The surprise AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals at one point where massive +12500 long shots to win Super Bowl 56 but they are in the NFL title game on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. The teams didn’t meet in the regular season. Cincinnati is +4 on the spread and +167 on the moneyline.
What are the Bengals’ odds to win Super Bowl LVI?
The Bengals rallied from down 21-3 in the first half to stun the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in overtime in the AFC Championship Game. Joe Burrow completed 23-of-38 passes for 250 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Down 21-3 with five minutes remaining in the first half, the Bengals slowly worked their way back to force overtime as the Chiefs’ offense went into hibernation. Cincy was dealt a potential fatal blow when Kansas City won the extra period coin toss, but a struggling Patrick Mahomes uncorked two awful throws before tossing an interception on attempt No. 3. Burrow and Joe Mixon then marched the Bengals into easy field goal range and Evan McPherson walked the game off for Cincinnati’s first Super Bowl appearance since 1989.
Likely NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja’Marr Chase caught six passes for 54 yards and a score. He has already set the rookie postseason yardage record with 279 through three games. Joe Mixon rushed 21 times for 88 yards and had three catches for 21 yards.
The only bad news from that game was starting tight end CJ Uzomah leaving early with an injury. It’s not clear yet if he will be able to play against the Rams. If this were the regular season, there’s no way he’d be out there.
One of the USA’s most prolific bettors put down $4.5 million on the Bengals to win on the moneyline. Mattress Mack, whose real name Jim McIngvale, became a household name for betting big on the Houston Astros during their World Series appearances over the last five years. His $4.5 million wager is the largest mobile sports wager ever placed in the USA and the second-largest Super Bowl wager ever placed behind a $4.9 million wager placed in 2002. He won $2.72 million on a $3.46 million wager after the Buccaneers defeated the Chiefs in Super Bowl 55.
One great matchup to watch in the game will be if the Rams stick All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey on Chase the entire game, which we should expect. This season, Ramsey had four interceptions, 16 passes defended and a career-high 77 tackles this season.
The Bengals have already said they won’t be afraid to go after Ramsey. Meanwhile, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris talked about the matchup from their perspective and was asked about going against Chase and if he would need to be double-teamed.
“Jalen is one of one. I would put him on anybody in the history of our game. We’re going to dictate the terms that day,” Morris said.
During this season, the Bengals used the waiver wire to find some of their most important role players. Cornerback Tre Flowers, linebacker Clay Johnston and safety Mike Thomas all have played meaningful snaps in the postseason. Yet the most surprising players have been defensive tackles Damion Square and Zach Kerr. They both joined the Bengals roster during the playoffs. Within days after joining the team, Square and Kerr each played double-digit snaps in a postseason game. Kerr has filled a role as a nose tackle on early downs. Square joined the Bengals days before the AFC Championship Game and contributed as a pass rushing specialist for 15 snaps.
The Bengals are 0-2 in their Super Bowl history, losing both times to the San Francisco 49ers … who of course lost to the Rams in the NFC title game. The Bengals are coached by Zac Taylor, who was a former offensive assistant under Rams coach Sean McVay.
“I think the joke is if you had a cup of coffee with Sean McVay, then you’re going to be a head coach in the NFL,” Taylor joked. “And there’s a ton of truth to that. Because if you spend time around the guy, he gives you a ton of confidence in yourself.”
That’s the reputation McVay has built in league circles since becoming the youngest head coach in NFL history — at just 30 years old — when he was hired by the Rams in 2017.