As Joe Burrow continues to work around his line, Joe Mixon is becoming a bigger and bigger factor in the passing game. Bakken’s expanded role is highlighted in our Ravens vs. Bengals spotlight picks for Wild Card weekend.
A triple-header of Wild Card action on Sunday will conclude with an SNF showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals.
The Ravens will be without Lamar Jackson once again, but the Bengals have no such concerns on offense. Not only is Joe Burrow calling the shots under center, but he has a dynamic teammate in the backfield to turn to in Joe Mixon.
I expect Mixon to make some key contributions in the passing game, which I’ll dive into below, as well as break down a three-stage Same-Game Parlay built around my top NFL pick of the night.
Also, be sure to check out Josh Inglis’ full Ravens vs. Bengals betting preview, plus our favorite player props.
Joe Mixon prop pick and parlay in the same game
Click on each selection to go to the full analysis.
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Joe Mixon’s best bet
Joe Mixon has certainly had better seasons with the football, as his 814 rushing yards on the campaign are his fewest in a season (min. 14 games played) since his rookie year. However, he has played a significant role in the passing game all year and looks to make an impact in that department on Sunday night.
Mixon has cleared the 20-yard plateau in each of his last three games, and has averaged 39 receiving yards per contest in that span. In fact, Mixon has at least 21 receiving yards in 10 of the 14 games he has passed for this year.
The Bengals backs will face a Ravens defense that has been burned by opposing running backs through the air all year. This unit ranks 27th in receiving yards allowed to tailbacks per game (42.9), and 23rd in receptions allowed per game (5.47).
Ball security is essential to winning in the NFL, especially in the playoffs, and getting the ball in Mixon’s hands gives head coach Zac Taylor peace of mind. Mixon has yet to record a single fumble this season.
Look for Joe Burrow to check it down to Mixon on a regular basis Sunday night, especially if the former Pro Bowl running back can’t get up to speed on the ground.
Joe Mixon Prop: Over 20.5 receiving yards (-125)
Joe Mixon SGP
Mixon Over 23.5 receiving yards
Mixon Over 3.5 receptions
Mixon Under 54.5 rushing yards
While 20.5 receiving yards is the best line available for that prop, we’d go for a slightly higher grade in that department to help fill out a manageable Same-Game Parlay.
As we mentioned above, the Ravens allow a lot of yards and receptions to opposing tailbacks. Mixon has recorded no fewer than four catches in three straight games, and in eight of 14 starts on the year. He went 6-for-9 in that category to end the season.
The goals have come at a steady rate for the Oklahoma product, as he has received 5.36 looks per game from Burrow this season and hauled in 4.29 passes per game.
While Mixon’s prowess in the passing game has helped reduce receiving contributions from fellow halfback Samaje Perine, it has allowed the Bengals to work Perine into the running game more often. Perine had just one carry in five of the first seven games of 2022, but has averaged 5.3 carries over four games since Mixon returned from a minor injury.
Not only will Mixon have to run against Roquan Smith and the rest of a Ravens run defense that ranks third in the NFL (92.1 rushing yards allowed per game), but he’ll have fewer carries to put up a pretty high number. Bank on Mixon’s usage in the passing game taking away from his responsibilities on the ground and continuing the trend for the Cincinnati offense.
SGP odds: +310 at Unibet