The last time the Rams and Bengals played, it was Super Bowl LVI and the Rams won the NFL title on their home turf. This rematch moves to Cincinnati and plenty has changed in a short period of time. The Rams dropped to 5-12 last season and they’ve begun the 2023 season with Super Bowl LVI MVP Cooper Kupp on injured reserve. The Bengals got back to the AFC title game last year and came into 2023 as Super Bowl contenders, but quarterback Joe Burrow is not completely healthy and Cincinnati is off to an 0-2 start.
The over/under for this game is 43.5, which is ironic seeing as the final score of Super Bowl LVI was 23-20. The two players who scored touchdowns for the Rams in that game – Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. – are not around, but the Rams’ offense has been solid this season thanks to a rejuvenated Matthew Stafford and young receivers. The Bengals’ high-octane attack looked dreadful through the first six quarters of this season – the team’s only touchdown in that span came on a punt return. They did show signs of life in the second half, scoring 14 points before ultimately losing to the Ravens, 27-24.
Burrow’s calf injury has him day-to-day heading into the Monday night contest, which makes it hard to rely on him for any player props. We’ll lean on Rams players here… though there is one Bengal we like to make some noise…
It’s been a slow start for the dynamic Chase, who’s got 10 receptions for 70 yards and zero touchdowns through two games. Obviously, Burrow’s health can have an effect on his top receiver’s production. But here’s the stat that jumps out at us: In 31 career regular-season games, Chase has never gone three straight games without a touchdown reception. The scoreless streak is currently at two, so history says he’ll find the end zone Monday night, regardless of who is throwing the football.
Matthew Stafford over 252.5 passing yards (-120)
It’s as if one bad season has led people to forget that Sean McVay and the Rams like to throw the football a lot. Stafford is averaging 320 passing yards per game so far. It might be impossible to maintain that pace, but there’s no doubt the Rams will continue to pass often. Stafford leads the NFL with 99 drop backs, and it’s hard to imagine he doesn’t throw the ball enough here to reach 253.
Tyler Higbee over 32.5 yards (-118)
Higbee has averaged only 30.5 yards per game so far, which has been a disappointment considering fantasy managers were expecting big things from the Rams tight end when Kupp went down. Perhaps with Stafford’s new favorite target, rookie receiver Puka Nacua, a little banged up, this is week Higbee breaks out. The Bengals have allowed an average of 47 receiving yards to tight ends through the first two games, so the potential is there.
Kyren Williams over 0.5 rushing touchdowns (+140)
While Stafford and the Rams’ passing offense has been leading the way, Williams has emerged as the team’s closer. While Stafford has just one passing touchdown despite all those yards, Williams is tied for the league lead with three rushing touchdowns. The Bengals rank 31st in the league in rushing defense, so Williams should get another chance to score.
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