We’re Picking Winners For Super Bowl LVI

After 21 weeks of NFL action during the 2021 NFL season, it all comes down to Super Bowl LVI. The Los Angeles Rams outlasted the San Francisco 49ers to win the NFC crown, with the Cincinnati Bengals stunning the Kansas City Chiefs on the AFC side. Along the way, we’ve found some success (see below), but Championship Weekend wasn’t incredibly kind to us from a handicapping perspective. It was a lot rosier when the Chiefs led 21-3 in the first half, of course, but the beauty of football (and sports) is that anything can happen and, well, it did.

Before we dive into the Super Bowl card and a few selections for the big game, let’s check in on the season-long progress in this space.

  • Last Week: 1-2
  • 2021 Season: 57-45-1

Come get these winners, as we seek far and wide to find the best lines.

Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals UNDER 24 points in the first half (FanDuel)

You’ll need to line shop, but at least one major book is still hanging 24 at the time of this post. I’d lean under the full game as well, in part because of what I believe about the Rams on defense, but the first half is preferable. For one thing, the Bengals are very good at making second half tweaks. For another, the Rams have turtled in key situations. For one more, the bright lights of the big stage can lead to tentative play and jitters, all of which projects to help the under. Punts and field goals, please.

Los Angeles Rams OVER 3.0 sacks (Caesars)

Remember what the Titans did to the Bengals offensive line? Well, if you don’t, Tennessee racked up nine (!) sacks in the playoff matchup and, while it isn’t this simple, Los Angeles has a better pass rush than Tennessee. This isn’t a small number by any means, but I’d take the over on 4.5 sacks if I had to. Aaron Donald, Von Miller and company could live in the backfield.

Joe Burrow OVER 11.5 rushing yards (BetMGM)

Wait, the Rams are going to get a ton of sacks and Burrow is going to run for 12 or more yards? Well, yes. In college, this would be a disaster because sacks count as negative rushing yards, but not in the NFL. Joey B is going to be running for his life in this one and, unlike regular season games in which quarterbacks are taught to avoid punishment, Burrow is much more likely to put his head down and keep rolling.

Van Jefferson OVER 30.5 receiving yards (DraftKings)

Jefferson has surpassed 30 receiving yards in 13 of 20 games this season. I do understand that the Rams now employ Odell Beckham Jr., cutting into Jefferson’s target share, but Los Angeles may be without Tyler Higbee, which could get Jefferson on the field more often. From there, Jefferson can (easily) get to this number in one catch if necessary, and with a lot of attention on Cooper Kupp and Beckham Jr., the value is good here.

Los Angeles Rams (-4) over Cincinnati Bengals (BetOnline)

I guess we kinda have to give out the side in the Super Bowl, right? This isn’t a huge value play by any means, but I do feel as if the Bengals are slightly overvalued after their Cinderella run through the AFC. Los Angeles is the more talented team with the better defense and, while home-field advantage isn’t really a thing in the Super Bowl, it doesn’t exactly hurt the Rams to hang out at home for the last couple of weeks. As noted above, the thing that pushes this over the edge for me is the pass rush for Los Angeles. I just don’t think Cincinnati can block them, and Matthew Stafford can take it from there.