For the second straight year, only one team has to travel for the Super Bowl. The LA Rams will play on their home turf at SoFi Stadium next week as the Cincinnati Bengals travel to Los Angeles in their first championship appearance since the 1988 season.
David Strauss, oddsmaker for MyBookie.ag shared his betting analysis for this weekend’s big game.
As it stands right now, it is the LA Rams who are in as the favorite at odds of -190. If you fancy the Bengals as the underdog, you can get them at +155. The Rams get the nod for several reasons, but one of the biggest must be because this is essentially a home game for them. Sure, the crowd will be more split than usual, but there is still the comfort of playing in your own building and getting to go home every night in the lead up to the big game.
“The Rams went 12-5 in the regular season and 5-3 at home, while going 4-1 versus non-conference opponents. The Bengals were 10-7 on the season and a respectable 5-3 on the road. They were just 2-3 straight up versus NFC teams, so another reason why they are seen as the underdog.”
The Rams are the favorite, but not a huge one by any stretch of the imagination. They are currently in as a 4.5-point favorite, but we might see that go a ½ point in either direction before we get to kick-off.
“These two teams don’t meet very often, but it has been the Rams who have dominated in terms of the spread, going 5-1-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last 7 meetings with the Bengals. The Bengals are 13-7 ATS this season and are an impressive 8-2 ATS in road games.”
That’s a trend that is sure to have a lot of people looking at the Bengals against the spread as a pretty good opportunity to cash in.
The over/under for the Super Bowl is currently set at 48.5, which is lower than what we have seen in the last 3 championship games, all of which were over the 50-point mark, and all of which went UNDER. What stands out when these two meet is the UNDER, with 6 of the 7 prior meetings going that route. In the playoffs, the Rams and Bengals combined have seen 5 of their 6 games going UNDER.
Favorites: LA Rams
Rams QB Matthew Stafford was acquired by the Rams in the offseason with the goal of getting them to this point. Another key deal that helped the Rams was the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. after being released by the Browns. Beckham has been a force since signing with the Rams. When Robert Woods was lost for the season, Beckham took over as the #2 receiver behind Cooper Kupp. Speaking of Kupp, he once again showed how valuable he is in the win over the Niners in the NFC Championship game. Kupp has been the most productive receiver in the league this season and he’ll be hard for the Bengals to stop.
Putting him and Beckham together, along with the threat of tight end Tyler Higbee, and the Bengals defense will have its hands full.
“We’ll see if Matthew Stafford can win the big one – he’ll need to avoid the big mistakes and hope the Rams defense can find a way to slow Burrow and company down.”
Underdogs: Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals’ improbable run to the AFC Championship is a great story. Joe Burrow has become a player that people love to root for, and the underdog Bengals have quickly become a team that people are rallying around. One area of concern for the Bengals will be their offensive line. In their game against Tennessee, Burrow was sacked nine times. Even though the Bengals line cleaned things up in the AFC Championship game against the Chiefs, the Rams boast a stellar defensive line that could give Cincinnati fits.
The Rams Aaron Donald is arguably the best defensive lineman in the game – and newly acquired Von Miller figures to also be a factor in the Super Bowl. The pass-rushing specialist will be a handful for the Bengals’ suspect offensive line.
“Burrow and the Bengals have been the underdogs in their last two games, and this one will be no different. They have shown a penchant for overcoming the odds and stepping up big in huge situations. Between Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd, the Bengals have one of the best trios of receivers in the league. Combine them with the running of Joe Mixon, and you have a very formidable offense.”
Bettors can expect to see a lot of points scored, and the world will be watching to see if Joe Burrow can once again overcome the odds and lead his team to an improbable Super Bowl victory.