Staff Note: It's that time! The Betting Predators team is here once more to help you hunt down the best bets for "The Big Game" on Sunday, with Super Bowl LVI best bet breakdowns, game props and player prop picks from none other than Dave Essler, The Hitman, Sleepy J, Chris Dell, Steve Rieder, J-Smoove and special guest features from our friends from The West Coast Gamblers, Last Word On Sports, SportsMapElite and more! Our goal with this free article below is to gather the best bets from some of the sharpest minds across the sports betting industry we know, including our team members and contributors at the Betting Predators, so that we can all work together to hunt down the best Super Bowl bets for you.
Dave Essler (@Dave_Essler) - Cam Akers Longest Rush OVER 13.5 Yards @ BetMGM -120
Cam Akers is, if nothing else, fresh. He missed nearly the entire regular season, so whatever he does or doesn't do won't be due to fatigue. It's also a double matchup issue because we expect the Bengals linebackers to be backing up, not going forward, as they try to protect against the deeper balls and quick scores. The Bengals this postseason allowed 5.8 yards per rush to the Chiefs, who are a team like the Rams known for their vertical game. In their three playoff games combined the Bengals have also allowed 5.9 yards per rush. Even in the WC game against the Raiders they let Josh Jacobs rush for 83 on 13 carries. Akers should break one.
“The Hitman” (@Hitman428) - Cam Akers OVER 62.5 Rushing Yards @ BetMGM -115
Cam Akers has become the bell cow for the Rams and recent inefficiency has held him back from big statistical games. However, part of the reason for that inefficiency is the fact that he’s played against the Bucs and 49ers, elite run defenses for 37 of his 54 carries this postseason. Cincinnati is 24th in the NFL in yards per carry (ypc) allowed. In a game where the Rams are nearly 2-1 favorites to win game script shouldn’t get away from us, and Sean McVay has shown throughout his tenure as the Rams head coach to be a one-back coach. Akers once again dominated snaps in the NFC championship game until an in-game shoulder injury cost him snaps. This number is too low for a player getting Akers’ type of usage, and I would have made this number closer to the mid to high sixties.
Sleepy J (@SleepyJ_Pregame) - Matthew Stafford To Win MVP @ Pinnacle +135
The reason I’m making this bet is because I have to hedge off some of a Bengals future ticket to win the title. The Rams are favored on the money line in the area of -200, so to avoid laying all my hedge on that price, the MVP +120 makes sense for a small % of my hedge. The MVP award is pretty much a QB’s award these days. Running backs haven’t won the MVP award in the Super Bowl since Terrell Davis back in 1998. Wide receivers and defensive players are few and far between. It only makes sense to wager on a QB as far as the trend goes. If Stafford doesn’t win, then I’m probably in a good situation with my Bengals future ticket. Either way this is how I’ll hedge some of my Bengals future ticket and by doing so I’ll be dumping 15% of my offset on this prop. Full disclosure: I hope the Bengals win.
Steve Rieder (@AvoidTheVig) - Bengals OVER 1.5 Made Field Goals @ DraftKings -115
I bet this and the line really hasn't moved despite McPherson's total points listed at 7.5 heavily juiced to the over at (-145). McPherson is kicking with a ton of confidence and the Bengals have every reason to continue to trust him considering he's gone 12-12 in his 3 playoff games this year. Even if the Bengals play from behind like they have the last 3 games, Zac Taylor has taken the sure 3 points rather than go for it. I expect more conservative decision-making in the biggest game of their lives.
Chris Dell (@MaddJournalist) - Bengals OVER 1.5 Made Field Goals @ DraftKings -115
Evan “Money Mac” McPherson needs just needs 3 made fields goals in Super Bowl LVI to break Vinatieri’s record of FG’s made in a single postseason, and he’s coming into Sunday’s big game having made all 12 of his attempts in the Bengals’ 3 playoff games, including 2 game-winning kicks. The Bengals’ proclivity to play it conservatively both in the red zone and inside Rams territory should lend itself to a handful of chances for McPherson to make his mark once more and I don’t mind an alt line wager here if you want to add a quarter unit on his over 2.5 field goals at generous plus odds as well (around +200 or better at most shops). McPherson now has 7 straight games with multiple field goals made and is averaging 3+ made per game during this stretch. The fact that the Rams have one of the top red zone defenses in the league is just the cherry on top for me. I also don’t mind 3.5 made field goals for nearly 10:1 odds for a sprinkle on top here although this line of 1.5 at -115 is my absolute favorite prop/best bet for Sunday so far.
Justin “Smoove” (@Smoove_702) - Odell Beckham Jr. OVER 60.5 Receiving Yards @ PointsBet -115
"OBJ"only averaged 38.1 receiving yards in 8 regular season games played for the Rams and spent majority of time getting caught up to speed with L.A.’s offense and Matthew Stafford. I believe his comfort level and chemistry is at a high level right now, and in the Rams’ 3 playoff games Beckham has doubled his yards per game average to 78.6 and receptions per game to 6.3 while only seeing one more target per game. He also has an 82% catch percentage in the playoffs compared to just 56% in the regular season.
@SharpNotSquare - Largest lead of the game UNDER 14.5 @ Caesars -115
We've seen nothing but close games throughout these playoffs and I don't see that changing much in the big one. I expect both head coaches + Matthew Stafford/Joe Burrow to be fairly conservative in the first half, reducing the opportunity for one team to get out big. Neither team has been one to get blown out all year and both pass rushes/secondaries have been playing at a high level, which should keep the offenses in check here. I'll gladly take the hook on a two TD lead and trust Burrow & Co. to not make costly mistakes that would allow the Rams to bust it open at any point.
Rob Norton (@Norton0723) - Matthew Stafford To Win MVP @ BetMGM +135
QB's have won 31/55 Super Bowl MVPs and if you think the Rams win (-200 right now) you might as well put some money on Stafford considering how likely he would be to win it and how much better the payout would be compared to just betting the Rams to win. The same thing goes for Burrow (+230) and the Bengals (+170) to get some extra money for a very similar bet.
Gene Lesser (@MeanGene0022) - Bengals OVER 1.5 Made Field Goals @ DraftKings -115
In an era where kicking field goals is a hotly-contested debate, the Bengals and their head coach Zac Taylor have no problem in attempting to put three points on the board. You can understand why, as Evan McPherson’s rookie season has been a pretty successful one to say the least, especially in these playoffs: McPherson has attempted and made at least four field goals in three straight postseason games. In fact, McPherson has attempted and made at least two field goals in nine of his last 10 games played since Week 11.Neither team wants to make a mistake and leave points on the field, especially in the Super Bowl. Taylor has shown a propensity, especially in this year’s playoffs, with being comfortable taking three points at the end of drives, and I do not see that changing in the biggest game of the year.
Ben Martinez (@on_a_heater) - Joe Mixon OVER 25.5 Receiving Yards @ PointsBet -105
Why stop now? I have made this bet every Bengals playoff game this postseason and I'm riding with it in the Super Bowl once more. Joe Burrow to Joe Mixon over the past 5 games:
Week 16 vs. BAL (70 rec yds)
Week 17 vs. KC (40 rec yds)
Wild Card vs. LV (28 rec yds)
Divisional Round vs. TEN (51 rec yds)
AFC Championship vs. KC (27 rec yds)
Blitzed or not blitzed, Burrow simply finds Mixon underneath. Los Angeles will get pressure on Burrow, sure, but I also fully expect Burrow to utilize his RB to the max again here, especially if C.J. Uzomah misses the game or plays at less than 100%. The Rams’ defense vs RB’s and their receiving yards in the playoffs have allowed big lines to Eli Mitchell (3 targets-50 rec yds), Leonard Fournette (9-56) and Eno Benjamin (2-26)
Brandon Capelo (@BC_Houston1) - First Kickoff No Touchback -115 @ BetUS
In the last 18 Super Bowls only 2 opening kickoffs went to the back of the end zone. This spans the ‘94 rule change where the NFL moved the kickoff back to the 35 yard line. While this increased touchbacks more than 10% in the regular season, it actually did not affect it in the Super Bowls. Lastly Pat McAfee is famous last week in saying that when the new football used for opening kickoff gets kicked in the Super Bowl (as he did in 2009 with the Colts) it's solid as a rock as officials do not allow kickers or personnel to work it before kickoff.
Dalton Brown (@DaltonJBrown) - No Points Scored In The First 7:00 @ FanDuel +110
Four of these teams’ combined 6 playoff games have cashed the “no” with the only exceptions being Cincy’s early FG off a first play of the game turnover by Tennessee and a Raiders FG 5:37 into their wild card opening round game. Rams playoff games have all started slow as well, and we know Cincinnati’s tempo is below average. Feels like “no” should be around -150 here
Justin Rodrigues (@CoachJRod1) - Joe Burrow OVER 24.5 Completions @ FoxBet +100
Burrow has hit at least 24 completions in 5 of his last 7 games and I truly believe Cincinnati will game plan to get the ball out of his hands quickly - and early - to try and avoid any early pressure on him. We saw in the Las Vegas and Tennessee games that the Bengals like to throw quick pop passes to Ja'Marr Chase and with how strong the Rams’ defensive line is I feel they will throw in a good amount of screen passes to try and keep them at bay. Also, the spread suggests that Cincinnati will be down at some point in this game and we saw that even though the Rams have Jalen Ramsey, their secondary can be beat. Tom Brady almost came all the way back on them, and with that being said I feel like the Bengals’ path to victory is through Burrow here. With capable pass catchers out of the backfield and out wide I love this prop.
“Tony Squares” (@Tony_Cavallo) - Both QB’s to throw an INT @ BetMGM +170 (Parlay)
It’s tough to root against these two gunslingers, but Matthew Stafford led the league in INTs this season with 17 and Burrow wasn't too far behind with 14. Both defenses have forced a pick in every playoff game as well. Ballhawks assemble!
Drue “Shaefer The Sharp” Crookston (@DrueSchaefer) - Cam Akers OVER Joe Mixon Total Rushing Yards @ DraftKings -110
We missed a better number on Akers earlier in the week but at -110 in this individual matchup I still see a lot of value betting Akers over Mixon here. Both of these backs have been bell cows in these playoffs when healthy and without many explosive plays. However Akers actually has two more carries than Mixon in these playoffs and despite averaging less yards per game he has played two of the top rush defenses over the last couple weeks in the Buccaneers and 49ers. Akers’ consensus rush yard total is 2 yards above Mixon right now against a Bengals rush defense prone to giving up explosive rushes and ranking 24th in the league in ypc allowed.
Greg Frank (@G_Frank6) - Joe Mixon UNDER 3.5 rushing yards on first attempt @ BetRivers -125
I'm fascinated to see how Cincinnati gameplans offensively against a lethal Rams defensive front. It might get even more complicated for Zac Taylor and Joe Burrow if Jalen Ramsey is able to win routinely on the outside against Ja’Marr Chase. After Burrow took a beating against Tennessee in the divisional round, expect the Bengals to attempt to get Joe Mixon going early and often in this one. To no surprise, the running back out of Oklahoma had over 100 total yards in that game against Tennessee three weeks ago and was utilized heavily in the short-passing game. If I know Mixon is going to touch the ball a lot to help assuage the beating Burrow might take again, so do Raheem Morris and all the players on the Los Angeles defense. As good as the Rams grade out in pass rush metrics, they’re pretty stout against the run too, hence coming in at fifth in total DVOA this season and fifth in opponent rushing yards per game. Mixon is known for his home-run hitting ability, but home-run hitters often have a tendency to pile up the negative rushes as well. We’re expecting a Rams defense to be prepared early on for the Cincinnati ground game, force the Bengals into obvious passing downs and then let their dominant pass rush tee off. All of this makes me like Mixon under 3.5 rushing yards on his first carry on Sunday.