Scrutiny can sometimes be the enemy of the gambling public. The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched sporting events on an annual basis globally, inviting hordes of wagering types, each of them more determined than the last to beat the odds. While the prop bets can be amusing, the true value can sometimes be in the opinions that were formed well in advance.
In other words, scrutiny of the big game and the proximity can shift us off our original – and often ultimately correct – takes on how things will play out. Few people would have expected the Rams and Bengals to be contesting Super Bowl LVI, and yet here we are – and the hype machine has already kicked into gear.
Note that the over/unders are taken from VegasInsider.com
LA RAMS (-4.5) vs. CINCINNATI (Over/Under 48.5)
(Sunday, 6.30pm ET, NBC)
If you are a believer in trends, the Bengals are on a heater right now. The epitome of getting hot at the right time, they are on a 7-0 ATS run and have accrued an 8-3 ATS record when playing as the underdog. Add to that the Bengals are on a 6-0 SU run when facing a team with a winning record and you could convince yourself that this game is already in the books. Of course, we are all aware that this Super Bowl, with its new cast of characters and intriguing plots, will not pan out that way.
The Bengals are living the dream, with the much-maligned franchise rising from the afterthoughts of the NFL to suddenly playing for the Lombardi. A lot of their success comes down to sound roster construction, but the confidence of Joe Burrow has put them over the top. In many ways, Burrow reminds me of a John Elway type, almost mythical in his ability to rally his team and remain laser-focused on the task through adversity. The biggest challenge when the Bengals have the football is whether they can successfully keep the formidable L.A. pass rushers at bay. No doubt this has been the talk of the offensive meetings for the past couple of weeks; it will be fascinating to see what game plan they use to mitigate that pressure.
Interestingly, the Rams have failed to cover the spread in the last four as favorites. Playing at home – although they are officially designated as the visitors – might make a difference in terms of comfort (sleeping in their own beds, familiar environs), but it remains to be seen in terms of crowd noise. The veteran quarterback advantage may be their most significant one, with Matthew Stafford having been in plenty of clutch moments before. None at the level of the Super Bowl, obviously, but high-pressure scenarios.
The fresh storylines are most appealing for the neutral in this Super Bowl, and a fresh-faced second-year quarterback could very well be the one standing on the dais once it is all said and done. The beginning of a new era in the AFC? Not quite, but the Bengals will be the afterthought no longer.
Key statistic: Cincinnati is on a 7-0 ATS run.
SUPER BOWL LVI PLAYS
Unlike the regular season format, this section will focus on some of the most entertaining bets for the Super Bowl this Sunday.
- THE OUTSIDER:
- VON MILLER – +4000
- THE "IT’S ABOUT TIME" WAGER
- AARON DONALD - +1600
** TWO STAR BETS **
- OPENING DRIVE TOUCHDOWN
- NEITHER TEAM TO SCORE A TD ON OPENING DRIVE – 4/6
- OPENING KICKOFF TO BE A TOUCHBACK
- YES – 5/6
*** THREE STAR BETS ***
- WILL THERE BE A 2-POINT CONVERSION ATTEMPT?
- YES – 11/10
- WILL BOTH TEAMS HAVE THE LEAD IN THE 4th QUARTER?
- YES – 5/2
Good luck this weekend and we will see you back here next season for more!
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