This year’s Super Bowl marks a showdown between two quarterbacks taken No. 1 overall in their respective drafts and defenses gearing up to stop them. The Los Angeles Rams have the best odds to win Super Bowl 56 with a money line of -200 against the Cincinnati Bengals, who are +165.
Basics for Rams-Bengals in Super Bowl 56
Super Bowl 56 will be played on Sunday, February 13, at 6:30 p.m. ET at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, where the Rams happen to play. The game will be televised on NBC.
The Bengals, who are 13-7 this season, have never won the Super Bowl.
They reached this point by winning the AFC North and earning the No. 4 seed, then defeating the No. 5 Las Vegas Raiders 26-19, the No. 1 Tennessee Titans 19-16 and the No. 2 Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in overtime. The Bengals were favored to lose in those final two games on the road.
The Rams, who have one Super Bowl title, won the NFC West and are 15-5 despite a division that featured three playoff teams.
As the No. 4 seed, they trounced the divisional rival and No.5-seeded Arizona Cardinals 34-11 to open the postseason, then beat the No. 2-seeded and reigning champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-27 and the No. 6 San Francisco 49ers 20-17 in the NFC Championship.
Quarterback Battle Between Matthew Stafford and Joe Burrow
The two teams are led by skilled passers who haven’t yet won a Super Bowl.
Burrow is at the center of the Bengals offense. He was drafted first overall out of LSU in 2020, but his rookie season concluded with a season-ending knee injury. A year later, he’s one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.
Burrow has completed 70.1% of his passes for 5,453 yards, 38 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He’s rated No. 1 by Pro Football Focus among passers who have taken at least 20% of the most dropbacks in the league.
Burrow over 276.5 passing yards (-105), 290.5 rushing and passing yards (-110), 1.5 touchdowns (-150) and 0.5 interceptions (-120) are fun Super Bowl bets.
Stafford arrived in LA this past offseason after a career in Detroit riddled with personal success but team shortcomings. In his first year with his new team, he’s PFF’s No. 8 passer. He’s totaled 5,791 yards, 47 touchdowns and 18 picks with a 67.9 completion rate.
As for Super Bowl prop bets, Stafford throwing for more yards than Burrow (-115) and more touchdowns (-140) seems likely considering how favorable his matchup is with Cincinnati’s defense. I also believe Stafford will go over 300 passing yards (+130), 287.5 passing and rushing yards (-110) and will have three or more touchdowns (+155), considering how explosive the Rams are through the air.
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) February 2, 2022
Matchups, Players to Watch and Highlight Bets
Bengals Offensive Line vs. Rams Defensive Front
Cincinnati is rated 25th by PFF in the NFL in pass blocking, while the Rams are first in pass rushing. This could be problematic for the Bengals.
The Bengals’ weaknesses in this area were never exposed more than two games ago when the Titans tied a postseason record of nine sacks. Still, Burrow managed to find just enough time to help his team. If the Bengals can stave off that pressure, it would be a crucial step.
Joe Mixon earned a spot in the Pro Bowl with a highly impressive year. He has a career-best 1,395 rushing yards for the season, but he’s up against a challenging defense.
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The Rams allow 103.2 rushing yards per game to teams, sixth in the NFL. Their run defense is rated No. 1 by PFF.
If the Rams can force the Bengals to become one-dimensional, the game may be one-sided. If not, and the Bengals can sustain drives, it may be close.
Mixon scoring the first touchdown (+325) is still one of the best Super Bowl bets, considering how much work he could have early.
Bengals Wide Receiver Ja’Marr Chase vs. Rams Secondary Led by Jalen Ramsey
This is an instance of strength against strength.
Chase emerged as one of the best receivers in the NFL his rookie season, earning second-team All-Pro status. But he’s facing perhaps his most daunting task yet in Ramsey, an All-Pro himself.
The Bengals have other skillful players like Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, who can draw the Rams’ attention. But whenever Chase and Ramsey line up against each other, the winner of that battle will provide a boost to their team.
Still, Chase’s best Super Bowl prop bets include scoring and the Rams winning (+140) and being the last touchdown scorer of the first half (+800).
Rams Wide Receivers vs. Bengals Secondary
Planning for the Rams’ offense is far from easy. Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. present a dynamic receiving duo rivaling any in the NFL.
Kupp is first in the league by Football Outsiders’ DYAR metric. He’s first in the league with 170 receptions, 2,333 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Kupp is worth betting on, as his third-best Super Bowl MVP odds are +600. He has the best NFL odds to score a touchdown first (+550), at any time (-165) and last (+550). Considering he averages one TD a game, all of those are appealing. Also, since he’s tallied 142 and 183 yards on 11 and nine receptions his last two games, I would go over on 102.5 yards (-115) and 8.5 catches (+105).
Beckham has been explosive as well and has improved as the season has gone on, with his best performance as a Ram occurring during the NFC Championship. There should be enough work for the star to continue shining and go over 64.5 receiving yards.
Super Bowl Presents Battle of Geniuses and Familiarity
I believe this game will be fairly high-scoring after an early lull, and the reasoning is simple: Two offensive masterminds who know each other well are leading these teams.
The Rams have been potent on offense since head coach Sean McVay arrived in 2017. That was partly because of assistant coaches like Zac Taylor, who’s now the head coach for the Bengals.
Both McVay and Taylor are working with some of the best talent at the skill positions in the NFL. Both know each other’s tendencies and will seek to counter each other’s counterattacks. It may be low-scoring to begin with, but I anticipate both offenses will be clicking by the third quarter at the latest.
Ultimately, the Rams are better on defense. This could lead to the Bengals getting out of rhythm at some point, the Rams grabbing a substantial lead early and then passing more to catch up.
As for some Super Bowl bets regarding the final score, I like the Rams (-4.5) and both teams scoring 20 or more points (+200). That also means the Rams’ money line as well as Over 47.5 points (+170) would make sense.