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NFL Picks Against the Spread: Super Bowl LVI

A suggestion for trying to beat the odds.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Las Vegas Raiders v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Super Bowl Sunday is here! Let’s have some fun by taking a look at the point spread before the big game’s official start time at 6:30 PM Eastern. You can find all of the NFL betting lines via DraftKings SportsBook. You can CLICK HERE for straight up NFL picks without regard to the spread.

My overall record is 147-136, which is ahead of the BGN community at 146-137. I’ve gone 5-7 in the playoffs while you’ve gone 7-5. If you pick the opposite way from my selection, you’ll have a chance to tie me in the final standings. And I’ll consider you the outright winners with the playoff record as a tiebreaker.

SUPER BOWL LVI

LOS ANGELES RAMS (-4) at CINCINNATI BENGALS

The Rams are “officially” the road team, though the game is obviously being hosted in their own stadium. Fitting for their silly “Whose house? Rams house!” chant.

Home field advantage shouldn’t really register on the radar when it comes to taking the Rams to win, though. There are some better reasons to think they can get it done. Such as:

  • Having no shortage of star talent (see: Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, Cooper Kupp)
  • Having the advantage in the trenches
  • Matthew Stafford making some really big throws in the playoffs

Looking at this game through the lens of the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory, as I’m wont to do, the latter of those two points is critical.

But there’s another element to this game that reminds me of Philly’s greatest success. And it has to do with Nick Foles.

Joe Burrow is clearly way more talented than Foles is. But where the two compare more closely is their composure. And that shouldn’t be underrated. A big reason why I felt so confident that the Eagles were going to beat the New England Patriots is because Foles could be trusted to be in command. He wasn’t going to crumble.

Similarly, I have a hard time shaking my faith in Burrow. My confidence in him began before the playoffs even started, which is why I picked the Bengals to make it to the Super Bowl. Why would I abandon ship now?

Especially when I really, really don’t trust the head coach for the other team. That’s Sean McVay, record holder for the fewest points scored in a Super Bowl. Though I’m sure McVay’s side will score more than three points this time around, I can’t be confident in him giving his team every edge possible. Unless the Rams find a way to get ahead en route to a blowout, which isn’t impossible, there’s a good chance there’s going to be a moment in this game where there’s a crucial fourth down decision. And McVay, true to form, is going to be a coward and either kick a field goal or punt the ball away. And maybe the Rams can overcome such cowardice, as they have in the past. But one shouldn’t feel great about the coach who isn’t always coaching to win the game as much as he is trying not to lose.

It only feels natural that my disdain for McVay will be punished by the Rams winning in spite of one of his really bad decisions. It’s also not like Zac Taylor is inspiring a lot more confidence on the other sideline.

It wouldn’t be true to myself to believe the Bengals can’t cover. So, I like Cincy with the points. Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase are both too good to not make this a game. But I’m hoping I’m wrong when I take the Rams to win outright.

MY PICK: Bengals +4

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Rams -4
    (80 votes)
  • 64%
    Bengals +4
    (148 votes)
228 votes total Vote Now