Super Bowl betting tips: Bengals seek to upset Rams
Preview and odds for the NFL showpiece
Super Bowl LVI sees the star-studded Los Angeles Rams taking on the surprise package Cincinnati Bengals and we pick out some Super Bowl betting tips for the big game.
The Rams are appearing in their second Super Bowl in four seasons, having lost 13-3 to the New England Patriots in 2018, while the Bengals, who had not won a playoff game since 1990, are one of 12 teams who have yet to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
This will be the second time in as many seasons that one of the teams get to play in their home stadium and the Rams will have that advantage, although they are the designated ‘road’ team. They shade favouritism at 1/2 in the Super Bowl betting tips, while the Bengals, who have won twice on the road in the playoffs, are 13/8 to win.
The game, which takes place at So-Fi Stadium, Los Angeles, kicks off at 11.30pm on Sunday in the UK and BBC TV coverage starts at 11pm on BBC Two before switching to BBC One from 11.45pm.
— SoFi Stadium (@SoFiStadium) January 31, 2022
Year of the Tiger?
This may be the Chinese Year of the Tiger, yet the Bengals are one of five teams who have reached multiple Super Bowls but have yet to win one. They twice lost close games to the San Francisco 49ers (26-21 at the end of the 1981 season and 20-16 in Super Bowl XXIII).
Like the Rams, they were the No.4 seed in their conference. This is the first time that two No.4 seeds have met in the Super Bowl.
The Rams last won the Super Bowl in 1999, defeating the Tennessee Titans 23-16. They have twice made the big game subsequently, losing both games to the Patriots.
This will be their sixth appearance in the season finale – they also won the title in 1945 and 1951.
Both the Bengals and Rams finished 2021 with top-10 passing offenses. L.A. ranked fifth, and Cincy ranked seventh.
Likewise, both teams had bottom-half defenses, with the Rams ranking 17th and Bengals 18th.
The Rams are 10/11 to cover a 4.5-point handicap against the Bengals in the Super Bowl betting tips, but the Bengals cannot be underestimated with the offensive talent they have.
Burrow finds holes
While their offensive line has been somewhat problematic – Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow was sacked nine times in their stunning 19-16 win in Nashville – he still managed to throw for 348 yards as the Bengals won their first road playoff game in history.
Most troubling for Cincinnati is that most of the pressure came up the middle against the Titans, which is where the Rams’ vaunted pass rusher Aaron Donald does most of the damage.
However, the Bengals repeated the trick in Kansas City last week, coming from an 18-point deficit to secure a 27-24 overtime win at Arrowhead.
The former LSU passer has a chance to make history as no quarterback has won the Heisman Trophy, College Football’s National Championship and a Super Bowl.
He is also the first quarterback to make it to the Super Bowl within two seasons of being the No. 1 overall pick.
Burrow threw for 971 yards and eight touchdowns during his final two regular-season games against Kansas City and Cleveland, but has thrown for 250 yards or fewer in two of his three postseason starts (against the Las Vegas Raiders and the Chiefs last week).
Now, he’ll take on a Rams defense that has held two of its three opponents this postseason to 250 yards or fewer through the air.
— ESPN (@espn) February 7, 2022
The Rams have knocked off both the reigning champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and division rivals San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game to advance.
Rams’ QB Matt Stafford spent 12 seasons in Detroit before arriving in Los Angeles at the start of the season. He has been as good as advertised, leading the Rams to a 12-5 regular-season record, and has thrown for at least 337 yards in his last two playoff starts.
Yet he goes up against a Cincinnati defense that shut down Patrick Mahomes with constant pressure in the AFC Championship game.
Matthew Stafford’s first year in LA has been dominant 🐏 pic.twitter.com/kwRfaSvi4t
— PFF (@PFF) February 7, 2022
Rams face big hurdle in Chase
Both teams have scarily good receivers. For the Bengals, rookie Ja’Marr Chase has produced 20 catches for 279 yards and a score in three post-season games, while the Rams’ Cooper Kupp is not necessarily such a deep threat but he is phenomenal after the catch. It is 13/8 that both players score a TD.
Chase may have something of an advantage, with Rams’ cornerback Jalen Ramsey on the injury report with a shoulder injury. He is listed as questionable.
While everyone expects the Rams’ defensive line to get pressure on Burrow, having Chase locked up will be key and he is 9/10 to have over 80.5 receiving yards and 6/4 to have over 80.5 receiving yards and score a TD.
Chase will certainly be targeted by Burrow, but Tee Higgins is an excellent foil. He would be of interest in yardage markets if Burrow gets time, especially as he is a major down-field threat, and is 6/4 to score a TD at any time.
Yet given the Rams’ pass-rush, Burrow could be forced into making quick, shorter throws to the likes of Tyler Boyd, C.J. Uzomah, Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine.
— NFL (@NFL) February 7, 2022
Since they first met in 1972, the Bengals have won eight of their 14 meetings, which have all taken place in the regular season. The Rams won the last clash, in October 2019, 24-10 in Los Angeles.
The Bengals are 5-2 against the Rams at home, while three of their four meetings in Los Angeles have been settled by three points or less, with each team winning twice.
Of the six games Cincinnati lost this season, four of those losses were by three points or less. Losses to the Browns and Chargers were the only exceptions and they were both at home.
For all the hoopla over the respective quarterbacks, the Bengals have gone under the points total in four straight games and the Rams have been under the total in three of their last five.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) February 3, 2022
Historically, the points total has eclipsed 48.5 points just once in seven previous meetings between the teams in Los Angeles and it is 10/11 that under 48.5 points will be scored in total in Super Bowl betting tips.
Interestingly, in all of Super Bowl history, not one underdog has managed to cover a spread of fewer than six points without also winning the game outright, and the Bengals are 19/10 to win by 2.5 points or more.
All odds and markets correct at date of publication