This article is part of our NFL Picks series.
Both Teams to Kick 35+ Yard Field Goals (Yes +120)
The Bengals have kicked a field goal of 35+ yards in 11 consecutive games, while the Rams have done so in 10 of their last 12 games. This is a good number here.
PS: Another interesting novelty prop involving kicking is the "No Touchback" prop on the Opening Kickoff, which has won 18 of the last 20 years. The reason for this (according to former NFL kicker Pat McAfee) is that the ball for the opening kickoff is brand new, right out of the box (not broken in), because the opening kickoff ball gets sent to the Hall of Fame afterward. As such, the ball is very hard and difficult to kick (I believe McAfee had compared it to kicking a brick). Just something to keep in mind.
Cooper Kupp over 106.5 receiving yards (-115)
This is probably the best bet of the game. Kupp has gone over this total in 11 of his last 15 games, and gets a very favorable matchup here, as the Bengals ranked 26th in passing yards allowed this year. The Rams' entire offense flows through Kupp, and he'll be heavily targeted in what's obviously their biggest game of the season. I think the only scenario where Kupp under-performs would be if the Rams jump out to a big lead and stop throwing, but even then, Kupp would very likely have been involved in building that big lead. This is a logical, relatively safe play that will have you involved in much of the action when the Rams have the ball.
Ja'Marr Chase over 79.5 receiving yards (-105)
As anyone who followed my column this year knows, I've been backing Chase and Higgins pretty much all season, as the Bengals have a very explosive passing offense, and I feel that their receiving totals have been offered at modest numbers given their collective upside. That remains the case this week, with both Chase and Higgins listed at less than 80 receiving yards in a game where the Bengals will almost certainly have to air it out. For all the talk about Jalen Ramsey and the Rams defense, they ranked 22nd in passing yards allowed this year (allowing 7.2 yards per passing attempt, exactly the same as the Bengals 26th-ranked pass defense). Also note that Ramsey got destroyed by Mike Evans in the NFC Divsional Round (8-119-1 for Evans), while both Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk covered their receiving totals in the NFC Championship game as well (Deebo checking in with a 44-yard reception, while Aiyuk caught a 31-yarder). With Ja'Marr Chase's obvious big-play potential, and the Bengals likely to be highly active through the air, this is a reasonable number.
Tee Higgins over 70.5 receiving yards (-115)
Generally speaking, it's been the case this year that at least one of the Chase/Higgins combo will produce a big game, and Higgins figures to be the main beneficiary if the Rams slant their coverage towards Chase. Higgins has gone over this total in 6 of his last 9 games, as the Bengals noticeably upped their passing output in the latter part of the year. Also note that Higgins received 10 and 9 targets in each of the last two playoff games. Higgins should be highly active here, and may even be worth a small flyer for MVP (at his huge 50/1 price). Note that Higgins produced a 12-194-2 game vs. the Ravens in Week 17, among other fine performances.
Tyler Boyd over 4.0 receptions (+100)
Boyd has recorded 4+ receptions in six of his last eight games, and may be in for a little extra work this week, with C.J. Uzomah (who is coming off a recent MCL injury) perhaps being limited. A push is the most likely result, but given the situation I think it's more likely he lands on 5 receptions than 3. Decent play at even-money.
Enjoy the game everyone, and thanks for reading my column this year!