The two teams to play in Super Bowl 56 is set after the Cincinnati Bengals upset the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game and the Los Angeles Rams defeated rival San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game on Sunday, January 30th.
Let’s huddle up to examine these opening odds and see if there’s any reason to place a wager now or wait until the day of the big game.
Super Bowl LVI is set!
See you in LA!?
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 31, 2022
Super Bowl 56 Betting Odds
The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
|Los Angeles Rams||-4 (-115)||-193||Over 49.5 (-110)|
|Cincinnati Bengals||+4 (-105)||+168||Under 49.5 (-110)|
The Rams opened as a -3.5 betting favorite, but the odds quickly shifted to -4 within a few hours. The moneyline for the Rams sits between -190 and -195 with various Super Bowl betting sites. The Over/Under is pretty unanimous at 49.5 with both the O/U listed at -110 odds.
The Bengals Defy All Odds
Depending on which NFL betting site you look at, the Bengals were listed at 80-to-1 odds to win the AFC and 150-to-1 odds to win the Super Bowl.
Cincy’s march to the SB 56 has turned the NFL upside down and has made this year’s NFL Championship even more intriguing.
Cincy’s Playoff Recap
The Bengals finished the regular season at 10-7 and winning the AFC North division after battling with their rivals all season long for that top spot.
Their Wild Card matchup was against the Las Vegas Raiders who they beat 26-19 at home. Cincy’s defense stopped the Raiders from scoring a game-tying TD at the end of the contest.
In the Divisional Round, the Bengals faced the #1 seeded Titans in Tennessee. The Bengals played a solid all-around game and ended up pulling off the upset with a last-second FG despite the woeful performance by Cincy’s offensive line.
Perhaps, Cincy created their best magic since the Icky Shuffle when they went into Kansas City and knocked off the Super Bowl favorites. The Chiefs got out to a 21-3 lead late in the second quarter and it appeared that KC was heading to a third straight Super Bowl.
But, that’s when Joe Burrow and the Bengals clawed their way back with a late 2nd quarter TD and an 11 point 3rd quarter that tied up the game heading into the final frame. Each team would score a FG in the 4th quarter and push the AFC Championship game into Overtime. KC came out first with the ball for the second straight week and was driving down the field before Patrick Mahomes threw a costly interception, which was his 2nd of the game.
The Bengals took the ball down the field and scored the game winning FG to pull off one of the biggest wins in franchise history. They tied the NFL record for biggest comeback in a title game at 18 points. The Colts also accomplished this feat in 2006.
BENGALS TO THE SUPER BOWL FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1988 ? pic.twitter.com/rP5Umezi0P
— Overtime (@overtime) January 30, 2022
Joe Burrow is Leading the Charge
In just his second season in the league, Burrow has taken the Bengals from the cellar to the penthouse. In fact, the Bengals are the 3rd team in NFL history to accomplish this turnaround in a three-year span. Joe is also the first No. 1 overall draft pick to lead a team to the Super Bowl in just his second season.
Joey Griddy pic.twitter.com/GxX3cap2ri
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) January 31, 2022
Furthermore, he’s trying to become just the third QB ever to have won the National Championship in College and a Super Bowl. The only two QBs to accomplish this rare feat were Joe Namath and Joe Montana. Following their big win over the Chiefs, Burrow made the following comments:
“I think if you would have told me coming into the league when I got drafted that we’d be here this year, obviously it would be a shock. But like I said earlier, no, I’m not surprised.”
Burrow has thrown for 842 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs, and a 96.2 rating in the postseason so far. He finished the regular season with 4,611 yards, 34 TDs, 14 INTs, and a 108.3 rating.
Additionally, Ja’Marr Chase at +1600 odds provides the best value. When Burrow has his best games, Chase is often a huge reason why.
The Rams Were a Preseason Favorite
The Rams are looking to become a second consecutive team to win a Super Bowl at their home stadium. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers pulled off this feat last year.
The team had high expectations all season long, which is something the LA quarterback Matthew Stafford acknowledged after leading the Rams to a win over the 49ers on the one year anniversary of being traded to Los Angeles:
“I’m so proud of this group. We’ve had high expectations all year, done nothing but everything in our power to try to meet those. It’s a terrific group we have in there. Today wasn’t easy. It wasn’t perfect in some spots, but we found a way to win the game and that’s what it’s all about. I’m just happy and proud to be a part of this group. We’ve got some more work left to do.”
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 31, 2022
The Rams’ Playoff Recap
It’s rare when a postseason included beating two divisional rivals, but that’s exactly what the Rams did. They finished as the 4th seed in the NFC and captured the West divisional crown.
However, a loss to the 49ers in Week 18 dropped LA down in the overall standings as they could’ve been the #2 seed. Nevertheless, Los Angeles hosted the Cardinals in the Wild Card Round and crushed them 34-11 on the first MNF Playoff game.
The Rams then went into Tampa Bay and dethroned Brady by defeating the Bucs 30-27. This game had a crazy finish as Brady led TB from a big deficit to see their efforts spoiled by a last second FG victory by the Rams.
UP AND GOOD!
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 31, 2022
The NFC Championship game was a battle of divisional rivals with the 49ers having won six straight games against Los Angeles. In the end, Matthew Stafford outdueled Jimmy Garoppolo and LA’s defense made more plays than the 49ers’ defense to win the game 20-17.
The Rams are More Than Just Stafford
Yes, the Bengals have playmakers outside of Burrow and on both sides of the ball, but not like the Rams. Los Angeles has stars all over the field and on both sides of the ball.
Additionally, many of the Rams players along with Von Miller have Super Bowl experience which helps to balance out the pressure and not just placing it all on the arm of Stafford.
Should We Place Any Early SB 56 Wagers?
- If you think the Bengals will win then take their line of +4 now. I believe the odds will shift as we get closer to the big day, with this spread coming down. However, if the line goes up, then add more to your position on Cincy.
- If you think the Rams will win then wait until closer to the Super Bowl on February 13th. As mentioned, I see this spread coming down to -3.5 or even -3 the day of the game. That will benefit Los Angeles bettors as a half-point can be the difference in a winning or losing wager.
THE RAMS ARE SUPER BOWL BOUND ? pic.twitter.com/EeRdYAi9DQ
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 31, 2022
Who Wins Super Bowl 56?
For me, I like the Rams in this matchup. Both offenses will shine on the biggest stage, which is good for the Rams who laid an egg in their previous Super Bowl appearance against the Patriots in 2018. However, the difference-maker in this game will be the Ram’s defense.
Burrow became the 55th QB in NFL history to be sacked 50 or more times in the regular season. He finished with 51 sacks. In the Playoffs, Burrow was sacked 12 times. But, nine of those sacks came against the Titans. Los Angeles has a better front four than any of the teams that the Bengals have played against in the Playoffs. In fact, this will be a huge mismatch in favor of LA.
The Rams traded for Von Miller and brought Eric Weddle out of retirement just for this opportunity. Aaron Donald will have a monster game, collapse the pocket, and the edge rushers will clean up the sacks.
One more reason why I like the Rams to win is the experience edge that they have. It was only three years ago that the Rams last played in the Super Bowl and lost. Head Coach Sean McVay will have learned from that miserable experience to do a far better coaching job.
Let’s also keep in mind that he’s not saddled with an average QB in Jared Goff. McVay has a talented gunslinger in Matthew Stafford who’s proven his worth and will help lead this team to a Super Bowl win.