The Big Game has arrived, and record betting is expected with more than 31 million American’s placing a bet on Super Bowl LVI, according to a recent report by the American Gaming Association. The Los Angeles Rams are a 4-point favorite and the over/under is 48.5 across the board at leading online sportsbooks.
While the Super Bowl odds favor the Rams to win, most sportsbooks are reporting more bets and money on the Bengals. That includes multiple bets by ‘Mattress Mack’ totaling $9.5 million on Cincinnati to win the Super Bowl.
As you settle in to watch the Super Bowl and make your final bets on key players for each team, the focus will land on the two star quarterbacks with plenty of flying footballs expected. Both Matthew Stafford and Joe Burrow were among the league leaders in passing yards, and also two of just three quarterbacks that passed for more than 8.0 yards per pass. Both quarterbacks have shined in the playoffs to add to their top-3 QB ratings among NFL quarterbacks.
Stafford (+125) and Burrow (+230) are the favorites to win Super Bowl MVP as the games Most Valuable Player. But if the Rams win and score more as expected, it could be that the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp (+600) is the MVP if he catches his share of passes and touchdowns after breaking numerous receiving records this season.
I correspond with professional handicappers and bettors throughout the season, and here are some other prop bets and popular props.
Rams Popular Props
Following a very strong season picking NFL underdogs, I’m on the favorite and bet the Rams to win the Super Bowl. I previously bet the NFC (pk) over the AFC later in the regular season, and have dozens of prop bets on the game in anticipation of a Rams victory.
One is RB Cam Akers to go ‘over’ 15.5 receiving yards, which has been bet up to 17.5 at some sportsbooks. Professional handicapper Bob Stoll of Dr. Bob Sports provided some of his math models and projections with added insight on some of his prop bets.
“Cincinnati’s defense allowed the 4th-most targets to opposing running backs this season,” Bob Stoll told me via email. “I expect coach Sean McVay to utilize the screen game, and Akers is the Rams best weapon on screens and led Rams running backs in yards per route run this year.”
Cooper Kupp has seen one of the biggest moves upward in his receiving yards prop, which is up to 107.5 yards at some sportsbooks.
Bengals Popular Props
In Louisiana, where sports betting just opened two weeks ago, all eyes are on former LSU players Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. Bettors heavily favor the Bengals on the moneyline (+165), which is down following Mattress Mack’s massive bets in Louisiana.
The money continues to come in on Joe Burrow’s props. Sportsbooks report bettors are betting ‘over’ Burrow’s passing yards (between 274.5 and 279.5), rushing attempts (2.5) and the most popular bet ‘over’ his rushing yards (11.5).
Dr. Bob thinks Burrow may be on his back or scrambling more with the Rams heavier pressure and great pass rushers Aaron Donald and Vonn Miller leading the charge. The Rams QB sack prop is over/under 3.5 with heavier vigorish to the over.
“Burrow has suffered a 10.0% sack rate since the week 10 bye and that percentage should be higher against a very good Rams defensive line.”
Stoll noted that three Bengals offensive linemen all rank among the worst in the league in pressure rate allowed at their positions.
Higher Scoring 2nd Half
One other props to note here is the market influence and popularity of betting the 2nd half to have more scoring than the first half (-120 and bet up). That’s happened in 17 of the last 23 Super Bowls (one push), and 62% of all 55 Super Bowls.
“I think the difference between the Super Bowl and the regular season is that the team leading the game is more likely to continue to play to score in a Super Bowl than in a regular season game when less is at stake,” Stoll says. “The trailing team also tends to take more chances and become more aggressive late in a Super Bowl, which can lead to big plays by the offense and the defense.”
All the attention Sunday will be on the players, teams and Super Bowl coverage from SoFi Stadium at the Rams home field in Inglewood, just Southwest of Los Angeles. Yet with record betting on Super Bowl LVI, people in California will not be able to legally bet on the game with U.S. sportsbook operators, as sports betting in California is not yet legal in the Golden State.
California is missing out on millions in revenue. But the money behind the Super Bowl extends beyond the bets. When the game is finished and the Gatorade is showered on the winning coach, each of the NFL’s 32 teams will have received $220 million in national media rights payouts.
But billions more will be bet on the Super Bowl.
You can bet on it.