By Bill Speros | | 8 mins
Super Bowl 56 Picks & Bengals vs Rams Predictions
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Happy Super Bowl week. We’ve kept you in the black, if not entertained, this season. Our preseason picks for this game – the Bills and Buccaneers – didn’t make it to SoCal or SoFi. But we were strong on the Bengals as a value play in the AFC title markets for the past month.
The Los Angeles Rams opened as 3-point favorites to win Super Bowl 56 over Cincinnati. A surge of early action pushed the line to 4.5 points overnight following the AFC and NFC Conference Championship Games. Similar early sharp pressure applied on sports betting sites also moved the over/under line.
The NFL line for the total was originally set at 51.5, only to have it bet down to 48.5 within a few hours.
A few million NFL betting fans are expected to have their say this week leading up to kickoff Sunday evening in Inglewood, California. Jason Scott, VP of Trading at BetMGM, believes the bulk of betting cash and digital currency invested by the masses will ride with the underdog Jungle Cats and lots of points.
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Early Money Backs Rams, Under
“As the game gets closer, we expect the public will back the Bengals and the over,” Scott said Monday.
The favorite has won and covered in eight of the past 25 Super Bowls. Favorites have won but failed to cover 5 times. Underdogs have won 10 times outright during that span. Two games have ended with a push.
The signals are clear that so-called “smart money” supports the Rams in a decisive but relatively low-scoring game. When deciding how to wager on the Super Bowl, just how much should bettors allow their decisions to be influenced by the money bet elsewhere?
The line movement off 3 points is significant because it pushes a potential cover beyond a field goal. A Bookies.com analysis of the action at sportsbooks and betting apps has the best moneyline for the Rams at -192 with SugarHouse. The price is -200 at DraftKings and -200 at Caesars Sportsbook.
The best ML price for the Bengals is +170 at DraftKings, Caesars, and bet365.
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Super Bowl 56 Betting Analysis: Bengals Vs. Rams
The Rams and Bengals each scored crucial and thrilling road victories in the playoffs. Each road win involving these two teams was decided by a field goal on the game’s final play. The Bengals beat No. 1 seed Tennessee 19-16 with a kick as regulation expired. They then toppled the three-time AFC Champion Chiefs in Kansas City 27-24 in overtime after erasing a 21-3 deficit.
The Rams traveled to Tampa Bay in the Divisional Round and led Tom Brady 27-3 before the GOAT and his herd tied the game at 27-27 with less than a minute to play. Stafford pulled a Brady and drove the Rams downfield 64 yards in two plays to set up the game-winning kick at the gun.
Key Super Bowl 56 Stats
The comparison of season stats between the Bengals and Rams shows a remarkable consistency ahead of their matchup in the Big Game.
Here’s a look:
Points Per Game
Points Allowed PG
Pass Yards Allowed
Rush Yards Allowed
These numbers make for a steep challenge when making NFL picks. But there is one critical disparity that could prove crucial Sunday.
The Rams have allowed just 54 YPG rushing this season. The Bengals will need to chew up clock and move the ball on the ground in order to keep the Rams offense on the sidelines.
Super Bowl 56 Picks
Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals, 6:30 p.m. (NBC)
Check out: Bengals vs Rams odds, injury report, betting lines and more.
The Rams loaded up for just this game and don’t have a first round draft pick until 2024 to prove it. The team swapped out Jared Goff for Stafford before the season. Stafford elevated Cooper Kupp into a triple-crown wide receiver. The Rams added Odell Beckham Jr. and Von Miller during the season. Both Miller and OBJ have been crucial players in the Rams coming “home” to SoFi for the NFC title game and Super Bowl. Even if Cincinnati is the “home” team this year, according to NFL protocols.
Miller pressured Brady all day in the Rams’ win at Tampa Bay. OBJ eviscerated the 49ers for 9 catches and 113 yards in the NFC title game. Then there’s the Stafford-Kupp connection. Kupp has 25 catches on 32 targets in the playoffs for 386 yards (15.4 YPC) and 4 touchdowns. The Bengals offer nothing in their secondary that can eliminate Kupp’s potential for the big play.
The Bengals have the big arm of Burrow and stick-um hands of Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. The Bengals must mount long drives, chew up yards, eat clock and get an early lead. That’s going to be necessary to keep the Rams off the field and prevent Stafford from finding any sustained rhythm.
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Sean McVay coached the Rams in Super Bowl 53 against the Patriots and was admittedly overmatched by Bill Belchick as the teams played scoreless football for nearly 50 minutes. The Patriots won that game 13-3. McVay learned from that experience, and it has shown in the playoffs.
There are only three players on the Bengals roster who were alive the last time Cincinnati played in a Super Bowl (a loss to the 49ers in Super Bowl 23). Taylor and the Bengals are loaded with confidence and have yet to show any fear this postseason. Burrow is going to take a beating in this game. He’s durable at age 25.
The Rams defense will prove to be too much for the Bengals, especially in the second half. Stafford remains a mistake waiting to happen. But if he keeps his errors to a minimum, the Rams have too much octane on both sides to be stopped.
MONEYLINE PICK: Rams -192 at SugarHouse
POINT-SPREAD PICK: Rams -4 (-112) at FanDuel
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TOTAL PICK: Over 48.5 (-110) at BetMGM
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Regular Season & Playoff Record
Championship Weekend: 3-3
Divisional Round: 2-2
Wild Card Round: 4-2
Regular Season: 138-102-1 (57.2%)