Super Bowl LVI is set.
The Cincinnati Bengals pulled off an improbable comeback victory over the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Rams scraped by the NFC West foe San Francisco 49ers to earn a chance at the sport's largest prize.
The Rams opened as 4.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, which is an even bigger advantage than they had hosting the NFC Championship Game against the 49ers. While the game will be played at Los Angeles' SoFi Stadium, the ticket distribution will—at least theoretically—not favor either side.
Early money seems to indicate bettors feel the line was too favorable on the Rams' side. The Bengals are currently listed at -115 to cover the 4.5-point spread, meaning the line could soon drop to four points if action keeps pouring in.
Cincinnati enters the Super Bowl with a 13-7 record against the spread, the NFL's third-best winning percentage. By contrast, the Rams are an even .500 against the spread this season.
Taking the Bengals moneyline currently pays out at +165 versus -195 for the Rams.
If you're looking for hints regarding the 49.5-point total number, good luck. The Rams are 10-9-1 hitting the over (seventh in NFL) and the Bengals are 8-12 (tied for 28th), making the overall odds slightly favor the under but not by much. It's worth noting only two of the six total games for the Rams and Bengals in these playoffs would have hit a 49.5-point over.
There are few clues we can pick up from recent Super Bowls, either. Six of the last 10 Super Bowls have hit over 49.5 points, making the difference a negligible one game.
In a nutshell: This is not going to be an easy Super Bowl from a betting perspective. Early money on the Bengals suggests the line was set a half-point or full point too high, but they're also generating a ton of public support due to their rabid fanbase that's finally getting a winner and Joe Burrow's burgeoning star power.
Underlying numbers suggest the Rams are a better team. They're certainly more experienced, with the front office pushing their chips to the middle of the table to build a veteran-laden roster designed to win now. The Bengals are two years ahead of even their most optimistic expectations.
The Rams are a deserving favorite, but those were the same words uttered heading into the AFC Championship Game before Kansas City fell apart in the second half.
If you're willing to take slightly worse odds—and are a Same Game Parlay fiend—bumping the line up to Bengals +7.5 and the under to 56.5 points would pay out at +115 and seem like a safe bet.
For all the latest betting information and reaction, check out B/R Betting.
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