Super Bowl 56 Picks & Predictions LA Rams vs Bengals

Super Bowl 56 Picks & Predictions: LA Rams vs Bengals

When the 2021 NFL regular season kicked off, the Los Angeles Rams were one of the favorites to play in Super Bowl 56 in their own stadium. The Cincinnati Bengals were one of the longest shots in the NFL, yet here they are with a chance for their first title Sunday in Super Bowl 56. The Rams are favored on the NFL odds. Even though it’s their home field, they are the visiting team.

How to Bet Cincinnati vs. LA Rams NFL Odds & TV Info

  • When: Sunday, 6:30 PM ET
  • Where: SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles
  • TV: NBC
  • Radio: ESPN radio
  • Stream Option: Peacock premium
  • Opening NFL Lines: Rams -4 (total 48.5)

Last Meeting

These teams last played in Week 8 of the 2019 season in London and the Rams won 24-10. LA receiver Cooper Kupp had seven catches for 220 yards and a TD. The Rams QB then was Jared Goff, who had two TD throws. He’s now in Detroit. Andy Dalton was the QB then for the Bengals, who were the NFL’s worst team in 2019 but it allowed them to draft Joe Burrow.

Why Bet on LA Rams?

The two injuries to note for the Rams are to tight end Tyler Higbee and running back Cam Akers. Higbee injured his knee early in the NFC Championship Game against the 49ers and has yet to practice since. Higbee caught 61 passes for 560 yards with five touchdowns in the regular season. He has nine receptions for 115 yards in the postseason. If Higbee can’t go, Kendall Blanton would be the No. 1 guy.

Blanton appeared on just 21% of the Rams’ offensive snaps during the regular season, primarily consuming the role as a backup tight end. When Higbee went down in the NFC title game, Blanton had five catches for 57 yards – both logging career highs for the third-year player from Missouri. Blanton also scored his first career touchdown in the Divisional Round against the Buccaneers.

Rams QB Matthew Stafford has 905 passing yards through three playoff games this season. That ranks 22nd all-time in single postseason records, but he has one more game to throw for 314 passing yards and catch the record holder, former Giants QB Eli Manning’s 1,219 passing yards in 2011. He also ranks fifth in single post-season passer rating (115.6).

Los Angeles WR Cooper Kupp has 386 receiving yards over the three postseason games. That currently ranks eighth all-time, and he needs 161 yards in the Super Bowl to break the single postseason record. Kupp also has four receiving TDs this postseason which ranks tied for seventh all-time. He needs three to tie former Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald for the record (seven).

The Rams are the first team to host a conference championship and the Super Bowl two weeks later. Last year Tampa Bay was the first team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. It’s the Rams’ fifth all-time Super Bowl appearance – and second under Coach Sean McVay. Los Angeles is 1-3 in the previous four and lost in the Super Bowl three years ago 13-30 to New England.

The Rams boast a 13-4 record when playing in SoFi Stadium (both regular season and postseason) this year.

Why Bet on Cincinnati?

The key injury note for Cincinnati is to tight end CJ Uzomah as he was injured in the AFC title game. He has not practiced since being carted off after only nine snaps. Uzomah is a key cog in the Bengals’ offense, with 49 catches for 493 yards and five touchdowns during the regular season and 13 catches for 135 yards and a touchdown in the team’s first two playoff games.

“I feel good, as good as I can given the circumstance,” Uzomah said. “Again, in my head I’m not missing the biggest game of my life.” Coach Zac Taylor said the team is optimistic.

It’s the first Super Bowl for QB Joe Burrow, who can become the first quarterback ever to win a national championship, Heisman Trophy and Super Bowl. Burrow’s last postseason loss? Athens High School’s 56-52 loss in the 2014 Ohio Division III state championship game. Burrow and rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase have combined for 206 catches, 3,801 yards and 37 touchdowns in three seasons together at LSU and with the Bengals. The pairing has lifted the Bengals to their best season in 33 years.

While Chase was Burrow’s top downfield threat in the regular season, it has been Tee Higgins in the playoffs. He has been targeted an average of 11.2 yards past the line of scrimmage while catching 61 percent of those targets — and 68 percent in the last two games where Chase has been relegated to quick throws.

Burrow was sacked more than any QB in the NFL this regular season and went down nine times in the Divisional Round win over Tennessee, but Coach Zac Taylor was able to keep Burrow upright in the AFC title game, where he was only sacked once, behind a litany of quick-developing plays that gave him the shortest time to throw of anyone in the conference championship games.

Los Angeles finished the regular season third in the NFL with 50 sacks, trailing only Pittsburgh (55) and Minnesota (51). The Rams notched at least one sack in every regular-season game and multiple sacks in all but Week 10 (at San Francisco) and Week 12 (at Green Bay). They finished the regular season strong, with 20 sacks in their last six games, and have added five thus far in the postseason.

Game Trends

  • Rams are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss.
  • Rams are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 playoff games as a favorite.
  • Bengals are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog.
  • Bengals are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 playoff games.
  • Bengals are 6-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.

Expert Prediction: Rams 27, Bengals 20


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