Super Bowl 2022: Matchup Predictions and Odds Ahead of Championship Round

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2022

Super Bowl 2022: Matchup Predictions and Odds Ahead of Championship Round

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Which teams are headed to Super Bowl LVI? That's the big question being asked by the NFL world heading into Sunday/ That's a question to which we'll have an answer by Monday morning.

    Four teams remain alive for football's ultimate prize. The Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs will face off on Sunday afternoon, while the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams will do battle early Sunday evening.

    Both games are rematches from the regular season, and for the Rams and 49ers, it's Round 3.

    Here, we'll dive into the final two games before the big one. You'll find the latest odds and predictions for the conference championship round below.

Remaining Schedule and Latest Odds

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    Alex Menendez/Associated Press

    Championship Weekend

    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 (+3.5) 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

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    David Dermer/Associated Press

    Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is only 26 years old. Yet, he's the veteran signal-caller in this matchup. 25-year-old Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is the upstart, and he's out to take the title that Mahomes has held for the last few seasons.

    Mahomes has become the new face of the NF, while the Chiefs have appeared in three consecutive AFC title games. This is where Burrow and the Bengals hope to be in the not-too-distant future.

    "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."

    Noise will be a factor in Kansas City on Sunday. The Chiefs can boast of having one of the NFL's best home-field advantages, and that will make life difficult for Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase and the Bengals offense.

    The Kansas City pass rush—led by Chris Jones, Frank Clark and Melvin Ingram—will do the same. Cincinnati's offensive line has been a liability, and Kansas City has the firepower to take advantage.

    Burrow was sacked a league-high 51 times during the regular season. He was under pressure on 24.5 percent of his dropbacks in 2021 and was sacked nine times in the divisional round against the Tennessee Titans.

    Still, Burrow is likely to go throw-for-throw with Mahomes on Sunday. He threw for 446 yards and four touchdowns in the regular-season meeting, which Cincinnati won on a last-second Evan McPherson field goal.

    That game was in Cincinnati, though, and knocking off the Chiefs at home won't be easy. Expect a full-on shootout between these two teams with a key defensive play or quarterback error being the difference. Kansas City has been here before and will remain king of the AFC for one more year.

    But don't be surprised if Burrow and the Bengals are back to stake their claim next year.

    Prediction: Chiefs 38, Bengals 35

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    This will mark the third meeting between San Francisco and Los Angeles during the 2021-22 season. As NFC West rivals, the Rams and 49ers have battled twice a year since 1950. San Francisco has won six straight against their familiar foe.

    In the last meeting, San Francisco fans showed up in force at L.A.'s SoFi Stadium.

    "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."

    The Rams aren't likely to hold a significant home-field advantage in Round 3 either. Yet, Los Angeles does have the offensive and defensive firepower needed to end the 49ers' winning streak.

    The Rams feature an aggressive pass rush led by Aaron Donald and mid-season acquisition Von Miller. That will be the difference against a San Francisco team that may be without star left tackle Trent Williams. The nine-time Pro Bowler is questionable with an ankle injury—though the 49ers remain hopeful.

    "He's going to do everything he can to play and so I'll be surprised if he doesn't," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said, per ESPN's Nick Wagoner.

    Even if Williams suits up, the Rams are likely to create chaos against San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. That could lead to the critical error that the 49ers cannot afford.

    While Garoppolo has done enough to keep the 49ers in the Super Bowl hunt, he's also thrown six interceptions in his last four games. The 49ers have survived those mistakes, but they'll struggle to do so on Sunday.

    In the last meeting, the 49ers surged back from a 17-3 halftime deficit. Expect Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and the rest of the Rams offense to spark an early lead again. An unfortunately-timed miscue from Garoppolo will prevent San Francisco from mounting another comeback.

    Prediction: Rams 29, 49ers 26

Super Bowl Odds and Matchup Prediction

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    Ed Zurga/Associated Press


    Kansas City Chiefs 5-4

    Los Angeles Rams 2-1

    San Francisco 49ers 9-2

    Cincinnati Bengals 8-1

    Super Bowl LVI Prediction

    Rams 30, Chiefs 26


    *Advanced statistics from Pro Football Reference.

    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

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