It is hard to believe, but the 2021-2022 NFL season is nearing it’s end. While it feels like it was just a few weeks ago the regular season was kicking off celebrating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl championship, the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams are preparing for their chance at football immortality.
The big name players have all been discussed throughout the two week period between the AFC and NFC Championship games and the big game. For the Bengals the talk has surrounded Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, La’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, while for the Rams the talk has been all about Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Odell Beckham Jr., Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey.
This game will have no shortage of firepower, but it is time to take a look at who the experts like in the Super Bowl. Are they feeling the Bengals will pull off the upset? Or do they think Stafford and company will claim their first championship?
Before diving into the predictions, it is important to get the minutia of the game out in the open. I’m talking about the betting odds.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Los Angeles Rams
Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022 at 6:30 PM
Betting line: Rams (-4.5), according to DraftKings Sportsbook)
Moneyline: CIN (+170); LAR (-200)
Last Regular Season Meeting: Bengals 10, Rams 24 (Week 8, 2019)
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Let’s take a look at the predictions...
There are a lot of predictions surrounding a Super Bowl. Everything from the OVER/UNDER line to prop bets. As for Hank Goldberg of CBS Sports, he doesn’t see this game staying under the 48.5 point O/U line.
“There’s too much skill on these offenses to think this game will stay Under: Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Mixon on Cincinnati and Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. on Los Angeles,” Goldberg told SportsLine. “These teams both averaged 27.1 points a game in the regular season, which tied for seventh in the league.”
As for more traditional picks, some of the staff at The Sporting News put their predictions out there, and they are very split on who they think will be hoisting the Lombardi trophy this Sunday night.
Vinnie Iyer: The Bengals are in Super Bowl 56 because of their good fortune in landing Joe Burrow No. 1 overall in the NFL draft. His breakout second season and smashed expectations and beyond his excellent passing, his leadership, smarts and gritty playmaker have a great energetic effect on the entire team.
Cincinnati’s youth will serve it well to take down the Rams, who will make a few more mistakes with Matthew Stafford as Burrow’s opposite No. 9. The Bengals’ defense gets key takeaways to support Burrow, while Burrow makes the clutch plays vs. the Rams D late.
Prediction: Bengals 30, Rams 27
Bill Bender: The Bengals can pull off this upset, especially if the defense holds up. Cincinnati allowed just one play of 20 yards or more against the Chiefs, and if the Rams can’t find some success on the ground the pass rush will tee off. Joe Burrow, meanwhile, must continue to play mistake-free football against the Rams’ pass rush, which will be problematic up the middle with Aaron Donald. Which team wins the rushing battle? Even if they are modest numbers, it matters in a game of this magnitude.
Burrow will offer a glimpse of the future with Ja’Marr Chase, and the Bengals will lead at halftime.
That’s when Matthew Stafford, who is completing 72% of his passes in the postseason, will have his moment. Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. continue to stress the Bengals’ secondary, and Stafford throws a TD to each in the second half. The Bengals have a last-chance drive, but the Rams come up with the stop in the clutch in yet another three-point game to cap off a memorable postseason.
Prediction: Rams 27, Bengals 24
As for a site like ESPN, with so many experts submitting picks, here is a breakdown of who they like this Sunday in Los Angeles.
Of 64 experts who have weighed in, the Rams were favored by 35 of them (54.7%), while the Bengals claimed 29 votes (45.3%).
The most common predicted final scores were 27-24, picked by six of our experts. The lowest combined total was 34 (18-16). The highest combined score was 83 (45-38). The largest margin of victory predicted was 22 points (43-21). Forty-seven of the experts said this game will be decided by a touchdown or less.
There are some voices which are louder than others in the NFL prediction space, and FOX Sports Colin Cowherd is one of those voices. He likes the Rams to win, but not just to win, but to cover.
“I have a very strong opinion pro-Rams. I thought Rams -4 was about as good a bet for a favorite as I’ve seen in the playoffs.
“There’s a lot of concerns if you’re Cincinnati. It’s a big spot for a young team. Most of their playmakers — Joe Mixon’s young, Ja’Marr Chase is young, Joe Burrow is young, the coach is young — it’s a lot. … You’re asking this young franchise in Cincinnati to come out to L.A. and kind of play on the Rams’ home turf.”
PICK: Rams to win by more than 4 points
To access all of the predictions for a Super Bowl could take multiple articles, and almost feel like an endless assignment. With the entire sports world focused on this one game, it is nice to be able to lean on a website who takes all expert picks and puts them into an easy-to-read graph. According to NFL Pick Watch, 68% of the experts who make picks are liking the Rams to beat the Bengals this Sunday.
What do you think? Do you see the Bengals being the latest AFC North team to win it all? Or will the Rams finally break through and claim the crown in a year where they went all-in to do so?
Let us know your thoughts below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers as they prepare for the start of the new league year and the 2022 NFL Draft.