It’s finally here. In a matchup not many expected, the Rams will take on the Bengals in The Big Game this Sunday – and we’re dishing some news and analysis to get you ready for kickoff.
From the enticing over/under to exciting player props, uncover all the stats and angles before you tackle the biggest betting event of the year. Time to turn game time into showtime!
Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday, February 13 | TV: NBC / Peacock
For the second straight year, we could witness an NFL team hoist the Lombardi Trophy in their home stadium. With The Big Game taking place at SoFi Stadium, this is a veritable home-field showdown for the Rams, but the confident Bengals won’t go down without a fight, especially after making second-half adjustments to shock the Chiefs. Also, Cincy has won two consecutive playoff games on the road, so how about one more to seal the deal?
Former first-round picks Matthew Stafford and Joe Burrow face off in what might turn into an epic quarterback battle on the grandest stage. Stafford and Burrow have each averaged over 32 pass attempts per game this postseason, with Stafford steadily throwing for two touchdowns in every outing. The big question is whether the Bengals offensive line can protect “Joe Cool” against a fearsome Rams pass rush. Burrow has been sacked a whopping 63 times between the regular season and playoffs combined. Even though the Rams’ playoff sack totals haven’t been overwhelming, this Raheem Morris-led defense rattled Jimmy Garoppolo, Tom Brady, and Kyler Murray, forcing them all into low completion rates and costly turnovers.
The Rams have the more versatile offense, including Odell Beckham Jr. and the seemingly unstoppable Cooper Kupp, who’s racked up 325 receiving yards and three TDs over his last two games. With seven more catches, Kupp would set the record for most receptions in a single postseason in NFL history. But if the Bengals offensive line can give Burrow room to throw, this feisty squad has the firepower to keep the score within striking distance. Ja’Marr Chase will certainly draw plenty of targets and end-zone looks, but don’t forget about Tee Higgins, who’s totaled 199 receiving yards over his last two games. Running back Joe Mixon has gone under 60 rushing yards in six of his last eight games, so the air attack will likely lead the way once more. The Rams allowed the fourth-most receiving yards to wideouts during the season.
If you’re hunting for potential anytime TD betting options, it’s worth looking at the Rams backfield. The Bengals defense has been a bit vulnerable in stopping the run. After a remarkably quick comeback from his torn Achilles, running back Cam Akers has now totaled 54 carries over his three playoff appearances. However, there’s a good chance the Rams will have running back Darrell Henderson back on the field Sunday. If Henderson returns to action, that’ll give the Rams an extra rushing threat to go along with Akers and Sony Michel, and coach Sean McVay said he could wind up riding the hot hand as the game progresses.
Also on the injury front, the Rams might have to play without tight end Tyler Higbee, who hasn’t practiced since spraining his MCL. If he can’t go, Kendall Blanton would take his spot. Blanton has caught all seven of his targets in the playoffs, and the Bengals gave up nearly 64 yards per game to opposing tight ends this season. In Bengals injury news, tight end C.J. Uzomah has practiced on a limited basis, so it’s looking optimistic heading into Sunday.
One final fun stat to leave you: During the regular season, the Rams deferred all 10 times they won the coin toss, and the Bengals have deferred all 11 times they won the toss, as well. This is the Showstopper, signing off. Good luck with your Big Game bets!