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NFL expert Mike Spector offers his analysis and prediction for the over/under for the Super Bowl LVI matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams.

Super Bowl LVI Over/Under Prediction: Expect Points in the Big Game

When it comes to Super Bowl betting, many more casual bettors get involved than they do during the regular season, as they are often allured by the vast array of prop bets that various sportsbooks offer. However, the more traditional bets of wagering on moneylines, over/unders, and point spreads are still at the core of this game and will be responsible for the bulk of the handle.

This article will examine the Super Bowl LVI matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams purely from an over/under perspective and offer our best bet for the total.

The betting trends support the under, as it has cashed in Cincinnati’s last four games and is 27-10-1 in Los Angeles’ last 38 games as favorites. But do the X’s and O’s support that side as well?

Click here for Super Bowl LVI odds



QUESTIONABLE: TE C.J. Uzomah, DT Josh Tupou, DE Cam Sample, WR Stanley Morgan


Questionable: TE Tyler Higbee, S Taylor Rapp, OT Joe Noteboom  

Cincinnati Bengals vs Los Angeles Rams Prediction

Not only has the under cashed in Cincinnati’s last four games, but it is 7-0 in their previous seven playoff games overall. So if bettors are solely reacting to how their AFC Championship result played out, the under is sure to be the more popular side. 

In the first half last week, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had a 98 QBR, averaged 10.5 yards per dropback, and threw three touchdowns to zero interceptions. However, in the second half and overtime, Mahomes posted a 1.4 QBR, averaged 1.0 yards per dropback, and threw zero touchdowns to two interceptions. That QBR and yards per dropback were the worst of Mahomes’ career). In all, the Bengals held the Chiefs to 83 yards and 16 rush yards in the second half and was Kansas City’s third-fewest second-half yards in a Patrick Mahomes start.

Because of Cincinnati’s superhuman defensive effort, they handed Mahomes his first career loss after leading by 15 or more points (37-1).

Los Angeles also turned in a dominant defensive performance in the NFC Championship Game against San Francisco. They held the 49ers to a season-low 2.5 yards per rush and 50 rushing yards for the game. The Rams knew a stout run defense was a key to victory, as San Francisco fell to 0-5 when held under 100 rushing yards this season.

As always, a key to the Rams’ defensive success was pressuring the quarterback. Los Angeles pressured Jimmy Garoppolo on 23% of his dropbacks, and Garoppolo finished the game 2-4 for 14 yards, with two interceptions and three sacks when pressured. The two-man wrecking crew of Von Miller and Aaron Donald lead all defensive players in the postseason in pass rush win rate (Miller-37%, Donald 27%), out of 51 eligible players with 15 pass-rushing plays. 

Many will point to the Rams’ fierce pass rush and the fact that Cincinnati’s offensive line is the weakest part of their team as the main reason why the under will cash in the Super Bowl. However, a deeper dive suggests we could be in for a higher-scoring game than initially projected.

Against the Titans in the Divisional Round, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was sacked nine times, tied for the most ever in a playoff game. However, head coach Zac Taylor and the rest of the Bengals offensive coaching staff made the necessary adjustments, and Burrow’s statistics were eye-popping considering the duress he was under. Burrow finished 28-for-37 for 348 yards. And while the 4.4 air yards per attempt were Burrow’s lowest of his career, the yards after catch percentage (68%) was the highest of his career. That means he made the necessary adjustments, got the ball out quickly, and let his outstanding playmakers create in space.

Another reason not to quickly jump to the under is that one needs to analyze Los Angeles’ dominant defensive performance against the 49ers in the proper context. They faced a quarterback (Garoppolo) who had the lowest Total QBR in the playoffs (43) since 2006 when QBR first became available (min five starts). Joe Burrow is a different beast, and his 68.9% completion percentage through his first three playoff games is remarkable.

Many bettors are also backing the under based on Zac Taylor’s familiarity when Rams head coach Sean McVay’s offensive system. Taylor served as quarterbacks coach under McVay when the team last made the Super Bowl in 2018. However, a lot is different about this year’s Rams team, as McVay can do a lot more with his offense than he could when Taylor was on his staff and mentoring Jared Goff. This season, Los Angeles has averaged 27 PPG (6th in NFL) and 375 YPG (7th), including the playoffs. In addition, Matthew Stafford has completed a blistering 72% of his passes this postseason and cured his turnover tendencies for the most part, with six touchdowns to go with just one interception. 

Los Angeles will use a balanced and unpredictable offense to sustain scoring drives. In their first two playoff games, the Rams scored 41 points in the first half using vastly different philosophies. Against Arizona, they had a rush percentage of 66% and rushed for 94 yards. Against Tampa Bay, they rushed 30% and ran for 31 yards but offset that with 219 passing yards.

In all, both teams have explosive offenses that can put points on the board in a hurry. Cincinnati will combat Los Angeles’ fierce pressure by getting the ball out quickly and relying on their playmakers (6.3 YAC per reception- ranks second in the NFL) to continue to make plays as they have done all season. Conversely, Los Angeles has been one of the most efficient and highest-scoring offenses all season, and they will be comfortable moving the ball playing in their own stadium. The line movement has shaded towards the under since it first opened, but this is a great time to pounce on an under-inflated total.

Cincinnati Bengals vs Los Angeles Rams Line Movement

Cincinnati Bengals vs Los Angeles Rams Pick

Article Author


Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest


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