Super Bowl 2022: Predictions, Updated Bracket Odds and Schedule GuideJanuary 26, 2022
Super Bowl 2022: Predictions, Updated Bracket Odds and Schedule Guide
When the 2021 NFL season began, all 32 franchises at least dreamed of appearing in Super Bowl LVI. For the majority of the league, such dreams are now dead. We're down to the final four, and only the Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers are still alive.
Both the AFC Championship Game and the NFC Championship game will be played this Sunday. By Monday morning, we'll have our Super Bowl matchup.
Here, we'll dive into the remaining postseason schedule, the latest odds and the latest buzz heading into conference championship weekend.
Schedule Guide and Latest Odds
Sunday, January 30
3 p.m. ET: Cincinnati Bengals (+7) at Kansas City Chiefs on CBS, Paramount+
6:30 p.m. ET: San Francisco 49ers (+3) at Los Angeles Rams on Fox, Fox Sports app
Super Bowl LVI
Sunday, February 13
6:30 p.m. ET on NBC, Peacock
Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs
The Bengals and Chiefs faced off in Week 17, and Cincinnati pulled off the upset at home. That win launched the Bengals to an AFC North title and forced Kansas City to respect its upstart AFC foe.
"They beat us. It wasn't a fluke," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said, per ProFootballTalk's Myles Simmons. "They beat us, so they're a good football team, and it's important that we have a great week of preparation here, and that's one reason why the urgency level is there even yesterday once the game was over to get busy."
Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase and the rest of the Bengals offense are fully capable of going score-for-score with Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and the Chiefs. There's a good chance that the team that gets a few defensive breaks comes out on top in this one.
In Week 17, that team was Cincinnati. The Bengals faced a 28-17 halftime deficit but allowed only three points in the second half. If Kansas City hopes to avoid a second straight loss to Cincinnati, it will have to continue adapting offensively throughout the game.
The Bengals, meanwhile, will have to do a better job of protecting Burrow than they did in Tennessee. The Titans sacked Burrow nine times in the divisional round and likely would have won if not for three Ryan Tannehill interceptions.
Cincinnati will also have to overcome a raucous Chiefs home crowd. Kansas City is one of the toughest places for opposing teams to play, and the atmosphere will be much different for Burrow and Co. than in the first meeting in Cincinnati.
Still, the Bengals won't be intimidated by the more playoff-tested Chiefs.
"I'm tired of the underdog narrative," Burrow said, per Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "We're a really, really good team. We're here to make noise."
This game may not match the instant classic that was the Chiefs and Buffalo Bills divisional game. However, it should still be a fantastically fun shootout with plenty of fireworks.
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams
Like the Bengals-Chiefs tilt, the NFC title game will feature a rematch from the regular season. In this case, it will feature two NFC West rivals who face off twice a season and know one another extremely well.
For the record, the Rams haven't beaten the 49ers since the 2018 season.
While this game will be played in Los Angeles, we may still see a split crowd at SoFi Stadium. While the Rams initially limited ticket sales to residents of the greater Los Angeles area, no such restriction exists for the resale market.
In the regular-season finale, a very pro-49ers crowd was in attendance.
"It did catch us off guard," Rams head coach Sean McVay said, per ESPN's Lindsey Thiry. "...There was a lot of red there. That was definitely a surprise."
Los Angeles may not have the home-field advantage it wants on Sunday.
Meanwhile, injuries could be an issue for the 49ers. Star receiver/runner Deebo Samuel is dealing with a knee injury but is expected to play. Things aren't as certain for left tackle Trent Williams, who is dealing with an ankle injury.
"You have got to see how the week goes and whether it heals," Shanahan said of Williams' injury, per ESPN's Nick Wagoner.
If Williams can't be counted on against a strong Rams pass rush led by Aaron Donald and Von Miller, San Francisco could be in trouble. The 49ers are going to need mistake-free football from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to beat L.A. for the third time this season.
Still, this is a game that could go either way. The 49ers have proven that they know how to play the Rams. Expect more of a defensive battle than in the AFC game but one that nevertheless comes down to the wire.
Updated Super Bowl Odds
Kansas City Chiefs 6-5
Los Angeles Rams 2-1
San Francisco 49ers 9-2
Cincinnati Bengals 8-1
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), or call or text the TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789 (TN).
21+. NJ/PA/WV/IN/IA/CO/IL/TN only. In partnership with Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.