How to Bet on the Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is a special day for NFL fans and an incomparable day when it comes to the sports betting market. When it comes to the point spread and total, you’ll likely see stability and not a lot of line movement. The sportsbooks have an idea prior to opening the odds as to where the public is likely to bet and what type of need they want to position for themselves. In other words, they want to set a line that they think will require them needing the team they like.
When it comes to the prop betting market, it’s a completely different story. The Super Bowl prop betting volume is ridiculous compared to your average NFL game. Not only is there way more options but there are many more people willing to play. Sportsbooks will probably see more betting volume on the coin flip then they did on a Tom Brady passing yards prop earlier in the season.
I’ll talk about some important movement in the market so far as well as the bets you need to place as we get closer to Super Bowl Sunday!
This line opened up on Championship Sunday at -3.5 and quickly moved to -4 and by late last week was up to -4.5. This week you’ll be able to find the Rams at -4 without paying any more than -110. What this tells me is that respected bettors are backing the Rams and did so right at open. Once this line got to -4.5 there just wasn’t enough value on the favorite so it was bet back.
As we get more information on bet percentages and ticket percentages you’re going to see a common theme. As of Sunday night, 1 week out from the kickoff to Super Bowl 56, the ticket count is pretty split against the spread. In some cases, like DraftKings, the Bengals are actually receiving 64% of spread tickets.
What really tells the story of the sportsbooks position on this game is the moneyline, the underdog gets bet on the moneyline in just about every Super Bowl. So many bettors will just forgo the spread and take the moneyline for that plus money payout. There is more money and tickets just about everywhere on the Bengals moneyline. You’ll hear from every major bookmaker that they’ll need the Rams to win the game on Sunday night.
Now that we have an idea of where the money and tickets are at let’s get into the analysis of this game and how you should be betting the spread.
The Bengals have been getting away with suspect offensive line play all season and all playoffs long. Their 9.2% QB sack rate is the 2nd worst in the NFL this season. The opponent in the trenches couldn’t be any tougher in the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams are 1st in the NFL in pass rush win rate. This is a tantalizing group to go up against with Von Miller, Leonard Floyd and Aaron Donald
What has allowed Cincinnati to weather this storm has been Burrow’s success under pressure. He leads the league in completion percentage under pressure and is 2nd in yards per attempt under pressure at 8.0 yards. Burrow has great accuracy deep down field and is always willing to give his guy a chance 1on1.
Those types of opportunities are going to be few and far between against the Rams defense. The Rams capitalize on the strength of their front-4 by stacking the box at the lowest rate in the NFL. They then play in a 2-high safety set at one of the highest rates in the league. This is a great counter to supress those explosive passing plays that Burrow is prone to look for.
As for the Rams offense, I really like the opportunity they have on the ground. The Bengals are allowing 4.5 yards per carry this season, which ranks 24th in the NFL. The Bengals were able to make it to the Super Bowl using their drop-8 defensive scheme against the Chiefs. Their veteran secondary blanketed coverage downfield and made it incredibly difficult to throw in.
McVay made his name in the NFL with his success in the zone run game and I think he goes back to it in this game. He’s been throwing the ball at a much higher rate this season with Stafford but this matchup calls for a heavy dose of the run. The Bengals linebacker corpse has really struggled on the second level against the run, allowing too many explosive plays.
LA Rams to Have the Most Rushing Yards (-125)
Make sure you shop around for the best price for this team prop. This is my favorite prop on the board and I see as being incredibly mispriced. This number should be somewhere around -135 or -140 considering that the Rams are more than a field goal favorite.
I’ve already illustrated the advantage that the Rams have offensively running the football. I think it’s going to be an important part of building their gameplan to take a lead. But if they’re leading in the game McVay has been prone to run the ball a lot on early downs to burn clock. He even did it against the Buccaneers and 49ers who are some of the best teams in the NFL against the run.
The Bengals meanwhile are going up against a Rams run defense that fills the gaps really well up front. Los Angeles allows just 3.9 yards per carry and are not allowing teams to get to the second level (5th in second level yards). Meanwhile the Bengals are one of the most inefficient teams on the ground in the NFL, rushing for 4.0 yards per carry.
This bet ties in with taking the Rams as the favorite. I see the Bengals struggling on the ground as is but trailing in this game won’t allow them to run at a high enough volume.
Matthew Stafford UNDER 283.5 Passing Yards
With the way the Bengals secondary has been playing during the playoffs I think this passing yardage for Stafford is much too high. The Super Bowl props market tends to be inflated because of how much the public likes to bet the over on pretty well everything. Rooting for nothing to happen is boring so the public bets overs to cheer for exciting things to happen.
Stafford has been able to take advantage of opposing defenses when they are undermanned in the secondary. More than 25% of his passing yards have come against the blitz. His 74.4% completion percentage against the blitz is the best mark in the league. The Bengals don’t blitz often, in fact they do it at the 7th lowest rate in the NFL.
On average, Stafford will need to attempt 34 passes in order to exceed 283 passing yards and in a game that lends to the Rams running the football and a Bengals defense that’s been fantastic in the secondary the under makes a lot of sense.
Cam Akers to Win Super Bowl MVP (+4000)
I won’t go any further on the Rams rushing attack as it’s been discussed at nauseum. McVay is not concerned with Akers fumble issues against the Buccaneers, he’s continued to feed him at a high rate. He’ll need a couple touchdowns to make this happen but I see him as the best value on the board.