UA-59049186-1 NFL Picks: Super Bowl LVI - Good if it Goes

NFL Picks: Super Bowl LVI

When we last met: 1-1 straight up, 0-2 against the spread, 0-1 best bets, 0-1 lock of the week
Playoffs: 10-2 straight up, 7-5 against the spread, 0-1 best bets, 0-1 lock of the week
Overall: 176-107-1 straight up, 144-137-1 against the spread, 25-35 best bets, 7-12 lock of the week

When we last met:

And thus we come to the final game of the 2021 NFL season. Game 285. Super Bowl LVI. Cincinnati’s road to this point has been nothing short of incredible, going from a team projected to finish last in their division to winning said division to making the conference championship and knocking off the defending AFC champs and making a big comeback to do so. The Rams went all in to get to this point, acquiring Matthew Stafford and Von Miller and signing Odell Beckham, Jr. when he became available.

The advanced metrics clearly favor the Rams here. The Bengals weren’t in the top half of the league in DVOA on either side of the ball, whereas the Rams were top 10 in both. DVOA still favors the Rams when you look exclusively at the playoffs, HOWEVA, the only team that did a worse job of running the ball than the Rams have is the Steelers.

The Bengals’ biggest weakness by far is their offensive line, or rather, lack of one. It impacts their ability to run the ball, which Zac Taylor simply will not stop doing on first down, no matter how many times it gets stuffed, and Joe Burrow’s constantly under fire. Now they face PFF’s top pass rushing unit. HOWEVA,

One would think that if the Rams can score quickly and make the Bengals need to play with more urgency, giving their pass rush time to tee off on some longer-developing plays, they’d have this in the bag. But the Chiefs got up big, and the Bengals were still able to come back. You can commit to slowing down Ja’Marr Chase, but you still have to deal with Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, plus their backs in the passing game. And Joe Burrow’s been nothing short of spectacular.

That said, the Rams have a ton of firepower, too. The question is going to be how Cincy’s defense handles it. I’m not concerned about their ability to stop the Rams’ run game, and a strong pass rush of their own coupled with another strong game plan with multiple looks from Lou Anarumo could bait the gunslinging Matthew Stafford into some mistakes.

The pick: Bengals 23, Rams 20 (Bengals ML, +4, under 48.5)

Prop Bets

(Odds from FanDuel)

Ja’Marr Chase Anytime TD +155

Joe Burrow MVP +230

Stafford over 281.5 passing yards -110

Stafford to throw an interception -172

Stafford over 36.5 pass attempts -114

Stafford over 24.5 completions -114

Mixon over 16.5 rush attempts -108

And some novelties

These are from Sporting News.

What will the coin toss land on?

Tails -105. Tails never fails.

Color of liquid poured on the winning coach

Orange +250. I like the Bengals; it would stand to reason that they use orange.

What will be mentioned first during the Super Bowl MVP speech?

Team/teammates -120. Burrow mentioned his O-line first during his Heisman speech. He’ll mention his teammates here.

Which Hollywood Landmark will be shown first?

Hollywood Walk of Fame +180. As Sporting News mentions, Al Michaels has a star on it.

Which Anheuser-Busch brand commercial will air first?

Bud Light Seltzer Hard Soda +600. I don’t drink, so I could be way off on this, but it seems like seltzers are still a big thing. I feel like they’ll save the main Bud ad for later in the game.

What university will be said first during the game?

LSU -300. They call it NFLSU for a reason. Geaux Tigers.

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312

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