Los Angeles Rams (15-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (13-7)
In 2019, the Bengals finished with a 2-14 record and fast forward a few years, they’re now a legitimate chance of winning the Super Bowl. On this run to the final game of the season, the Bengals have successfully beaten the Raiders, #1 seeded Titans and Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs in Overtime at Arrowhead Stadium. A Super Bowl appearance in the opposing team’s home stadium may sound daunting but this Bengals team seems up to challenge.
In last week’s win over the Chiefs, the Bengals offensive line showed much great importance for protecting Joey Burrow as they allowed just 1 sack after conceding 9 against the Titans. The Rams defensive line is one of the best in the NFL so pass protection will be a key area of focus for Cincinnati.
Meanwhile, they lost TE C.J Uzomah to a knee injury last week and his status will be doubtful for the Super Bowl. But with Tee Higgins and JaMarr Chase in great form, that’ll give Joe Burrow a lot of confidence. The Rams will likely put Jalen Ramsay on a lockdown role against Chase so Tee Higgins should be able to get plenty of space. He’s coming off 10 targets for 6 catches and 103 receiving yards against the Chiefs, making him a good target in the anytime touchdown scorer markets.
On defence, the Bengals gave up 21 first-half points against the Chiefs and they’ll need to improve in that area against the Rams. If Matt Stafford and Cooper Kupp get early confidence on home turf, it will be difficult for the Bengals to stage another comeback. So turnovers will be a key factor and they picked off Mahomes twice last week. Stafford has improved his turnover rate lately but the Bengals defence will know they’ll get opportunities that they need to take full advantage of.
The Los Angeles Rams are back in the Super Bowl and they’ll have a huge advantage of playing on their home turf at SoFi Stadium – despite being the “away team”. Looking back to the offseason, the trade for Matt Stafford has proved to be a masterstroke. After years of mediocrity in Detroit, Stafford finally makes his debut in the Super Bowl and he’s been one of their best performers in their 3 playoff wins.
Cooper Kupp had one of the best regular-season performances for a WR and he’s simply been unstoppable in the playoffs as well. He’s totalled 5 touchdown catches and an average of 128 receiving yards. He also dominated the Bengals in the 2019 meeting with 7 catches, 220 yards and a touchdown. So his matchup with this Bengals secondary will be something to watch out for.
The Rams running game is a committee as Cam Akers has struggled for form since returning from injury. Meanwhile, the midseason addition of Odell Beckham Jr. has been another great pickup after he struggled for consistency in Cleveland. With TE Tyler Higbee likely out for this game, OBJ will likely enjoy more targets in the passing game and his receiving props do look enticing.
The Rams defence is led by Aaron Donald on the defensive line and the Bengals have struggled with their pass protection during the playoffs. So the likes of Donald and former Super Bowl MVP Von Miller will be looking to put the pressure on Burrow early on. Meanwhile, Jalen Ramsey will have a tough job covering JaMarr Chase in the passing game.
Super Bowl Prediction
This season’s playoffs have seen numerous close games decided by a last-minute field goal and we’re hoping for another thriller to close out the season in the Super Bowl. Ultimately, a low scoring Super Bowl does look on the cards due to the betting trends and matchup.
Coming into this game, the Bengals are 7-0 against the Under and it’s also 5-0 when they’re an underdog. We can see their defence continuing their form from the second half against the Chiefs and hopefully, they can contain Kupp in the passing game.
On the flip side, the Rams have one of the most talented defences in the NFL and they should be able to keep the Bengals out of the endzone. The Under also has a 5-0 record when these two teams meet and the pressure of the Super Bowl should continue this trend.
The Bengals are yet to play at this venue. Los Angeles have won back to back playoff games at SoFi Stadium and overall, they’re 7-3 at this venue this season.
Head to Head Record
The Rams won the last meeting in 2019, 24-10. Since 1996, the Rams have won 4 of the last 7 meetings.
Kupp is the safe bet with 5 touchdown catches in his last 3 playoff games and he’ll be our best bet to continue his form into the Super Bowl. He has a great combination with Matt Stafford and there are not many defences that can shut it down. On the Bengals side, it’s tough to see Mixon scoring against a tough Rams run defence. JaMarr Chase will be shadowed by Jalen Ramsey which is another brutal matchup. So Tee Higgins looks like the best bet to get the Bengals over the stripe.
Firstly, we love the Under as mentioned above and that’ll be the first leg of our same game multi. Next, the Bengals have been impressive against the spread and a 7.5 start looks like a safe bet. They’re 6-0 ATS against teams with a winning record this season and have also covered in their last 5 games as an underdog. In our last leg, Beckham Jr. received 11 targets last week and the injury to Higbee should see Beckham Jr. get a similar amount of targets on Monday. He’s also recorded 59.5 receiving yards in back to back playoff appearances.
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