We made it folks. Superbowl 56 is upon us. The Sunday scaries have been somewhat amplified by the fact that this is the last day of NFL football for months, but let's try and enjoy what should be a great game.
The under? But why?
48.5 is a little too high considering these teams have gone under five times in a combined six playoff games, and the only game that went over was the Rams’ road victory against the Bucs in the divisional round.
My theory is that Sofi Stadium is an under machine when the Rams call the palatial venue their home. Since their Week 4 win over the Cardinals, the Rams have gone under six out of their last seven games (including playoffs) in Sofi, and that trend is bound to continue when considering their opponent.
It’s no secret, the Bengals offensive line has been atrocious in pass protection. We all know about the nine-sack game against Tennessee, but the issues go far beyond that isolated debacle. Cincinnati gave 55 sacks this year, ranking third most behind the Ravens and the Bears. Their 24.2 per cent pressure rate allowed had them coming in at 12th highest in the league, which might not seem that terrible, but when considering they were blitzed the fourth fewest times out of all 32 teams, a pressure figure so high is worrisome. This week they are going against a very talented and deep defensive front -- featuring Leonard Floyd, Von Miller and of course Mr. PFF.
If they can terrorize Tom, they can terrorize the Bengals.
BUT what makes me truly believe in the under is the Bengals defence. This unit has been rolling in the postseason. In my eyes, it’s the overwhelming surprise of this year’s installment of January football. They’ve allowed a combined 19 second half points in the playoffs – that’s just over six points per half. When Mary J. Blige is finished upstaging the rest of her co-performers, the Bengals defence is going to do the same to the Rams offence.
Full disclosure, I’m taking ML because I’ve learned my lesson about betting against Burrow and Chase (missed OROY future still stings), but I want to give the people some leeway in case any corruption/crazy plays happen (David Tyree, Malcom Butler, etc.)
For this pick, I second all that I said about the Bengals defence. What I will add though, is maybe it isn’t as quite of a surprise as we think. Sure, they gave up a decent amount of points in the regular season, 22.4 per game, in fact -- ranking 17th in the league.
Upon further inspection, though, you find that the base number was due to their offence’s inability to stay on the field and limit opponent possessions. On a per drive basis, their defence ranked eighth in the NFL in total scoring, giving up only 1.88 points per possession. This defence is legit, and I find it hard to believe a team will put up more than 25 points in a game against them.
Mike Hilton over 0.5 INT (+650)
All this guy does is make plays.
When you need something big, Mike Hilton will make it happen. Whether he breaks on an inside route, tips a ball at the LOS and catches it, or gets his hands on an errand throw, Mike Hilton is going to take the ball away.
Sure, it could be a strip sack, or a “Jacked up” candidate, or just a clutch pass break up, all I know is Hilton is going to make plays, and this is the only line I could find.
Joe Burrow MVP (+225), Odell Beckham Jr. MVP (+2200)
11 of the last 15 Super Bowl MVPs have been the quarterback from the winning side. Now, with the Rams favoured, Matthew Stafford comes in as the odds-on favourite to take the MVP -- sitting at +100 -- but considering how strongly I feel about Cooper Kupp, Odell Beckham Jr. and the Rams’ defensive front, I believe Los Angeles is more likely to have a non-quarterback MVP than Cincinnati.
And with that said, the most common non-quarterback MVP winning positions have been receiver – winning four of the last 17 awards. Odell Beckham Jr. has been on fire the past two weeks, and after Kupp’s last two atomic performances, you have to think the Bengals are going to give him the Calvin Johnson red-zone treatment… Right??
It’s a long shot, but I’m also the same twisted individual who gave out Sorensen at +12500 last year, so I guess I’m becoming more conservative.
Parlay: Cinci ML + Alt Under 50.5 + Beckham Jr. O 63.5 receiving yards + Kupp anytime TD + Donald to record sack (+4000)
🚨 WARNING: DO NOT TAIL🚨
OBJ over 63.5 receiving yards (-115)
First off, let’s tail Drake - Odell’s over yards prop at 63.5 just seems too good to pass up. OBJ has been sensational since he was released from the doldrums of mediocrity (Cleveland). I expect the Ramsey vs. Kupp matchup to be a total dog fight and Odell should be able to rack up some yards as a result - six or seven catches for 130 yards and a TD is what I’m thinking. Don’t be surprised when he takes one 70 yards to the house.
** Editors note - Ramsay and Kupp play on the same team.
Building off of that I’m taking the Rams at -4.5. Yeah, yeah it’s Joe Shiesty. The guy's a demon and will probably make me look like an idiot but I truly believe in the Rams and Sean McVay. I think it’s been understated how Zac Taylor was essentially groomed by McVay and I don’t think he’ll be able to win this coaching battle. The Rams are the better team on paper, went all in to assemble this squad, and won’t squander the moment. Aaron Donald and Von Miller are going to wreak absolute havoc on this Cincy o-line and Burrow will get suffocated.
Bengals to convert a 4th down (-140)
This is my best bet of the weekend. You’re gonna have to soak a little bit of juice from the books to lay this, but I don’t see how this doesn’t hit. I'm not going into the 4th down statistics, again, we’re conducting an eye test assessment, but it seems like this is legit free money.
Joe Burrow over 2.5 rushing attempts (-120)
Burrow has proven he can use his legs when it matters and I think he’s going to be forced to move a little during this game. Not necessarily saying he’ll rack up 50 yards on the ground, but he should scramble three times or more. Hopefully this doesn’t get corrupted by the stat keepers.
Odell MVP (+2200), Stafford MVP (+100)
Not much to say here, and I’m only sprinkling the OBJ bet - but I see a lot of value for an elite receiver at 22-1. Stafford probably will win the Super Bowl MVP and ensure he'll have a gold jacket at canton.
Parlay: Ram's ML, C.J Ozomah TD, Cam Akers TD, Cooper Kupp o8.5 receptions +4000