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Super Bowl LVI predictions & best bets – Rams vs Bengals

Super Bowl 56 preview

Los Angeles Rams vs Cincinnati Bengals

Super Bowl Odds & Game Info

NFL moneyline odds Rams -204.08 at Bovada | Bengals +164 at Bovada
When Sunday, February 13 – 3:30pm PT
Where SoFi Stadium – Inglewood, California
Watch Live NBC (US), BBC (UK), Seven (AU), NFL Game Pass

Super Bowl 56 is almost here as the Cincinnati Bengals take on the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. The stars seem to shine brighter in Los Angeles and Sunday’s matchup should be no exception.

The Rams are four-point favorites over the Bengals with most Super Bowl betting sites. On paper, the Rams are indeed the better team, but sometimes it’s deeper than that.

The Bengals led by Zac Taylor have had a storybook season. After finishing in last place two years in a row, they have arrived much quicker than many expected. A year ago, the Bengals were not set on Taylor to be the one tasked with developing Joe Burrow. In fact, the 38-year-old head coach is set to hit the free agent market after this game. But the team has played hard for Taylor and players have been outspoken about the impact he has made to get them to this point.

The Bengals’ front office has done a tremendous job of hitting on first-round talent in the draft. Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins are the Bengals’ last three first-round picks and all have played key roles in getting them to the last game of the 2021/22 NFL season. In the playoffs, the offense and defense have been playing at particularly high levels, especially at the same time.

There have been many times this season that the Bengals have gotten off to slow starts – blame that on coaching, blame it on the players, blame it on whoever – but it hasn’t caught up to them just yet. The Bengals went down early in both the Divisional Round against the Tennessee Titans and the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs, but they managed to put it together in the second half to win both games on walk-off field goals by rookie kicker Evan McPherson.

The Bengals are a complete team, but the names on the roster are not nearly as renowned as the names of the Rams roster. Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, Von Miller, Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, and Odell Beckham Jr all will suit up for the Rams on Sunday. At one time or another, all of them have been top-five players in their respective positions. The Rams are poised for winning today, whereas the Bengals look to be a young team on the rise with their window just beginning to open.

As star-studded as the Rams are, they don’t shine overly bright on either side of the ball. The Rams defense ranks 11th against the pass and 27th against the run, which may allow Joe Mixon (+100 at Bovada to score a touchdown) to run rampant against them. On the offensive side of the ball, they are slightly above average, ranking ninth in total yards gained as opposed to the Bengals’ 14th overall rank.

So what is it about the Rams that makes them the favorite in the game? Flat out, the Rams find ways to win games. For as average as both sides of the ball have been, they seem to click at the same time – and when they do, they click very well. The Rams have won 15 games together this season and are led by one of the greatest coaches in the NFL.

Sean McVay and Zac Taylor have taken complete opposite paths to get here. At the time of his hire, McVay was one of the league’s most sought-after head coaches, while Taylor was only interviewed by the Bengals after one season as the quarterback coach for these same Rams. McVay has been praised for being one of the brightest offensive minds in the game, leading the Rams to re-sign him through the 2023 season. It should speak to the respect McVay has garnished around the league that three of his former line coaches – Matt LeFleur, Brandon Staley, and Taylor – have been hired for head coaching positions elsewhere.

This is McVay’s second Super Bowl appearance of his six-year head coaching career, and he holds an overall record of 57-26 heading into Sunday’s big game. The Rams took down the Arizona Cardinals, then upset the defending Super Bowl-champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and most recently beat a red-hot San Fransisco 49ers team that had beaten them twice this season.

McVay always seems to put the Rams in a position to win, and that is what this game will come down to. It also helps that Cooper Kupp won the NFL’s triple crown for wide receivers, and Matt Stafford looks like everything the Rams had hoped for when trading two first-round picks and Jared Goff for him. Pair Kupp and Stafford with McVay’s superior coaching ability and experience, and it seems that most of the top NFL betting sites think that difference is equal to four points.

However, we think the Bengals should cover the spread and actually come away with the victory. We have counted the Bengals out too many times on this Cinderella run, but we won’t be making the same mistake this weekend. The Bengals may start slow and be losing at half time, but yet again they will pull a rabbit out of their hats and find fire after the intermission. It sure is hard to pick against the stacked Rams lineup, but Burrow and the Bengals are playing way too well to lose this game.

Cincinnati Bengals to win


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