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With Super Bowl LVI just three days away, handicapper Jason Yamaguchi provides his best bets for special game total props.

Super Bowl 2022: Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals Best Game Totals Prop Bets

Super Bowl week is rolling along, and the big game is just around the corner. The sportsbooks have released essentially every prop imaginable as well as some that aren't, providing us with ample opportunity to get bets in before kickoff. One category of props available for betting is game total props, such as the total number of touchdown passes, the total number of first downs, and others. Here are my two best bets for this category.

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Total First Downs O40.5 (-115) (Bet $115 to win $100)

This prop, priced at -115 on both sides of the number, is a fascinating one. At first glance, the line seems to be priced appropriately. The Rams average 21 first downs per game; the Bengals average 19.7. Add those together and you get 40.7, which is right on the number. On the other side of the ball, it's a similar story—the Rams have conceded an average of 19.9 first downs per game; the Bengals have given up 20.1 per. Again, pretty much right on the nose. However, I think that the game script will inflate this total enough to give us value on the over.

Let's first look at the matchup between Cincinnati's offense and LA's defense. The talk all week has been about the glaring mismatch between the Rams' formidable pass rush and the Bengals' shoddy offensive line. The narrative has merit—Cincinnati's line has struggled mightily in these playoffs, especially their interior. To prove this, look no further than the Bengals' victory over the Titans in the divisional round, where Joe Burrow was sacked a playoff record-tying nine times. Much of that pressure came from the interior, where Jeffery Simmons accounted for three of those nine sacks. Next up: Aaron Donald.

However, the Bengals are well aware of this issue, and have had two weeks to prepare. To minimize the impact of Donald, Leonard Floyd, and Von Miller, I believe the Bengals will look to do two basic things above all else: pound the rock with Mixon to keep the pass rush honest and get the ball out quickly on passing downs. Both of those goals, if executed successfully, will result in drives that move slowly down the field, eating up first downs. Because of that, I see the Bengals falling on the plus side of their average first down rate, perhaps in the 22-24 range.

I also predict a similar scenario playing out on the other side of the ball. The Bengals' pass rush group, led by Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard, is highly underrated. Their run stuffers are not quite as fierce, so I think the Rams will turn to Cam Akers early and often. They'll also look to get Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. involved, and I think they will do so successfully. All in all, LA's offense should be able to string enough long drives together to get past the 20 first down mark and cash this over in tandem with Cincinnati's offense.

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Total Passing Yards U565.5 (-120) (Bet $120 to win $100)

This is a fairly high number, but it passes the smell test. Both of these quarterbacks, when prompted, have proven that they can air it out. Stafford has thrown for 337 and 366 passing yards over the last two weeks; a performance like that would probably throw this under into dire straits. Burrow threw for 348 yards in the divisional round against the Titans despite being sacked nine times, which he might need to replicate for the Bengals to overcome the Rams' defensive front.

However, given the strength of these two pass rush groups, I think both teams will look to establish the run early. Not only will run plays keep the ball out of the hands of Burrow and Stafford, but they will also eat clock. That will give us a buffer for later on in the game, where the trailing side is certain to open up their offense with deep shots and more consistent passing plays. Could this game turn into a shootout, one that blows this number out of the water? Sure. These teams certainly have the quarterbacks and aerial weapons for it. That being said, the value is still on the under. The more likely scenario is the one I described, where both teams are tentative out of the gates and run the ball enough to cash this under.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals Line Movement

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Article Author


Jason Yamaguchi is an avid New York sports fan. He has a proven record of providing +EV bets by combining traditional handicapping tactics with advanced statistics. You can follow him on Twitter @TopMoneyPicks to view all of his bets, including NFL, NHL, and MLB picks.


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