This is the moment Cincinnati Bengals fans have been waiting for. The Bengals play the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 eastern time. The game, and all its accompanying pageantry, will be broadcast by NBC.
Cincinnati is appearing in its third Super Bowl in franchise history. It is one of 12 NFL teams to have never won an NFL title. The Bengals edged the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in overtime to get here.
The Rams are playing in their fifth Super Bowl, having won Super Bowl XXXIV. It nabbed a spot in the big game with a 20-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
The two teams have never played against one another in a Super Bowl before. They have met 14 times in the regular season, with the Bengals owning an 8-6 series lead. But when the Rams win, they have won big over the Bengals, outscoring the Bengals, 259-255.
It is expected that sports betting in Ohio will be available to players by the end of 2022.
The Early Odds
After opening up as 3.5-point favorites in many popular sportsbooks, the Rams are now 4–point favorites at Caesars, BetMGM and DraftKings.
There is some variation on the early over/under totals. BetMGM has the key figure at 49 points, DraftKings says 49.5 and Caesars Sportsbook says 50.
The Bengals have been underdogs in each of their last two playoff games, so it doesn’t seem to bother them. Cincinnati and quarterback Joe Burrow were underdogs to Tennessee in the Divisional Round and seven-point underdogs to Kansas City on Sunday in the AFC Championship Game.
BetMGM Sportsbook in Ohio has a full slate of players to bet on for the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award.
No surprise, it’s led by both quarterbacks. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is the early favorite, listed as +110 to be named the game’s MVP.
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is next on the list at +210, followed by Rams standout wide receiver Cooper Kupp who is posted as +600. Quarterbacks have been the Super Bowl’s MVP in four of the last five years.
It’s not unheard of for a defensive player to win the MVP award. Broncos linebacker Von Miller (now a member of the Rams) won the honor in Super Bowl 50. Miller is +5000 to win the award a second time, while Rams superstar defensive lineman Aaron Donald is +2000.
Bengals Un-Super History
This is the Bengals’ first appearance in a Super Bowl since Super Bowl XXIII, which was a tough 20-16 loss to the 49ers. This game is considered one of the best in NFL history as 49ers Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana led a game-winning drive in the final minutes capped by a touchdown pass to John Taylor with 34 seconds left.
The 49ers also beat the Bengals in Super Bowl XVI. Although the Bengals outgained the 49ers by a 356-275 margin, three turnovers and a 49ers goal line stand doomed the team from Cincinnati in a 26-21 loss at the Silverdome in Michigan.
Rams: A tale of two cities and one title
The Rams franchise has played in four previous Super Bowls, representing two different cities. It’s fair to say the Los Angeles Rams have never won a Super Bowl.
The Rams’ first appearance was in Super Bowl 14. The Rams were big underdogs to the Pittsburgh Steelers but led the game 13-10 at halftime and 19-17 going into the fourth quarter. The Steelers swung the game on a 73–yard touchdown catch by John Stallworth and won 31-19, earning their fourth title in six years.
Twenty years later, and now in St. Louis, the Rams were back in the Super Bowl. Super Bowl XXXIV is one of the best, as it came down to the last play where Rams linebacker Mike Jones stopped Tennessee wide receiver Kevin Dyson at the one-yard line. Rams quarterback Kurt Warner was the MVP in the 23-16 win.
Still in St. Louis two years later, the Rams were 14-point favorites against the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI, but Tom Brady launched his mega-career with a late drive for a field goal for his first title and MVP award in a 20-17 Patriots win.
In Super Bowl LIII, the Rams, now back in Los Angeles struggled on offense and were done in by Brady and the Patriots again, losing 13-3. Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman was the game’s MVP.