Cooper Kupp
NFL

Super Bowl betting preview: Will Burrow get his Hollywood ending?

February 10, 2022June 10th, 2022

The Big Game is here and after a season of twists and turns, the NFL season gets its Hollywood ending as Los Angeles hosts the greatest show on earth.

The LA Rams get the advantage of playing at home, the second successive year a team in the Super Bowl have played on home turf. Last year the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took full advantage of the home surroundings with a convincing win. With that said, the Rams had a better away record in the regular season than at home, winning seven out of nine on the road, and only five out of eight at home.

Shock contenders

The Rams welcome the Cincinnati Bengals, surprising winners of the AFC Conference Championship. Rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase has had a season to remember, breaking the postseason receiving yards rookie record and becoming the youngest player to record multiple 100-yard receiving games in a single postseason.

While Chase is a success story of the season, their failure has consistently been the offensive line’s ability to protect Joe Burrow. He was sacked an NFL regular season high of 51 times and it will be an area where the Rams can turn the match in their favour. Crucially, Burrow was only sacked once against the Chiefs in the AFC Championship, from 44 dropbacks. There is no doubting Burrow’s passing range, the main reason behind his 2020 No. 1 overall pick, but he will need help.

Battering Rams

The favourites will be the Rams, who have benefitted in a huge upturn in fortunes for Cooper Kupp. The wide receiver has almost doubled his regular season figures in receiving yards and touchdowns, compared to his previous four seasons in the NFL. His relationship with Matthew Stafford has been a revelation with both benefitting from each other’s timing and quick thinking.

The Rams seem to have the upper hand in all the crucial areas: talent, depth and experience. Their pass rush has the ability to sack that vulnerable Bengals offensive line but there is a lingering feeling the Bengals seem to have a bit of magic about their run to the Super Bowl. Burrow could ultimately prove the difference even though the Rams have all the tools to look comfortable.

The Rams have made a healthy habit of winning tight games all season. Usually the Super Bowl pits two teams that have proved their dominance over the season and postseason, but neither the Rams or the Bengals have looked particularly formidable. They have often relied on their stars to produce moments of brilliance at key times in crucial matches. Perhaps that is why experts refuse to rule out the Bengals despite having such glaring weaknesses.

Quarterback battle

There is little question that Burrow vs. Stafford is a match-up of the two best Quarterbacks in the league this season. This is only the second Super Bowl between two QBs drafted No. 1 overall. Stafford was drafted back in 2009 and his 41 touchdown passes this season has led him to his first Super Bowl. Burrow meanwhile led the NFL completion rate with 70% and has bounced back emphatically from his injury-plagued rookie year last season.

Expect a closely fought contest with either team inching over the line in the second half of the match. These teams scored the same amount of points over the regular season with 460, and their defensive record only differed by four points.

It all points to a close affair, with the Bengals having scored under 2.5 touchdowns in their last four matches (-113) and the Rams scoring under 3.5 in seven of their last eight matches (-205), so under 53 points looks good value at -200.

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