Get Chiefs vs Bengals player prop picks and odds for their (12/31/23) matchup.
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Bengals Vs. Chiefs Player Prop Picks
Some familiar faces might be missing in what has become one of the AFC’s fiercest rivalries, but there will be no love lost when the Cincinnati Bengals visit the Kansas City Chiefs this New Year’s Eve. Stars like Patrick Mahomes, Rashee Rice and Joe Mixon will still be ready to go, so let’s get into some Bengals vs. Chiefs player prop picks & odds for the (12/31/23) matchup.
Joe Mixon Over 44.5 Rushing Yards (-115)
Yes, it might be just a tad bit anti-script to pick the rushing over for a player whose team is a significant road underdog, but whether or not the Bengals are behind, running the ball might be their best option. It’s worth noting that even though the Chiefs should win, they rarely do so in style, so the Bengals shouldn’t be in a situation where they’re throwing the ball every single snap out of necessary.
On neutral downs, however, running is going to be the top priority for sure. The honeymoon phase is over for the Bengals and Jake Browning, as the backup quarterback threw three picks in an ugly loss to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bengals will certainly try to make things as easy on him as possible, and against the Chiefs, that means running it.
The KC defense is one of the league’s best against the pass, checking in at 5th in DVOA against air offense. Meanwhile, they’re an ugly 29th against the run, illustrating the tremendous gap between the two sub-units.
This was on full display last week as Kansas City suffered a shock defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders. Aidan O’Connell threw for just 62 yards, and failed to complete a pass after the first quarter, but Zamir White had a banner day as he ran for 145 yards on 22 carries to secure the win for Vegas. There’s no reason Mixon can’t have a solid outing, even if not to the same magnitude as White’s.
Rashee Rice Over 63.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
On the other side of the ball, it’s going to be an air-first attack as it so often is with Patrick Mahomes under center. We faded Rice last week, so now — with a chance to buy low on a player — we’re going to do just that.
Before Rice was below this number last week, he was over in each of the previous four. This of course was part of the reason we believed that last week was a great opportunity to bet the under, but it also shows his ability to produce in this offense as he becomes a clear-cut top option.
The Bengals are slightly better at defending the pass than the run, but they’re still pretty bad in the wake of losing Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell over the offseason. They rank 22nd in DVOA against the pass, 28th in EPA, and 31st in success rate.
The Chiefs would prefer for Mahomes to throw the ball whenever possible, and the metrics back that up. They’re fifth in passing offense DVOA and eighth for EPA, compared to 12th and 21st, respectively, for run plays. This Bengals defense is bad enough that it gives you the opportunity to essentially pick your own path, and when that’s the case, the Chiefs are going to throw, meaning some solid volume should be coming Rice’s way.
Patrick Mahomes Over 0.5 Interceptions (-110)
Just a year ago, nobody would bet on Mahomes to throw an interception given essentially even-money odds, but it’s a new season. The Kansas City offense has taken a tremendous step back after replacing Eric Bienemy with Matt Nagy- who would’ve thought? Mahomes isn’t nearly the primary reason for the unit’s decline, but his play has been a notch below what it’s been in the past.
He’s thrown an interception in 11 of his 15 outings so far, including five picks in his past four games. Only Sam Howell and Josh Allen have thrown more than Mahomes’s 14 interceptions, and the reigning MVP’s turnover worthy play metrics do not suggest that anything that’s going on is particularly fluky.
He’s in a tougher situation than ever, and isn’t handling it particularly well. With another potentially high-volume week en route- he’s been picked off in nine of his ten outings with at least 37 pass attempts- expect pick #15 on the season from #15 on the Chiefs.
Trey Hendrickson Over 0.75 Sacks (-130)
Hendrickson is playing like a man possessed with 7.5 sacks in his past six games, including at least one full QB takedown in each of those contests. He’s soared past the likes of Khalil Mack, Myles Garrett, Micah Parsons, and Josh Allen- no, not the Bills one- to second on the NFL sacks leaderboard with an impressive 16 on the year, just one behind his Pittsburgh rival TJ Watt.
As we’ve discussed in this article a handful of times, Mahomes should be passing plenty in this game. More dropbacks means more opportunities for Hendrickson to get the sack he needs to hit this over, and the numbers support that notion; Mahomes has been taken down in every game in which he’s dropped back at least 40 times, often multiple times.
The Kansas City o-line’s metrics are solid overall, but the tackles have struggled a good bit. Left tackle Wanya Morris had a terrible day against the Raiders, as he earned a PFF pass blocking grade of just 45.8. Expect the Bengals to put Hendrickson in situations where he can exploit the Chiefs’ weaknesses and get home to put Mahomes on the ground.