Live Betting Strategies For Rams vs. Bengals In 2022 Super Bowl: How To Live Bet If Rams Lead
Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Matthew Stafford.
Super Bowl LVI: Rams vs. Bengals
|Time||6:30 p.m. ET|
|Pregame NFL odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
With the Rams favored by four (check real-time NFL odds here), them getting out to a lead is the more likelier scenario for Super Bowl LVI. The Rams offense has secured leads in each of their playoff games so far this season, thanks to 84 total points scored.
The Bengals are no slouches on offense, though, especially late in the season. Outside of their Divisional Round win over the Titans (and Week 18 in which their starters rested) they’ve scored at least 26 points in four straight.
The explosiveness of both offenses makes the grip on early leads tenuous; doubly so for the Rams, who’ve struggled to run the ball in the playoffs. Starting back Cam Akers is averaging fewer than three yards per carry, with backup Sony Michel at 3.3.
That inability to run the ball — and control the clock — led to close calls against the Bucs and 49ers, despite leading both games early on. Don’t expect that to change this week, with the Bengals featuring a poor pass defense, but a solid one on the ground. Cincinnati ranks only one spot behind the Bucs in Football Outsiders‘ DVOA against the run.
How Rams Could Control 2022 Super Bowl
The favored Rams have a variety of ways they could get ahead in this one. Ideally, they come out aggressive offensively and are able to score multiple times early on. That would be likeliest to happen through the pass. However, if their run game looks effective early, that could be a bad sign for the Bengals as this game moves on.
The other factor that could lead to a Rams edge early is their pass rush. The Rams rank eighth in adjusted sack rate on the season, while the Bengals’ offensive line has struggled at best. They held up reasonably well against Kansas City and the Raiders (26th and 24th in adjusted sack rates) in these playoffs. However, they allowed nine sacks against the Titans (10th.)
If the Rams are able to flip a few drives early by way of sacks, that could also help them develop an early lead. The Bengals haven’t been a very effective running team for most of the season, so they’ll need the passing offense to keep up with the Rams.
What I’ll Be Watching For
The best live betting scenario is a couple of quick Rams scores, leading to the game’s total moving up from it’s pre-game number. Los Angeles has been mostly content to try to control games on the ground when playing with a lead this season. That’s changed slightly down the stretch, but is still their general strategy.
That makes betting the under appealing. The Rams play fairly slowly with a lead — ranking 16th in pace in that situation. (Compared to fourth in situation neutral pace.) The Bengals also rank 31st in pace when trailing by at least a touchdown, their slowest category.
When you couple the decrease in pace with the Rams’ ineffectiveness on the ground, scoring should slow down considerably with the Rams in front, and even more so if the Bengals’ offensive line struggles to protect Joe Burrow. It’s hard to see the Bengals putting up a ton of points if he takes another nine sacks.
On the other hand, I’m intrigued by betting the Bengals’ spread live if the line seems to be handling the Rams pass rush. The Rams have nearly coughed up leads in both of their last two games, with their ineffective ground game struggling to control games late. Stafford’s penchant for interceptions (especially pick-sixes) is another factor.
The Bengals’ offensive line play is something that sportsbooks likely don’t have in their live betting models. That makes it valuable when looking to find an edge. If they can keep Burrow clean, look to bet the Bengals live if it gets to a touchdown or more, particularly if it happens in the first half.
As always, make sure to shop around when looking for live lines. The variation between books tends to be larger than with pregame markets. You might be able to catch an off number somewhere if you’re quick. Good luck!