Super Bowl LVI Picks and Predictions | Best Bets for Bengals vs. Rams

Written By Juan Carlos Blanco on February 13, 2022

After an exciting regular season and several weeks of thrilling playoff games, we are finally ready to crown a National Football League champion at Super Bowl LVI as the Los Angeles Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.

There is no busier day for online sportsbooks than Super Bowl Sunday, with every die-hard and casual sports fan out there looking for some kind of betting interest on the big game. While the many props that are offered will always garner attention, there’s still something fun about the conventional moneyline, spread, and total. After all, it’s still a football game, even if it’s easy to forget that sometimes.

Below, we’ll preview the Rams vs. Bengals matchup and make our Super Bowl 56 spread and totals picks. Can the team hosting the Super Bowl in its own building win for the second year in row? Keep reading to find out.

Super Bowl LVI Betting Odds

Super Bowl 56 Predictions | Rams vs. Bengals Preview & Picks For Super Bowl Sunday

The line for Super Bowl LVI opened at Rams -3.5 before making its way up to -4.5 at some points. The line has seemed to settle at around -4, with -4.5 being found at some shops. The total, which opened around 50.5, has moved considerably down to around 48.5. So for all of these teams’ offensive firepower, this may not be the shootout that some expect.

The Bengals have run a balanced offense during the postseason but with the uptick in the caliber of competition, they’ve had to tilt toward relying on the arm of Joe Burrow to get them over the hump offensively.

The second-year pro has been up to the task, completing over 70.0 percent of his throws in Cincinnati’s first two playoff games and generating a 4:2 TD:INT over the Bengals’ three-game postseason run thus far. However, Burrow will face a Rams defense that’s proven similarly adept to the Chiefs’ unit that limited his completion rate, as Los Angeles has held opposing signal-callers to 55.1 percent during the postseason.

The Rams also limited quarterbacks to a stingy 9.6 yards per completion at home this year. Perhaps no metric underscores how tough the Rams’ secondary was this past season than the 16:19 TD:INT they forced.

Further complicating matters for air attacks was Los Angeles’ ability to exert consistent pressure, as evidenced by the 50 sacks the team racked up during the regular season. The mid-season addition of Von Miller really began to pay off down the stretch, with the veteran linebacker compiling five sacks over the last four regular-season games before adding two this postseason.

Given that Cincinnati has allowed Burrow to be taken down 55 times including the postseason, this could be an area of significant concern as Sunday’s game wears on.

The Rams’ ability to also largely clamp down on the rush is the final piece of the defensive puzzle. Factoring in the playoffs, Los Angeles has allowed just 95.8 rushing yards per game at 3.8 RB yards per carry.

On the other side, the Rams will also have their work cut out on offense if recent numbers for the Bengals’ defense hold true. Cincinnati has stepped up both its pressure and interceptions during the postseason after ranking slightly above average in both categories during the regular campaign. The Bengals have recorded eight sacks and six interceptions in three postseason contests thus far.

Los Angeles’ offensive line has given up just 31 sacks, including the postseason, a sharp contrast from the performance of the Bengals’ porous offensive line. If it is able to give Matthew Stafford time on Sunday, it could well be the tipping point that allows L.A. to escape with the close victory I think they’re capable of.

Stafford will have an uphill battle to stay efficient and mistake-free through the air, as Cincinnati has allowed just 224.9 passing yards per game at a 64.7 percent completion rate on the road this season.

Another key component for the Rams figures to be the boost they’ll get from the expected return of Darrell Henderson from his MCL injury.  Henderson was impressively efficient with 4.6 yards per carry through 12 games before going down in Week 16 and could provide an extra dynamic to offset the mostly pedestrian production that Sony Michel and Cam Akers have managed thus far this postseason.

Factoring in the postseason, the Bengals are 8-2 ATS on the road (6-1 as a road underdog) with an NFL-best net ATS +/- of +9.5 points in that split. In turn, the Rams are just 5-5 against the number at home with a net ATS +/- of +0.7 points. Cincinnati is also 7-3 straight up on the road, including the postseason, and their three away losses have been by just 3, 3 and 5 points.

With respect to the total, the Over was a combined 4-12 in the Bengals’ games as an away underdog and the Rams’ contests as a home favorite. Nevertheless, given the offensive talent and the manageable number, I can see it hitting here.

I’m in the camp of a close game that has some scoring pile up in the fourth quarter, but Los Angeles protects Stafford well enough to escape with a narrow win in its home stadium.

Pick: Bengals +4.5 or greater (play up to -115)

Lean: Over 48.5 points or fewer (play up to -115)

Best Sportsbooks For Super Bowl LVI Betting

 

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Juan Carlos Blanco

Juan Carlos Blanco has served as a freelance writer for a wide variety of online publications and websites, with an intensive focus on fantasy sports and sports betting. Juan has provided analysis and comprehensive coverage of the MLB, NBA, NFL and CFL, while also reporting on news and developments in the daily fantasy sports, online gaming and sports betting industries.

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