It will be the battle of backup quarterbacks and super star wide receivers when the Minnesota Vikings (7-6) travel to Paycor Stadium to take on the Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) in a Week 15 Saturday showdown.
With both teams striving for a playoff spot, there are some key stories to watch in this one. Obviously, two of the premier wide receivers in the NFL will be on opposite sidelines in Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson. The two former LSU teammates will look to help their quarterbacks as key targets in this matchup that will see Jake Browning going up against Nick Mullens.
While Joe Burrow and Kirk Cousins won’t be under center, both quarterbacks have shown they can lead their offenses. Browning has been outstanding in leading the Bengals to back-to-back wins. In a 34-14 victory over the Indianapolis Colts last week, Browning threw for 275 yards and 2 touchdowns with a competition percentage of 75.0 percent.
Mullens, who came into the game last week in relief of an injured Joshua Dobbs, completed 9 of his 13 pass attempts in a 3-0 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. While he did enough not to lose that game, the story in this Week 15 matchup will be can Mullens make plays to help the Vikings win the game. This won’t be a juicy Burrow vs Cousins battle, but Browning vs Mullens will have its own elements of excitement if you are a fan of either of these two teams who refuse to let their 2023 NFL season die.
Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals kickoff details: How to watch, betting odds
Date: Saturday, December 16, 2023
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Venue: Paycor Stadium
Live Stream: Fubo TV (try for free)
Betting Odds: Cincinnati Bengals -3 (via DraftKings)
Bengals player props: Bet Jake Browning Over 1.5 passing touchdowns
So far, Browning has channeled his inner Joe Burrow in leading the Bengals to victories the last couple of weeks. That won’t stop this week as Browning will face off against his former team in this key Week 15 matchup.
With a 79.3 completion percentage and a 119.2 passer rating over the past two weeks, Browning is turning into the story of the second half of the season, especially if he leads the Bengals to a playoff spot in a tough AFC North. With an Over/Under of 1.5 passing touchdowns, take the over for Browning who will throw for two touchdowns, one of which will be to Chase who will have a big performance in this one.
Vikings player props: Bet Nick Mullens Under 1.5 passing touchdowns
With how things have been going with the Minnesota Vikings this season, would anyone be surprised if Nick Mullens helped lead the Vikings to victory in this one?
As the fourth starting quarterback this season for the 7-6 Vikings, Mullens will be looking to make history as Minnesota will be the first team to have four different starting quarterbacks lead a team to victory within the same season.
With Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison and tight end T.J. Hockenson in the offense, Mullens does have some playmakers. That Over/Under 1.5 passing touchdowns will seem intriguing to bet the over, but the safe bet is Under 1.5 passing touchdowns as the Bengals’ defense will be inspired to make some plays and create some turnovers in the secondary.
GameDay Prediction: Jake Browning has been dealing the last couple of weeks and that won’t stop in this key Week 16 showdown at Paycor Stadium. Bengals running backs Joe Mixon and Chase Brown will get things started early which will set up Browning and the Bengals passing game against a blitz happy Vikings’ defense.
With all eyes on two of the top wide receivers in the NFL, Ja’Marr Chase will have a more impactful day than Justin Jefferson who is still making his way back to full strength on the field after missing much of the season due to a hamstring injury. Expect Chase to go for over 100 yards receiving in the wide receiver battle, so bet over for Chase who enters this Week 15 battle with a bet receiver prop of Over/Under 65.5 -115. With Mullens at QB, take the under on Jefferson who has an Over/Under per DraftKings of 81.5 -115.
On the defensive side, each team will have their moments, but the Bengals front seven will have a day against Mullens who will be forced into a couple of second half mistakes leading to the Bengals’ third consecutive victory with Browning under center.
Cincinnati Bengals 23, Minnesota Vikings 10