Week 3 was another tough one for our picks, resulting in a 1-3 showing. Diontae Johnson was Pittsburgh’s leading receiver, ending our hope on his under real early, while George Pickens and Kareem Hunt were unable to help us out either. On the bright side, we did hit the over. Clearly, it’s time for a bounce-back week.
If you’re new here, each week for the Thursday game I’ll be giving out four picks, brought to you by our presenting sponsor No House Advantage:
- One game line pick (Spread or Over/Under)
- One player prop OVER via No House Advantage
- One player prop UNDER via No House Advantage
- One TD scorer
At No House Advantage, it’s not just how you play, but where you play. The prize pools are HUGE and the competition is still undersized with tons of overlay. NHA allows the user to stack player props by confidence points to win upwards of $20K in prizes in their Thursday Night Football Pick ‘Em contest. Or, the user can 21X(!) their money per entry Vs. The House by picking player props.
Sign up with NHA now by using promo code RSJ or click the link to get a first deposit match up to $25.
Week 4 kicks off Thursday night when the 3-0 Miami Dolphins travel to Cincinnati to face the 1-2 Bengals. Miami’s coming off the most impressive win of the young season against the Bills, while the Bengals finally got their first win last week against the Jets. The Bengals are 4-point favorites at home, with the over/under set at 47.
Season Record: 4-8, -4.5 units
GAME LINE: BENGALS -4
After an 0-2 start with close losses to Pittsburgh and Dallas, the Bengals finally got in the win column last week against the Jets. A big part of this was Cincy finally managing to keep Joe Burrow off the turf, yielding only two sacks compared to 13 over the first two games. Shockingly, Burrow’s a solid quarterback when he has time to throw, and he racked up 275 yards and three TDs on the day.
The offense looked more like what we’ve come to expect from the Bengals and the defense kept New York out of the end zone all afternoon. They got consistent pressure on Joe Flacco, sacking him four times and forcing two fumbles that both led to potential scoring drives.
A big part of the narrative behind this matchup is the tale of two different short weeks. The Bengals had a relatively stress-free win on Sunday and made the short trip home to Cincinnati. Meanwhile, the Dolphins gutted out a win over Buffalo in 90+ degree heat while Tua Tagovailoa was banged up and the defense was on the field for just under 70% of the game.
I think fatigue will play a huge factor in this game, and Cincinnati both wants and needs this one more. Bengals by a touchdown.
JOE MIXON OVER 23.5 RECEIVING YARDS
We were burned by a running back receiving prop last week, but I won’t let that scare me away from this one. Joe Mixon missed the entire fourth quarter last week with an ankle injury, but Zac Taylor has said that it should have no effect on him come Thursday. I’m eyeing a bounce-back game from Mixon overall, and think his role in the passing game will be a significant part of it.
At first glance, you see that Miami has allowed 100+ rushing yards in their last two games and immediately want to take Mixon’s rushing prop. But a closer look reveals that 166 of those yards (over 61%) came from QBs, and opposing RBs actually haven’t had as much success against Miami as the numbers indicate.
Meanwhile, Devin Singletary was Buffalo’s leading receiver last week with nine catches for 78 yards and a TD. Over the first three weeks of the season, Miami has yielded the seventh-most receptions and receiving yards to opposing running backs, and with so many weapons out wide to worry about when playing the Bengals, they may lose track of Mixon once or twice.
TUA TAGOVAILOA UNDER 260.5 PASSING YARDS
If you’ve missed one of the big stories that came out of Week 3, here’s a quick recap: Tua Tagovailoa took a hit in the second quarter that caused his head to hit the turf, and he got up looking really wobbly.
He obviously came out of the game, but came back in for the second half and led Miami to a win. After the game, there was obviously some concern from fans and league officials, and the NFLPA announced there would be an investigation into the process that allowed him to return to the game after what clearly appeared to be a head injury. Reports have indicated that this investigation could take up to two weeks, so it won’t impact Tua’s availability on Thursday. But whether it’s a head injury like it appeared to be, or a back injury like Tua and the Dolphins claim, their young QB is banged up on a short week going into a hostile road environment.
Cincinnati gave up 285 passing yards to Flacco last week, but overall their pass defense has been strong in 2022, yielding just under 225 yards per game through the air. Opposing quarterbacks have completed just 56.2% of their passes against Cincy, which is the third-lowest mark in the league. Despite Miami’s successes through the air so far this year, their QB isn’t 100% and they’re facing a strong secondary on the road, so I like Tua to go under here.
TEE HIGGINS ANYTIME TD SCORER (+140)
Looking at last week’s bout with the Jets, Tee Higgins was just about the only Cincinnati pass catcher to make an impact in the game but not score — even though he likely got robbed of a touchdown. He was second on the team with seven targets and finished the contest with five receptions for 93 yards, but teammates Ja’Marr Chase, Samaje Perine, and Tyler Boyd handled the scoring.
Boyd in particular might seem like the obvious pick here due to his stellar Week 3, but he caught four of just five targets last week and has only 14 targets on the young season. Higgins plays a much more consistent role in Cincy’s passing attack, coming into this game 3rd on the team with 19 targets, and 2nd in red zone targets with three.
With a lot of attention on Ja’Marr Chase as always, and now Boyd, I think Higgins pulls down his second touchdown of the year in this matchup and cashes for us at +140.
Do you disagree with one of my picks, or have a better one of your own? Of course, you do. Feel free to let us know @RotoStJournal on Twitter or @Rotostreetjournal on Instagram, or hit me up @Seankeegs16 on Twitter.