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Super Bowl 56 Odds, Picks & Trends: Bengals, Joe Burrow Belong in this Game

Super Bowl 56 Odds, Picks & Trends: Bengals, Joe Burrow Belong in this Game article feature image
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Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Burrow.

The past two weekends have provided us with some of the best football games of the past few years.

I expect Super Bowl 56 to be a game to remember.

Although I’m not a trends bettor, I find that using the Action Labs database (which goes back to 2003) helps me identify spots I should consider further when analyzing games.

Let’s take a look at a couple trends for the Super Bowl. For the rest of my NFL plays, check out the FTN Bet Tracker as well as my best bets article.

All lines are from the Action Network NFL Odds page.

Abbreviations: Against the spread (ATS), return on investment (ROI).

Bengals +4.5 at Rams

Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. ET, Sunday, Feb. 13
TV: NBC

For the second year in a row, one of the Super Bowl teams will have a “home game” in their stadium. But let’s be real: The Rams have no meaningful home-field advantage in Los Angeles.

In his five years with the Rams, head coach Sean McVay is 20-20-2 ATS (-2.9% ROI) at home.

McVay’s Rams have been profitable on the road (26-19 ATS, 13.3% ROI) and at neutral fields (2-1 ATS, 29.2% ROI), but at home they have been vigorish losers.

As it happens, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has made a habit throughout his short career of making himself at home on the road, where he’s 10-5 ATS (28% ROI).

And this year the Bengals are 6-1 ATS (65.2% ROI) as road underdogs.

Say whatever you want about the upstart Bengals. It might feel as if they have arrived a year early and are destined to be sent back to Cincinnati in rude fashion. But they belong in this game.

Including the postseason, Burrow is tied with Patrick Mahomes for No. 2 (0.155) — trailing only Aaron Rodgers (0.168) — in composite expected points added (EPA) and completion percentage over expectation (CPOE, per RBs Don’t Matter).

On offense, the Bengals can put up points with the best teams in the league, and on defense they’re good enough. Since the Week 10 bye, they rank No. 9 in defensive EPA per play (-0.023) and have allowed just two teams to score more than 28 points: The Chargers (41, Week 13) and the Chiefs (31, Week 17).

In the regular season, the Bengals were a mediocre-ish 10-7, which places them among the least inspiring Super Bowl teams of the past 20 years. But here’s the thing: The five teams to which they are most comparable by record all played well in the Super Bowl. Four of them won outright.

  • 2007 Giants (10-6): Won Super Bowl, covered +12.5
  • 2008 Cardinals (9-7): Lost Super Bowl, covered +6.5
  • 2010 Packers (10-6): Won Super Bowl, covered -3
  • 2011 Giants (9-7): Won Super Bowl, covered +3
  • 2012 Ravens (10-6): Won Super Bowl, covered +4.5

And these five teams with no more than 10 wins in the regular season combined to go 5-0 ATS in the Super Bowl.

Based on how this line has moved so far — it opened at +3.5 and is now at +4.5 — I’m comfortable betting it now at this number.

  • Action: Bengals +4.5 (-115) at DraftKings
  • Limit: +3 (-110)

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