Both teams have playoff aspirations; the Bengals’ hopes were seemingly dashed when starting quarterback Joe Burrow was lost for the season, but backup Jake Browning has led Cincinnati to three consecutive victories.
Meanwhile, Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett has missed the past two contests and is questionable for Saturday. That could mean third-string signal-caller Mason Rudolph could be under center.
Please join me as I share my best prop bets for Saturday’s Bengals vs. Steelers matchup on December 23.
Bengals vs. Steelers Best Prop Bets for Week 16
Bengals top wideout Ja’Marr Chase has been ruled out, putting journeyman wideout Trent Irwin firmly into play.
Irwin has seen action in seven games and has multiple receptions in four of those seven. Irwin is the man they call on to replace an injury. He is a solid route runner with dependable hands, as evidenced by his 18 receptions on just 24 targets.
Cincinnati is a -2 favorite with a low total, suggesting a lower-scoring game. Irwin has secured 13 first downs, meaning he’s a trusted wideout who doesn’t get many snaps due to a loaded and quite expensive WR room.
Finally, Irwin will get his opportunities Saturday against a Steelers defense, allowing a mountain of yards and fantasy points to wide receivers. We should expect Browning to call his number enough times for Irwin to exceed this receiving prop.
Trenton Irwin Over 1.5 receptions (+140) at bet365 Ohio
Pittsburgh named third-string quarterback Mason Rudolph the starter for Saturday. Rudolph will be making his first start of the season and is 5-4-1 over 10 career starts.
Rudolph has played only eight games since 2020 but enjoyed his best season as a rookie, throwing 13 TD passes in place of injured quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and leading Pittsburgh to the playoffs.
Normally, this passing prop would be too low. The Bengals passing defense is leaky, allowing 254 passing yards per game. Still, Rudolph has played just a handful of games, and the Steelers’ passing game has taken a backseat to the two-pronged rushing attack of running backs Nahji Harris and Jaylen Warren.
Finally, this will likely be Rudolph’s last opportunity to impress the Steelers. He will be rusty, and we should expect the Steelers to keep the ball on the ground and throw it when they have to. Rudolph fails to clear 193.5 passing yards.
Mason Rudolph Under 193.5 passing yards (-114) at BetRivers Ohio
In Mixon, We Trust
Bengals running back Joe Mixon has been the workhorse out of the Cincinnati backfield since joining the league in 2017, and I expect him to find the endzone at least once against a Pittsburgh defense, allowing less than half a rushing TD per game.
That seems like a difficult task against such a stout defense, and it is. Mixon has scored either a rushing TD (7) or a receiving TD (1) in seven of his last eight.
Mixon is seventh in the league in red zone touches. He has 19 red zone touches in his last five games, and if Cincinnati gets close to the goal, we should expect Mixon to punch it in and cash this prop.
Pittsburgh allowed three red zone TDs last week and allows 1.5 red zone TDs per game. With Chase out, we should expect Cincy to get the ball in the hands of their star running back, and if they do, he will find the end zone.
Joe Mixon anytime touchdown (+110) at bet365 Ohio