do it with his legs.
The Jaguars offense is one of the best in the league. They have arguably the most well-rounded team in the NFL. With the emergence of the “tush push,” quarterbacks finding the endzone has become more likely. If Lawrence gets a lane, he will take it himself before risking a tightly contested pass.
The Bengals have allowed at least one rushing touchdown per game. If the Jaguars get inside the five-yard line, and Etienne can’t punch in the short rushing touchdown, it will be up to Lawrence to make the play.
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Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.More info on Tanner Kern
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